COSR and a dog named Piper

About a year ago, the Other Half and I were on our way home from my Dad’s place, when we spotted a dog running loose on the streets.  We quickly pulled over, seeing a buff colored pit bull type dog, we were careful to approach her, but quickly realized she was VERY friendly and must belong to someone.  We looked around a bit, then decided we would take her home for the night, as the ASPCA had closed already.

We took a couple pictures and put them on Facebook, thinking maybe we would find her owners before having to take her to the shelter.

Although, we…and I’m ashamed to say it, had a brief moment where we thought…we could just keep her.  We’d been talking about getting a dog…she was there…and obviously loved and cared about by someone.  If it were me in their position I would want someone to do the right thing.

Within an hour we had people saying they knew the dog, then her owners girlfriend messaged me directly…which didn’t turn out so well.  As I just wanted to verify proof of ownership before giving the dog to someone, she then began to become very harsh…threats to call the cops on me.   All because we found her dog that had gotten loose with no collar, tags…anything.

In the end her boyfriend being of a cooler mind, sent us a photo and confirmed he was her owner.  Within 20 minuets we had her reunited with her family.

In the end.  Any pet owner hopes this is what will happen should their pet ever go missing.  They hope someone will be kind enough to take it in…and then take the correct steps to make sure it is returned to it’s person.

But what if that doesn’t happen?

For a dog named Piper, and her owner Veronica Covatch unfortunately this was not the case.

For those who don’t know the story lets back up a bit.  Piper is a 5 year old champion show dog, a Sheltie, and also a member of Veronica’s family.  In April 2014 Veronica left Piper in the care of a friend in Ohio (they reside in Pennsylvania), this was Easter weekend.  Piper unfortunately escaped  on Good Friday and was picked up by Franklin County Animal Control, who discovered that Piper had a microchip which indicated she belonged to someone.

Now here is where things get sticky, as accounts of what has happened differ greatly, I will attempt to give you the information as I understand it. I’ve heard that the micro chip was not registered but did have the Vet’s information, and a phone call may or may not have been made.  But, lets keep in mind this was a holiday weekend.  Before the attempt was truly made from the accounts I’ve heard, Piper was then handed over to the Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue or COSR that following Monday…3 days later.

Once Veronica became aware of the situation, she attempted to contact the rescue, with no luck, she left messages with no response.  She sent pictures, provided proof of being a co-owner of the dog, as well as her breeder.  She in fact offered to even pay to have Piper DNA tested to prove Piper was her dog.

Thats when Penny Sanderbeck, who runs COSR, made the claim that Veronica is no longer Pipers rightful owner.  The National Sheltie Rescue Network even attempted to step in and help mediate the situation with no luck.

Since then it’s been a battle, both legally and via social media.  There are claims from the COSR camp that Veronica had rehomed Piper last year, because she was sterile, or because she was killing puppies.  They claim that Veronica no longer wanted Piper and sent her to live with strangers, who then let her escape.  (They back these claims saying you can find this information easily online, a posting of her listing the dog for re-homing, but after many exhaustive searches I have yet to find this “proof”).

Ok.  But Veronica is also Pipers breeder, and most ethical breeders I know will have any new puppy owner sign a contract stating that if they can no longer keep the dog, it will be returned to the breeder.  So if its a case of new owners no longer wanting the dog, and Veronica wants her back…whats the big deal right?

Apparently its a VERY big deal.

The matter went before a judge who ruled in Veronica’s favor to have Piper returned to her, or Penny would have to pay a $10,000 bond to keep Piper, until the case went back to court.  So what did COSR do?  They posted the bond.  Which, to be fair apparently only had to put down $200 of the $10,000…which if they lose the upcoming case COSR will be forced to pay the remaining part of the bond.  Which brings in to question…if this RESCUE loses where will they be getting this $10,000 from?  Donations?

The worst part of all this is no one has seen Piper outside of the COSR inner circle it seems.  Which leads to more questions…WHERE IS PIPER??  Is she even safe?  Did they spay her out of spite?  Or worse?

What I find most disturbing is the blatant internet trolling of the COSR supporters of any articles written supporting Pipers return home.  Yet, they will not come out with any of the apparent massive amounts of “evidence” they have showing Veronica is not Pipers owner, and is unfit to have her back.

I say fight on Veronica and Piper.  We wont rest until you are home!

**These are personal opinions I have formed from following the Bring Piper Home Facebook group, as well as doing a vast amount of research regarding this topic.  Please understand no negative or harassing comments will be allowed or responded to.  This is my personal blog that I chose to write about a “hot” issue I feel strongly about, but I will not tolerate any type of trolling or negativity, this is my blog I use for healing.  Thank you.  **



26 thoughts on “COSR and a dog named Piper

  1. I hate to say this, but I have believed from the very beginning that Penny had Piper immediately spayed, but that Piper died in surgery. Shelties and collies have a high risk of reaction to vaccines and anesthesia and even heartworm meds. I have nothing to support this other than the fact that literally no one has seen the dog for 18 months since it became the ward of Penny, who clearly has an axe to grind.

    • Well it’s been 4 months since anyone beyond COSR that’s seen Piper. The concern is that she was spayed and at her age didn’t make it. It’s just a sad sad case that I hope gets more attention than it has so far.

    • false. There are Facebook posts showing Piper in her new home as of December 2013… and posts of photos early 2014, by her new owner, with offers by MICHAEL REA, to take photo portraits of Piper in her new home. Visible on FB in the timeline…Also, Piper’s “co-owner” Michelle, posted earlier this year that the child she’s now claiming “wants his puppy back” on the Piper BringMeHome page. .. actually hasn’t seen Piper since he was 2 weeks old. Piper has belonged to other owners all that time. This is important. Lies have been told by Piper’s breeder and owners. Ask about the woman in Columbus who thanked Veronica publicly for the “gift

  2. This is a very well written article. You’ve touched on all the bases. I too have searched and tried to find out more about the allegations from COSR, but could find nothing. I’ve also looked at quite a few of the laws that will be used in this case, and even if Penny wasn’t willing to turn Piper over, everything I could find indicates that she should have presented the dog so someone, even a “neutral” party, could verify that she was okay. No where does it show that this is done. This isn’t a car, or an antique bureau, or a motor home; it’s a living, breathing dog, with feelings and emotions. I’m very disappointed in a judge who postpones these legal proceedings. I know the wheels of justice move slowly, but still, why does the owner, and the dog have to wait for jurisdiction? It is very clear that the shelter distributed a dog that, according to Ohio law, it had no right to distribute. The rescue had no right to claim ownership – basically, the rescue was the recipient of stolen property. It appears fairly simple and straight-forward to me. And there are laws on the books for dealing with people receiving stolen property.

    • Unfortunately the judge I’m sure was held to the legal system which is not always fair and easy. Since the bond was posted now Penny gets her “say” in court. I doubt she will have much ground to stand on based on all the other information provided by Veronica.

      It is just a nightmare situation that I hope can be fixed due to this horrible situation.

      Thank you for your thoughtful words 🙂


  3. It’s no exaggeration to say this story has exploded, and most dog writers, myself included, have asked some tough questions, as well as insisting that there be more accountability among rescues groups, most of which are dedicated and transparent operations. I think we all want to be assured of Piper’s well being first and foremost followed by the truth one way or the other. If, ultimately, Piper’s owner has been culpable and those sympathetic to her saga have been hoodwinked, those of us who’ve written about this will have plenty to say on that score, as well. For now, I challenge the people holding Piper to post a current picture of the dog to prove she’s well.

    • I agree with you. My biggest concern and a big reason I exposed myself and my blog to this issue is that I feel the need one for the story to be told as best we can but also to ask the very important question where is Piper? Is she ok? No one knows. To me that is the most concerning part of this entire issue is no one knows about the actual well being of the dog. Let’s set aside the issues of the loss of money due to say her being spayed. It’s a matter of if the dog is safe first. Second is what has happened to her during her time with COSR.

      • You were braver than I. I chose not to name names, though by now, “Piper” is a buzzword. I see you shared Kerrin’s fine article about Piper, and I’ll be adding your blog to the comment section of my own site, DogKnobit. As writers, we have a voice and we have a forum. Time we flex some muscles, I think. #where’sPiper?

      • I honestly don’t believe its about the money. Piper is not a breeding bitch as far as I can decipher. Its her value as a beloved pet. As a writer for NAIA I called the attorney (he answered his own phone) and asked him point-blank – “is Piper still alive?” He lost his composure and came close to swearing at me. He was so angry and said it was such a biased question that he refused to answer it. So, there you go, he won’t answer a simple question.

  4. Seems COSR uses the old Weapons of Mass Destruction……no real evidence to be seen. Usually, my instincts tell me when someone goes to the lengths that COSR has, then there is something to hide. Keep fighting. I hope you win this case Veronica. But most of all I pray you get Piper safely home.

  5. you have wrote exactly what i have thought all along, where is piper? my concern now will the rescue just say she died to still not have to return her? i only pray piper is safe and sound and returned to her true owners but if she is not lets hope the court makes penny produce the body or ashes to prove piper has died.

  6. I see you are new to the story. 🙂 I was very much against Penny… and contributed to the Piper cause against her. Then, trying to understand the side of COSR, I did some (pretty minor) back-searching and discovered why she has a case. It is wide open and visible for those who care enough to get to the truth. This dog WAS given or sold to someone last year. They speak of her, with photos, on their page. Veronica comments ON the photos that she’s happy Piper, or “Pipe Dream” has a wonderful “FOREVER HOME”. A current member of the Piper BringMeHome page even offered to take photo portraits of Piper in her new home, offer was accepted. There are multiple posts over several months, not hiding that Piper is in a new home. All visible online. That being true, I still believe a breeder takes possession when a dog she whelped is found. But if you think there’s no “other side”– neither did I, until I did a search. It’s appalling. .. lies have been told by those who owned Piper, who was bounced around from 2011. Very sad. But the owner as of THIS YEAR gleefully celebrated Piper Pipe Dream, openly. It’s there.

    • I am actually not new to the Piper story. I have been following for a bit of time actually. I’m not sure what “quick back searching” you did but the information you speak of I spent quite a bit of time trying to find, with no luck. So please, show me this proof and I will happily share it. What I have written is my thoughts on the situation from what I have been able to learn. Seeing that COSR is refusing to tell their side of the story, other than people such as yourself popping up with claims of this proof that never surfaces. In fact, they banned and blocked me from their Facebook page within hours of joining the Piper BRING ME HOME group. I had never posted on either group, nor taken any sides.

      The problem as I stated in my post, is that even if Piper was re-homed,then escaped and now Veronica, the breeder, wants to reclaim her, where is the issue? She is being a responsible breeder, and taking care of the dogs that she allowed into the world.

      I have chosen only to allow this comment of yours to be posted as you are verging on turning this into what I asked people not to do, although I do thank you for taking the time to write this comment.

    • Then why don’t you post a link to those pages? I worked as a research assistant in college, and studied computer programming for 6 quarters, so I’m awfully good at digging up obscure facts, online or off. I’ve seen so many posts like yours, claiming to have seen such ‘evidence’—but only one of those posters provided links, and frankly, all they showed were a couple of pictures of the dog and some comments which could have been manufactured by anyone. It seemed to me the pages were obvious fakes, because although they resembled a Facebook page, they were very truncated and not linked to Facebook itself. I also found that one fervent COSR supporter who has visited several sites with articles about Piper seems to be operating under a false name, even going so far as to set up a faux FB account in order make herself appear legit. As others before me have said, we’re more than willing to see this purported evidence, but nobody has yet provided anything convincing. It’s easy to throw words around, but the question still remains: WHERE IS PIPER?

  7. Please provide a link to this “Pipe Dream” and her “forever home.” A self-confessed Internet Queen, I cannot find it. Please provide the link.

  8. I have seen the Facebook post where Veronica implies that she has rehomed Piper. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the page; though I think it was dated sometime in December 13. I will try to find it again.

    But Veronica could have kept a co-ownership on her, and might still be Piper’s legal owner. In any case, it is my belief that Veronica has a much stronger claim to the ownership of Piper than shelter and rescue organizations that apparently did not bother back to call the vet who issued Piper’s micro-chip on the first business day after Good Friday.

  9. Until some actual indisputable facts from COSR surface to prove anything that they claim is true, they are giving rescue groups and animal welfare advocates a bad name. This wouldn’t be the first time a dog rescue group in Columbus made bad decisions (even if for heartfelt reasons) that negatively effected all involved. Both sides of this argument need to provide clear and indisputable proof (and it looks like Veronica’s side has the most right now), because this argument is a quick way to deter other people from wanting to help rescue animals. You don’t have to convince animal lovers to help animals, you have to convince people who don’t particularity care about or even dislike animals to do the right thing when they find an unattended animal. This impasse doesn’t help make that case.

    • I also want to add (after reading more of your posts), I hope you are doing well. I have GAD and bipolar disorder, and I know how the symptoms (and medication, lack of medication) can make your life difficult. I also know how sharing your thoughts in so public a place can be simultaneously frightening, exhilarating, and necessary. It’s a huge risk to take, but I 1000% believe when you share your words/thoughts/beliefs/art you are helping yourself as well as others. I teach writing at an art and design college, so I understand and appreciate that risk you’re taking here.

  10. Reblogged this on Jump Jive and THRIVE! aka My Thrive Life Blog and commented:
    This is completely unrelated to the topic of my blog, and I hope you’ll forgive me for posting this. However I love dogs, and I love my own more than life itself. This situation causes me a lot of sadness, because I lost a dog earlier this year, albeit to cancer, and I will never stop grieving for her. As such, I’ve decided to do a fundraiser. I will donate HALF of my own commission to the Bring Piper Home GoFundMe page for all customers purchasing with this purpose between now and August 31st.

  11. Oh oops, that’s me above… Jump Jive and Thrive! Didn’t realize that the post to my blog would also comment here! Sorry my bad! Relatively new blogger here!

    I did want to say “Thank You” for your blog post though, which is why I came back here after reblogging. I just want this situation resolved. I dearly want Piper to go home, and I hope nothing bad has happened to her. It boggles my mind that there could be such cruel people in the world. I’ve read what people thing Ms. Sanderbeck’s reasoning in, both positive and negative, and I still just don’t understand. What more can I say. I too have done a lot of reading on the internet before deciding to fundraise. All I keep seeing is that there is convincing proof that she is in the right, but nobody ever provides this proof. EVER. Unless you’re associated with her legal team, why wouldn’t you just provide links to this so called ‘easy to find’ proof? I want to see it, because if I’m wrong in believing Ms. Covatch, I need to know that. Honesty is above all the most important value in my life. Incidentally, I sent an email to John Bell, Ms. Sanderbeck’s lawyer. I just wanted to express that Piper is not a thing, she is a living being. I tried to be as respectful as I could, and even used the subject line “I know you’re just doing your job”. Because he is, that’s what he was hired to do. Whether I agree or disagree doesn’t change the nature of his job. What shocked me was that he actually replied! Just a one-liner, but he basically told me I don’t have a clue. I left it at that. What’s the point? I will never change his mind. But until he proves otherwise, I am saddened that God created him without a heart. That must really suck.

  12. I was in a situation where I had a dog on trial for several weeks, from a breeder to see if it would work out. The registration on the chip & AKC papers weren’t changed during that time period hence the dog legally still belonged to the breeder. So, even if Piper was re-homed, technically she still belonged to Veronica. Many rescues insist on retaining ownership and getting dogs returned to them for various reasons when they re-home, how is this not any different, especially since the documents still have Veronica as the owner? As I see it, laws regarding the practices of these rogue rescues MUST be tightened up, otherwise this could easily happen to ANY rightful owner of a dog.

  13. Attorney Bell and Penny Sanderbeck need to produce an “evidence of life” image of Piper along with a newspaper with the date on it. This image needs to be presented to the Covatch Attorney Cohen and Court on or before the hearing date. This will dispell much of the fear for Piper’s welfare. Failure to do so on Attoney Cohen’s part will infer the worst. That Piper suffered very poor health or perished under Central Ohio Sheltie Rescue/Penny Sanderbeck’s care. Produce the image. Just do it

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