This Person Won't Give Back The Dog They Saved After a Fire — Would You?

Reddit's community isn't happy with a person who claimed to have rescued a lost dog and is now refusing to return it. While some understand the struggle of giving up a pet, most seem to sympathize with the dog's original owner, who lost the dog during a house fire.

The user, u/whosedogisitanyway, posted their story on the subreddit r/AmITheA**hole. In their description, they noted stumbling upon a scruffy dog. Legally, the Reddit user was allowed to keep the dog for one week. This time period allowed anyone to come forward and claim the dog. But no one did. So, the user adopted the dog.

Nine months later, the real owner spoke out. The new owner shared a photo of their newly-adopted dog on a public Facebook page. It's there the true owner found the dog. "A woman was tagged and a few hours later she DMs me," the Reddit user wrote. "She said my dog was her dog and she was so thankful I found her and wanted to arrange to come get her. She offered to pay me for taking good care of her."

Running Dog
Ella, an Irish Doodle, a cross between an Irish red setter and a poodle, plays in the snow at Stormont on December 8, 2017, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Charles McQuillan/Getty

Sure, this could be a scam. But the Reddit user found the woman's Instagram and verified that yes, the dog, with distinct looks, certainly belonged to her. "She said her house caught fire last year and she lost everything, including my dog who ran away," the post read. "Nobody knows how she traveled so far or what happened between when she got lost and when my friend found her. She never stopped looking for my dog. She even had a video of my dog as a super cute puppy getting a microchip."

U/whosedogisitanyway refused to hand the dog back. "I told the woman I appreciated the great job she did with my dog for the first few years of her life (she's 5) and I was sorry to hear about her circumstances but I couldn't give up my beloved girl," they wrote. "She's my support animal so I'm not even sure I could live without her. I offered to send her pictures regularly but she turned really nasty. I got tons of hateful messages from people I don't even know."

The Reddit writer ended by asking if they are the a**hole for not giving the dog up, and commenters had lots of opinions.

The top comment has over 30,000 upvotes. U/IPretendIMatter summarized general feelings from the group. "Though it's incredibly difficult... [You're the a**hole]. It's not 'your dog' you just thought it was. Put yourself in her shoes," they wrote. "Give the dog back."

Another echoed the point. "The original owner had the dog 5 YEARS and she's had it 9 months and is complaining about losing their beloved pet? Imagine how that woman feels losing her pet and house. Not your dog, give it back," wrote u/RubberBandHam.

Some also pointed to the Reddit's user's claims that the dog is their support animal, possibly having to do with mental illness. This didn't seem to be an excuse for most.

"Honestly, [u/whosedogisitanyway] is sounding like a terrible person. I don't care if they have panic attacks or whatever, the real owner's house caught fire," wrote u/Virgo-Dragon. "They lost everything and lost their beloved dog. [Original poster] thinks a few months is more than years of companionship. [Original poster] even blocked them."

The community awarded the post with a certified "you're the a**hole," but no update yet on if the Reddit poster plans to give the dog back based on the court of public opinion...would you return it?