HARRISBURG, Pa. (CN) – An aging veteran who lost his house after his wife died of Alzheimer’s says police completed his misery by taking away his dog because they were forced to live in his car. Miles Thomas, a retired businessman and former school board member, says the Middletown Police Department and the Harrisburg Area Humane Society are hiding his collie, Baron, on the bogus claim they are “rescuing” it, though Thomas now lives at a farm where Baron would have room to roam.
Thomas developed a heart condition and lost his home after his wife died and early this year he and Baron had to live in his car. Thomas says a John Doe tow truck driver took away his car on June 18 and he had to pay $150 to get it back. A month later, he says, a Middletown cop seized Baron, with no due process – not even an incident report. The temperature was in the 70s, with a light breeze, and the car windows were open and Baron was not in danger.
But Thomas says defendant William Sandstrom, a “Humane Police Officer” for the Harrisburg Area Humane Society, took away Baron, under threat of arrest. The added stress sent Thomas to the hospital.
Thomas says “there is a very well documented history” that the Harrisburg Area Humane Society profits by seizing animals illegally and selling them. He says the Society is falsely claiming that Baron needs veterinary care, though he was healthy when they stole him. If the dog is ill, Thomas says, it from the cruel, inhumane and filthy Humane Society kennels.
Thomas, who has lived in Dauphin County for more than 50 years, says the entire ordeal is “a transparent attempt to chase him out of his own hometown, based simply on his age, unkempt appearance, low income, an the fact that he recently lost his home.”
Thomas seeks declaratory relief, punitive damages and he wants his dog back. He is represented in Federal Court by Andrew Ostrowski.