Legalities and our plea to those who have Harley

Bring Harley Home

We will not give up hope that Harley will come home to the family with whom she belongs. And… we will not stop raising questions about what is really happening in the world of animal rescue. There are many good organizations, and there seem to be an increasing number of people with fairly extreme views, operating within some of those organizations.

We are firm believers in the strength of our democratic system. As citizens, we debate and make laws because we have many differing opinions about right and wrong. Those laws are regularly up for debate – through the democratic process. Many LAS supporters in this situation are focusing on the fact that what they have done is legal, and then go on to bash our family for all sorts of reasons why they believe we don’t deserve her back.

The set up for Harley’s life with us here is also perfectly legal – that’s been confirmed to us by animal welfare executives. She has a fenced enclosure where can get exercise during the day and have access to the outdoors, as well as shelter, food and water. She is also walked and played with daily, with ample opportunity to run and stretch her muscles, normally by playing long games of catch with us with a softball or soccer ball.

We are deeply concerned that the people who now have Harley will inadvertently cause more harm than good, if they limit her access to the outdoors and ability to run like this. If they truly have decided not to let her come home, we plead with them to contact the Lorain Animal Clinic, 440.282.6769, and speak to Virginia Hudson, DVM, and ask her to look up records for Harley Sandu from our visit with her on 5.17.12. This is when we had Harley assessed because of a severe limp. She has a bone deformity and she will be intermittently lame the rest of her life and eventually will develop arthritis. Please, don’t leave her in a kennel or small space all day. Please, make sure she has daily opportunities to run and stretch outside. Let her run and play in the snow – winter is her absolute favorite season.

This same visit is where the vet explained that Harley has urinary sphincter incompetence, a well know medical condition in large female dogs. It is created after dogs get fixed and affects their control. When a dog is in a deep sleep they can let loose their urine and not even know it. This has happened with us and she’s been medicated for it, but it is a condition that may recur.

Better yet, we ask again that you set aside all of the myths and judgments about our family, come meet us for yourself, and open your heart to letting Harley come home.


Public discussion and debate

12.16 post re Harley and snow angel

In a democracy, transparency and accountability are what make it possible for people of differing opinions to come to agreement on the rules and laws that will guide our behavior.  We elect public officials to make those laws and public servants to enforce them.  

We’ll continue to raise the public policy issue – we pay the annual fee to the County, and state law seems to designate the County as the dog warden for our community. Had Harley been taken to the kennel, which we thought was per state law the designated place that lost dogs go, and where we are instructed in the County’s FAQ site to call, she would have been home with us on Christmas Day.

Our story has now been publicized via WOIO – channel 19, Channel 5 and Fox 8.  See the page above for links.  Other local papers are calling.  The motivation to keep going in this community dialogue is more than our own heartache over losing Harley in this way.  Daily we are getting calls and emails from people asking us not to stop – keep asking the right questions and doing what we can to be reunited with our pet.

With the stories, comments are lining up – many encouraging, many harsh. Thank you to all those who are continuing to offer support. For what it’s worth, we did more than make one phone call. One of which was walk through the rain the first two days – hours through our woods, where we feared Harley had been injured. She had her collar and dog license on when she went missing and can’t say why it was gone when she was found 5 days later.   For all the efforts we’re told are taken to find owners before animals are put up for adoption, the only single point of contact in our County, the kennel, seemed not to be in that loop.  

Thanks again for all the encouraging emails and calls.  This is bigger than just our family, and we’ll continue to work with others to push for a robust public discussion on how to protect families and their pets.


Petition to Bring Harley Home:

Thank you for all the petition signatures that continue to come in and standing with us to push for compassion and reason in these efforts. Many rescue organizations commit to a families first policy and have shared stories of pets that have been returned to owners soon after an adoption. In our case, LAS knew Harley had a home either before or very early in the process. Whatever decisions people might have made about us, the only fair process is to talk with us, give us the same due process anyone who loves their pet deserves….

We’ve shared in recent posts that we moved into a new home late last year. Harley escaped the first day we relocated her pen to its new location (though the land where it is situated is a place she has played and visited many times with us). While we believe the true discussion is about what happened once LAS knew we were looking for her early in January and the lack of communication with us as her family afterwards, if it helps to assure people of Harley’s care with us, this is where she’ll sleep.

Waiting for Harley in our new home

Let Harley come home to her family

We are praying the people who now have our pet will open their hearts and let Harley come home to her a family.

Please, continue to write to Love a Stray and ask them to stand with us in this effort to correct this situation, and bring Harley home. We also ask you to urge them to work with the county to dramatically improve communication with the county kennel and finally, to establish new policies that will add a component to their adoption policies that provide for family reunification for a reasonable period of time (90 days has been suggested).

Link to the petition we have created and help distribute it (please scan and return completed petitions to Petition to Bring Harley Home

It is increasingly clear that this is about much more than our continued hope to bring Harley home. This has become a discussion about how to protect families and their pets.


Love a Stray
PO Box 125
Avon Lake, OH 44012

Thank you!

– Vasile, Terri, Emma and Lica Sandu & on her behalf… Harley

Harley & bone

Harley belongs home with her family – it’s the humane and proper thing to do

Update 2.27.14…

After six weeks, we had a response from Love a Stray, through our lawyer, from their lawyer, about the “very sad” situation. Harley has a “wonderful, safe home” – here, with us. Please help us bring Harley home. She has known us since she was a puppy. We have loved and cared for her for years, and she has a good home with us.

Can we acknowledge the things we’d all do differently in hindsight, and agree to open up our hearts and work together to find a place of reconciliation so we can share in the joy of bringing Harley home?

Thank you to ALL of you who continue to encourage us not to give up – not just for our family, but for all families who own and love their dogs!

Petition to Bring Harley Home

This post ends up too low on the list so here it is again!

Link to the petition: We’ve been encouraged to create an online petition so here is the link. Wording was updated to fit new developments and the structure of the online tool.

thank you!!

Terri, Vasile, Lica and Emma Sandu … and Harley, who is somewhere, ready to come home to her family

Harley & bone

Letter to City of Avon Lake

So far nothing has resulted from sending this letter to the City. Still hoping and praying.

See later updates.

Bring Harley Home – Facebook page

We’ve set up a facebook page to try and make it easier to follow things if you are on FB.




Lica and Team Harley

Lica and Harley, 2012

A soon as I heard that Harley ran away, I instantly started searching, I checked my old house, searched the back woods, and kept searching until I couldn’t anymore. When I heard the pound didn’t have her, I started to lose hope. Then I heard that we had found her, I couldn’t believe it, I was the happiest I’d been in a long time. This feeling stayed until I heard we couldn’t have her back. Since then I’ve been missing her more than ever and I want nothing more than to get her back.

I like taking her for walks, petting her, playing catch and soccer with her. She likes it when we would kick the ball and see if she could get it before it passed the tree. My friends like playing with her too.

I would like to thank the people who are trying to help us get her back for everything they have done and believing in the cause and Team Harley.

Sign the petition: Petition to Bring Harley Home!

Emma’s post for Team Harley

Emma and Harley

Harley was the first dog I truly loved. I have met plenty of cute dogs, but Harley was the first dog that I had true connections too. When she felt pain I felt a little pain to, when she got scared I was with her, and when I needed a buddy SHE was there. One of the things I miss is cuddling with her. I remember just about a month before she was our puppy we were in Santa Fe. My mom brought me to a special tree she once went to and told me that the tree was were she decided she wanted kids and husband! A couple months after my mom and dad met and now I am here!!!! When I was there I wished for a dog that I can love. Then I got my dream she was in our house cuddling being with us. So now that she is gone I have a broken dream that I know can be mended. I know that with my friends, family, and everyone that has helped is helping us get our dog back! I love her so much and I won’t give up hope! TEAM HARLEY!!

Team Harley

A note from the blogger


Those who are visiting this site at the encouragement of friends or shared links, I’d like to let you know a bit about who is authoring these posts.  My name is Terri Sandu and our family adopted Harley over two years ago.  We’ve known her for another two years before that, ever since she was a pup, when my brother first brought her home to live with him and his family.

We are, like many others, a family that values its privacy. My online life reflects mixed feelings about social media.  Before this situation with Harley, my facebook posts are mostly articles of interest, and sharing of items from others. You won’t see many photos, except (mostly) shared ones that others have posted.  Losing Harley this way  has changed this.  I’ve come to recognize in a very personal way the profound role that social media can play.  It’s a lesson learned too late to go back in time to December, but we are hoping it will help us bring Harley back to her loving home, today.

This wordpress site, all the facebook posts about Harley, and even the demonstration today with the children hopefully give you a sense of how strongly we feel about being reunited with our beloved pet.  My dear friend Casie set up this page for me, and I’m slowing learning to use it with more confidence.  But, please do be forgiving if there are technical challenges! 

We simply can’t just walk away.  Harley is a part of our family, and like any family, we may not be perfect, but we make up for the rough patches with an overabundance of love and as much laughter as we can rustle up.  We have a deep well of faith and optimism in the human spirit and our ability to recognize mistakes, forgive one another, and find a way to peaceful resolution.   A terribly sad and unfortunate miscommunication has taken place.  Let’s find a way, together, to make it right.  

The people who volunteer for Love a Stray work tirelessly to find good homes for hundreds of pets.  We simply ask that this same passion and attention to doing good work be directed to bring about the reunion of Harley with our family.  We, our extended family, and our friends all love and miss her, and are counting the days until she comes home. 

I want to find the right blend of sharing so you understand the sequence of events and know more about Harley’s life with us, while also seeking to keep what can remain private, private.  Let me know if there is particular information that will help you join “Team Harley” in the effort to Bring Harley Home. Emails can be sent to  Thank you!