A homeless man is trying to persuade the county’s animal services shelter to reverse the adoption of his 7-month old Chihuahua after it was given to a foster family while he was in jail.

“I was arrested in the grocery store for eating out of the salad bar,” says Lonnie Mead—picked up by the cops on November 20th in the Safeway at the corner of SW 10th and Jefferson.

“I take psychiatric medication, anti-depressants, and they’re pretty strong. I bought a pint of vodka, and I only drank about an inch of it—but I blacked out. I don’t remember even being in the store.”

Mead spat at a police officer when he was arrested, and pled guilty this morning to harassment and criminal trespass, having been previously excluded from Safeway. The judge sentenced him to 25 days in jail, with compensation for time served, and fined him $300. The fine will be difficult to pay, but for Mead, the biggest concern now is getting back his dog, Riff Raff.

“9 months ago I attempted suicide,” he says. “I just felt like there wasn’t much to live for. So I got a dog. I raised him since he was a puppy, he’s been a companion.”

The county’s animal services shelter called Mead at the jail shortly after his arrest, asking him to come get Riff Raff.

“But they didn’t give me much of a chance,” he says. “I didn’t have anyone who could go get him for me, and I was in jail until today.”

In the mean time, the county has given the dog to a foster family. And it's actually up for adoption on the county's website, right now:

RIFF RAFF: NO! NO! DONT ADOPT HIM!
  • RIFF RAFF: NO! NO! DON'T ADOPT HIM!
“We called him in jail on the 22nd, and since then he hasn’t been able to find a single solitary person to come take responsibility for this dog,” says John Rouwton, the county’s shelter manager. “We’re not a voiding service. We placed it into a foster family.”

Rouwton says he was aware that Riff Raff was gotten to help Mead with his depression. “But it’s not a service animal,” he says. “There isn’t documentation for that.”

“Do I want to place this dog with someone else? No I don’t,” Rouwton continues. “I’m hoping we can hear from Mr.Mead and we can get something going.”

Rouwton’s attorney, Brad Kalbaugh, has already called the shelter, twice.

“They’ve just told me he’s been given to a foster family,” says Kalbaugh.

Let’s hope something can be worked out.