Nina, a three-year-old, blue harlequin, Great Dane, was brought in to the Galveston County Animal Resource Center (ARC) earlier this week with blood covering her entire body, and soon allegation surfaced that she had been beaten by a Galveston County, Animal Control Officer (ACO). After 72 hours had passed and she still had not receive medical attention, an ARC employee, leaked her picture and alerted a Texas Great Dane rescue of her situation. Nina’s picture started to go viral on Facebook, and the shelter was soon flooded with phone call. Within hours, Nina finally received the medical attention she had been denied.
In the information that was leaked, it was stated that ARC was going to euthanize Nina to cover up the ACO abuse. That’s when Nina’s story went viral, and her legal battle began. ARC quickly released a statement that Nina was never in any danger of being euthanized. The Great Dane Rescue contacted the Lexus Project.
According to shelter officials, the day before Nina finally received medical attention, an investigator went to the shelter, because a claim of abuse had been made, but he could not get close to Nina and Stated that she would have to be sedated before any medical attention could be given and left.
Nina did not just go to one vet clinic; she has now been seen by two different clinics, the Scott Veterinary Clinic, and the VCA Mainland Animal Hospital. The Scott’s Clinic stated her injuries are self inflicted, while Dr. Darryl Guthrie with the VCA said, he could not say how the dog sustained the injuries. “. Nina spent most of her time at the Scott’s clinic.
By Thursday a save Nina Facebook page had been started, with a posted fundraiser for Nina’s legal fees. ARC released a statement that they were trying to find Nina’s owners, and by that evening, the Lexus Project had retained a local attorney to represent Nina through the Great Dane rescue. Their Attorney served ARC with a signed protective order. Basically ARC could not accidently, or on purpose, euthanize Nina.
Here is where Nina’s story becomes more bizarre, and her name Fine Wine comes into play.
ARC was having difficulty finding Nina’s owner because, nobody is claiming her except for a man called Carl Townley. The man showed up at the shelter to claim her after viewing the KHOU news coverage on her story. Townley was quickly dismissed by ARC officials, when he could not tell them what rescue he had adopted her from, or show them any documentation.
Amber Adams, District's animal services manager, stated in her affidavit, "I have spoken with an organization named Dog Dynasty, which advises that the Great Dane is named Nina, and that Dog Dynasty owned and adopted Nina out to Debra Mahaffey. But Mike and Paula Glover who own Dog Dynasty denied this later and Mike Glover told the Houston Press, “We never had it, we never even seen the dog, and only posted the dog's photo to try to find a potential adopter.” Paula Glover also denied ownership by a post on their Facebook page.
You see, over a year ago, a female blue Harlequin Great Dane was posted on Facebook by a different rescue, and her name was ‘Fine Wine’. It appears Nina, AKA, Fine Wine, has had at least three owners, who are now claiming they were only fosters, and the last owner claimed she wondered into his yard so he decided to keep her for 6 months. He called the ACO to come get her after his little dog attacked her, and she fought back. He locked her in his garage and claimed she was a stray when the ACO came.
It appears, Nina has never had a real home, or real owner, and she has never had a legitimate rescue that would stand beside her, and help her find a long term home. So this might be a reason why she is skittish, and non-trusting of humans.
Friday, the Galveston County Legal Department filed a motion to quash the protection order Nina’s attorney had put in place. Her attorney went to retrieve her from ARC, and officials told the attorney “The dog could not be released and was considered evidence in a criminal investigation.”
Now Nina is caught up in a custody battle that seems more political than rational. Jana Landry, an attorney with the Lexus Project stated to the Houston Press, “Nina now seems to be in good shape. We simply don't understand why Nina can't be "evidence" while temporarily hanging out in a loving home, rather than in the custody of the idiots who triggered this nonsense in the first place.”
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