Buster’s back with his original rescuer
Post Independent Staff
Buster’s back. The German shepherd mix rescued in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by Sue Schmidt is now at home with her in Silt.
The dog has been at the center of a battle between Schmidt and Colorado Animal Rescue, a shelter in Glenwood Springs, since Schmidt brought him back to Silt along with nine other hurricane dogs at the end of August.
CARE director Leslie Rockey was bitten by Buster on Oct. 21 while examining him at Schmidt’s house. After turning Buster over to CARE to be quarantined, Schmidt feared he would ultimately be put to death because the shelter had declared him unadoptable.
Schmidt sued the shelter for custody of Buster, but dropped the suit in late November when the dog’s owners, Angelo and his mother Lydia Kingvalsky, of New Orleans, were located.
Schmidt maintained the Kingvalskys, who were living at the time in Dallas, wanted her to take the dog until they could move back to their homes in New Orleans.
But Schmidt was pre-empted from taking charge of Buster when, on Dec. 16, he was taken to Camp Wolfgang, a shelter and sanctuary for troubled German shepherds in Ennis, Texas, near Dallas where the Kingvalskys have found temporary housing.
On Dec. 27, Angelo told the Post Independent he and his mother picked up the dog at Camp Wolfgang on Dec. 17, and said that Buster was living with Lydia Kingvalsky.
In reality, according to Schmidt, the Kingvalskys handed Buster over to Schmidt that day outside the gates of the shelter.
“The Kingvalskys really wanted him to be in a home environment,” Schmidt said. “They wanted me to have him.”
Schmidt said she “didn’t want it known” at the time that Buster was in her care.
Lydia Kingvalsky was unable to have big dogs in her apartment in Dallas, she said. Angelo has since returned to New Orleans and is working on rebuilding his own house in the Ninth Ward.
“We’re really hoping (Buster can go home to the Kingvalskys) by the end of March or so,” Schmidt said.
Despite being labeled as an aggressive dog by CARE, Schmidt said he is doing well.
“The reason I felt it was important to go public (with the news about Buster) was, irrespective of the owners’ wishes, the dog went to another shelter, ” she said. “It’s important that people know the Kingvalskys got their wish. Irrespective of what was said in the paper, (Buster) did not show signs of aggression.”
Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510
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