Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

September 28, 2012

Family pet accidentally euthanized at shelter

WEATHERFORD — Sandra Evans, a Poolville area resident, said she let her dog, Brutus, outside unattended for less than 20 minutes to do his business on the morning of Sept. 12 and within minutes he was picked up by a Parker County deputy for the violation of the county leash law.

Evans expected to pay a fee and get the approximately 2-year-old boxer back from the Weatherford-Parker County Animal Shelter the following day. But that’s not what happened.

Instead, she received a call a week later, the day before she was supposed to pick up her dog, telling her that the family pet had been accidentally euthanized.

“He was a really good dog,” Evans said. Because the animal was a genius at jumping fences, they kept the dog indoors, and he calmly let the four children - ages 9 through 2 years old - play with him, jumping on him and pulling his ears, according to Evans.

After finding out that her dog had been picked up and was being transported to the animal shelter, Evans said she went to the animal shelter the following day, Sept. 13, and gave them the money needed to bring Brutus’s rabies vaccination up to date, neuter him and microchip him. They told her that her dog wouldn’t be ready to pick up for a week because of the veterinarian’s schedule, she said.

Thinking she’d soon be bringing him home, she got excited when she first got the call on the afternoon of Sept. 19, according to Evans.

But she was told there had been a paperwork mix up and her dog had been one of several dogs euthanized that day, Evans said.  

“Unfortunately, there was a mistake in the paperwork which led to Ms. Evans’ pet being euthanized,” Interim shelter director Dustin Deel said in an email Thursday. “Since the incident [the Weatherford-Parker County Animal Shelter] has tried to stay in contact with Ms Evans.”

Shelter staff are passionate animals lovers and are trying to do all they can to make the situation as right as can be, Deel said.

“There are procedures in place that should have prevented this from happening,” Deel said, though he did not go into detail.

It doesn’t happen often at the shelter, according to Deel.

Since he took over management of the shelter several months ago, this is only time an owner’s animal has been mistakenly euthanized, Deel said.

 Brutus has been greatly missed, particularly by her 8-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter, Evans said.

“He’s just a lovable dog,” Evans said. “He’s like a kid.”

“My 8-year-old boy keeps asking when he’s coming home,” Evans said. “He doesn’t understand I just can’t go get him.”

The shelter has offered to let the family adopt another dog, Evans said, but it’s not the same.

“It’s not right, you know,” Evans said. “You should double check yourself before you do anything.”

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