Nebraska pet rescue in ongoing dispute with authorities after records seized

The question is if they’ve been legally saved or stolen
An animal rescue is in a dispute with state and local authorities over how numerous dogs have been obtained from a Nebraska breeder.
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 10:37 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An animal rescue is in a dispute with state and local authorities over how numerous dogs have been obtained from a Nebraska breeder.

The question is if they’ve been legally saved or stolen. It’s a surprise twist to an ongoing 6 News investigation.

Volunteers for Grants Wishes argue they didn’t intentionally go against the wishes of Madison County authorities by resuing a female miniature Aussie and six pups.

“The rescue didn’t do anything knowingly illegal, these dogs were in desperate need of care,” said Kathy Robinson.

But deputies served a search warrant at the rescue and deputies seized records as part of a theft investigation.

“My heart was in the right place trying to save these dogs and providing them with vet care, but they have completely turned it around and now they come back and serve warrants and asked for all the proof of everything,” said Rae Tuff.

The owner of Flying High Aussies Megan Mahlin alleges up to 18 dogs have been stolen but Grants Wishes has receipts claiming to prove the nonprofit purchased the dogs and removed them from poor living conditions.

“They prove she received money for the dogs. They were not taken,” said Robinson.

But the Nebraska AG department says Grants Wishes is not in compliance with its state license by transporting stolen dogs and until those dogs are relinquished to Madison County, a stop movement order stays on the pet rescue.

Nine Aussie puppies eight weeks old, they have collars and names ready for a new home. But because of this ongoing dispute, they can’t be adopted.

“I have to hold on to them right here until the Department of AG decides to lift their order,” said Tuff.

While Grants Wishes rescue can’t move out any pets the volunteers demand they get one back.

Dolly the mother dog removed from squalor by the rescue and needed more than $1,000 in vet care was then seized by Madison County while the investigation continues into whether she and other dogs have been stolen or rescued.

“I shouldn’t be the one being investigated because I went to answer the call to save those dogs,” said Tuff.

The lawyer for Grants Wishes pet rescue says there was never any intent to steal dogs, only rescue them from inhumane conditions.

Attorney Jerry Katskee says legal efforts will continue to have the state stop movement order lifted.

The Madison County attorney didn’t respond to our messages for comment.

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