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Texas shelter euthanizes dog while owner is there to pick her up

by Therese on September 6, 2007

in Animals in the News, Austin pets, Dogs

lg20070906.jpgA Hutto, TX resident’s dog managed to get out of an opening in the fence in their back yard. When they went to the Williamson County Animal Shelter, the family was relieved to find their dog, Lady. Unfortunately, as they were filling out paperwork to take their dog home, she was euthanized.

This is the second time in about a month that a family dog has been euthanized under questionable circumstances.

The troubled Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter is under fire again. This time facing criticism for putting dogs to sleep under questionable circumstances.

Imagine coming to the shelter to pick up your missing dog, seeing the dog and then finding out it was put to sleep while the shelter was processing the paperwork.

It happened to a Hutto family. And it’s not the first time the euthanasia procedure has been called into question.

Jose Martinez’s pit bull “Lady” was part of his family. She was gentle with his son, and excited to see him at the shelter Tuesday.

“She took me to the cage. I identified the dog, I saw her,” Martinez said. “I bent down and petted her.”

Martinez waited in the lobby. Then received startling news.

“The manager called me in, walked me into her office, closed the door and told me, ‘we just euthanized your dog’. Just like that,” Martinez said.

“The dog was aggressive. It tried to bite several employees trying to move it,” interim shelter director Ethel Spence said.

The shelter says that’s why Lady, who didn’t have tags, was scheduled to be put down. But since Martinez claimed her, that shouldn’t have happened.

“We have a new employee and she didn’t realize what to do,” Spence said.

“She just said, ‘we can give you another dog if you want to’. I mean, just like if it was nothing. I told her, no, that wasn’t the point,” Martinez said.

Read the rest of the story about Lady.

The fact that something similar happened not long ago, and that the new employee is blamed for the mistake, makes it quite obvious there are bigger problems that need to be addressed. Both pet owners whose dogs were euthanized by mistake have been in touch with an attorney. Whatever the outcome, hopefully changes will be made to ensure this type of thing does not happen again.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jan September 6, 2007 at 1:54 pm

This is so sad. But I’ll bet it happens more than we know about, more than owners are aware of.

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Johann September 8, 2007 at 5:20 am

This is soo sad!!! Jan is right, I bet this happens a lot.

BTW – thanks for voting for me!

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