LEE COUNTY, Fla. — A Cape Coral man reached out to Fox 4 for help after he said Lee County Domestic Animal Services caught his dog, but now won't release her until after they spay her.
William Hayes said that his dog Chyna got loose from her leash Thursday. The next day, he said he found her on the Lee County DAS web page for found dogs.
"I'm just trying to get my dog back the way she was when she left my house," Hayes said.
He said he showed DAS staff photographs of Chyna at his home, but was told that the photos don't meet the requirements for proof of ownership.
"They're telling me to adopt the dog all over again," Hayes said. "I don't have a problem with that. The only problem I have is they want me to spay my dog, and I don't want to do that."
In an email to Fox 4, Lee County Communications Specialist Timothy Engstrom wrote: "Lee County ordinance requires, as proof of ownership, a valid County license, veterinary records within the past three years or a registered microchip."
"Without proof of ownership, the person claiming unproven ownership may be given the opportunity to adopt the animal," the email continued. "All animals adopted from Lee County Animal Services must be spayed or neutered as part of the adoption."
Hayes said he had never taken Chyna to a veterinarian.
He said he would be willing to adopt her spayed if left with no other option.
"I just know that I love my dog," he said.