SPCA worker loses job over dog adoption dispute

Posted at 6:35 PM, Dec 04, 2015

SHARONVILLE, Ohio — A dog adoption at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Cincinnati in Sharonville is now at the center of a dispute that has resulted in the reclaiming of the dog and the termination of an employee.

At the center of the dispute is an Anatolian shepherd named Bosco. The woman who adopted her, Marianne Ross, was then a SPCA employee working in Sharonville.

Ross’ husband, Jesse, said Bosco was a dream dog, and it wasn’t long after her arrival in Sharonville that Marianne had arranged all the paperwork.

“My wife had adopted the dog as a Christmas present for my mom,” he told WCPO.

That was until the Rosses get a call on Thursday night from the SPCA — the day after Bosco met her new family — saying they had to bring Bosco back because there had been a mistake.

It turned out that Bosco was what SPCA officials called a “promotion dog” — that is, a dog that SPCA promoted on television and Facebook as available to the public for adoption.

When Marianne took Bosco back in Thursday, she was soon adopted to a different family.

Jesse said his family was devastated. “My wife called me, I could hardly understand anything she was saying… crying,” he said.

In a statement posted to Facebook, SPCA Cincinnati officials said Bosco arrived in Sharonville on Nov. 22 and — despite publicity efforts to get her adopted — was not getting any visitors.


We would like to take the time to address the comments that have been written concerning Bosco, the Anatolian Shepheard...

Posted by SPCA Cincinnati on Friday, December 4, 2015

That is, until SPCA supporter Thom Brennaman visited and met Bosco and posted a photo of himself with the dog on Dec. 2, the day before Marianne filed the adoption paperwork. The photo went viral, getting over 400 shares and reaching more than 50,000 people.


Our friend, Thom Brennaman, came to visit with some of our adoptable animals today! He especially liked Bosco, the...

Posted by SPCA Cincinnati on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

According to their Facebook post, it’s not against SPCA policy for employees to adopt pets, but “a staff member adopting a dog after it had been featured on television and again on all social media networks… is not fair to the members of our community who are willing to assist an animal in need.”

The statement goes on to say that, while Bosco was adopted in Marianne’s mother-in-law’s name, Marianne filled out and processed some of the paperwork herself in her own name.

That, the officials said, is prohibited.

As a result, Marianne didn’t just lose a dog, she lost her job that day, as well.

“Employees are prohibited to use their employment at SPCA Cincinnati to their own advantage, and it will not be tolerated,” officials said.

But Jesse said they were just trying to give the dog a home.

“I feel like we were wronged in the situation, but ultimately the dog has a home and that’s what’s ultimately important,” he told WCPO.