Dog Euthanized At Shelter After Owner Claims Her

LadyThis is another unfortunate and heartbreaking incident of a dog being euthanized even when the owner had already claimed the dog.

Lady (pictured here), a pit bull, went missing and was brought to the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter in Texas. Jose Martinez went to pick up his dog. He went to Lady’s cage, identified her and even gave her a few pats on the head. Lady was excited to be reunited with Martinez and his son.

Martinez was asked to wait in the lobby while shelter employees processed the paperwork. But then he got some shocking 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 interim shelter director said Lady was aggressive and tried to bite a couple of employees when they were trying to move her. That was why the shelter said they put Lady, who didn’t have any identification, down.

Except since her owner came to pick her up, the dog should not have been euthanized.

The interim shelter director said there was a new shelter employee and she was not sure what to do.

“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.

The shelter said it was a miscommunication and they will ensure that it will not happen again.

But this is not the first time Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter has been in a similar situation.

Before the incident with Lady, another dog owner, Gilbert Angelle, said his dog was euthanized when she shouldn’t have been. He said his dog, Reba, was at the shelter and it was likely that she was euthanized on her third day at the shelter, which is against the shelter’s policy.

The shelter said Reba was not socializing well and that’s why they decided to put her down. A spokesperson for the shelter said she is unsure of what actually happened with Reba.

The facility has put in new polices which include not leaving identified animals in kennels and not euthanizing animals during business hours.

Both Martinez and Angelle hope that no one has to go through their painful situation. They have spoken with an attorney who is investigating the shelter. He said he wants the problems fixed without any legal action.


32 Responses to “Dog Euthanized At Shelter After Owner Claims Her”

  1. Lynne says:

    I would have to be physically restrained to prevent me from returning to the shelter with my handgun.

  2. Sharon says:

    This is the second time this has happened here within the past month. I saw the man on tv. He and his son were devastated. I cannot believe these people let it happen again. They put down animals without any policies or procedures or thought. This shelter has been mis-managed from the day it opened. The county refuses to fix the problem. There needs to be a class action lawsuit against the county by those whose pets have been put down. They already settled a whistleblower case involving a former shelter employee out of court for a ridiculous amount of money. The former director has been arrested for crimes that occured prior to her being hired. The whole thing has stunk to hire heaven of cronyism and millions thrown down the drain while animals are routinely killed. Williamson County is broken. They need to throw the bums running it out of office. It’s inbred and not clean government.

  3. Sharon says:

    When asked to put some kind of oversight of the new interim director in place the county refused to do so. She obviously is no better the last one. I wonder she is related to? How many family pets have to die before someone holds these people accountable?

  4. Sharon says:

    I can’t believe they offered to give him another dog! Sorry for all the posts but Williamson County has a bad reputation and this whole mess just infuriates me and makes me sick.

  5. catmom5 says:

    There needs to be an investigation into the way this shelter is run. I cannot imagine what these people must have gone through. It is inexcusable! I think this is a perfect opportunity for a lawsuit.

  6. nora says:

    The Williamson County Shelter in Georgetown Tx, just north of Round Rock, just north of Austin, is under investigation now, pro bono by the great attorney Mr. Aleshire for the very thing we are speaking about AND animal cruelty and neglect. It is mainly the powers that be who are responsible for the don’t give a shit attitude and who don’t get their hands dirty working, cleaning and feeding the poor unfortunate animals who end up there. This is a HORRIBLE place to be for any animal and so many deaths have happened needlessly by neglectful starvation, dehydration, disease and needless euthanization! My best friend lives in Round Rock and she does rescue and foster for the German Shepherd Rescue of Texas. They have taken in many dogs displaced by the hurricanes and otherwise who are on doggie death row and would be put down needlessy. They are lovingly fostered and found forever homes. The German Shepherd rescue stopped dealing with this shelter because of the absolutely horrid dealings we are addressing today. I drove from Des Moines, Ia. to Austin in early May for vacation with my Aussie Rufus and my friend actually took us to this shelter to find some dogs to foster and check on a few ongoing cases at that time. It is a horrible waste of what could have been a great shelter if only the powers that be had compassion for the animals and were upstanding human beings. THEY ARE NOT.

  7. nora says:

    Word of caution to dog and cat owners who go to claim their animal at Williamson Co shelter, after physically seeing your fur baby, REFUSE TO LET THAT FUR BABY OUT OF YOUR SIGHT!!!!! These people cannot be trusted and are obviously so anxious to murder innocent animals they MUST BE STOPPED. Poor Lady thought she had been saved by her Human’s and these physco idiots MURDERED HER!

  8. Stefani says:

    County shelters are usually run by organizations who have been contracted to do so. Someone local should organize to make sure that contract is competed in the future, and that another organization wins the contract and takes it away from these incompetents.

    The Toonces Project
    “Is Your Pet Safe at the Vet?”

  9. Jenny Bark says:

    Nora i’m glad you posted about the lawsuit. Makes me feel a tiny bit better. I never use to believe in all the lawsuites but in the last few years i have changed my thinking. Imo it is now a good way for the middle class to fight back. The clip above showing the 2 families makes me feel so sad you can tell they take care of their babies. I don’t always believe no collor or tags because that is what you always hear.

  10. my4meezers says:

    I’m with you Lynne. I would end up in jail if that happened to one of my babies.

    I hope the heartless people at this shelter are made to pay the price for the needless suffering they have caused.

  11. highnote says:

    This is just terrible. I can’t believe they would kill this dog while the owners were right there! I do not know what I would have done when they told me they killed my dog. All Hell would have broke loose!
    It seems that Wichita Kansas has a law now that I knew nothing about and I wondered if other cities had this same law. I was talking to a lady that worked at our quick trip and she said she just got fined by the police for leaving her dog on a tie stick for more then an hour. This law was brought about because of pit bulls and people being afraid of them. The lady does not even own a pit bull but the law is for all dogs but was bought about because of the pit bull. I thought it was wild that now you cannot even let your dog out on a long leash for more then an hour or you will be fined. Guess all Wichita, ks. pets are on the clock now as to how long they can stay in your own yard.
    I personally do not like to leash a pet in a yard but this lady said her dog was a house pet and that she only stakes it in her yard while she is home because her pet loved to be outside. She had no idea that she could not let her pet out staked on a leash for more then an hour. Do other towns have such a law?

  12. Bridgett says:

    There would have been blood shed and then a very bloody lawsuit if a shelter had done this to me!

  13. Stefani says:

    You think you would end up in jail. You think you would do all kinds of things.

    But when this really happens to you, you don’t do any of those things. You break apart. You ask for justice from the people who are supposed to regulate these industries. And then the “system” that is supposed to regulate the people who did these things to your pet turns a cold shoulder on you, and coddles the perpetrators.

    What would you do if you arranged for a MEDICAL BOARD of your pet with HIS VET, and then — instead of leaving the patients in qualified hands, the vet decided to leave all the animals in the care of his son — an unlicensed person with no formal training — and left him alone there with no supervision. What if the vet’s son then gave your pet a MASSIVE drug overdose, nearly killing your pet, leaving him with SEVERE brain damage from which he would never recover. Unable to see. Unable to eat without help. Unable to drink from a bowl. Unable to use a litterbox. Unable to interact normally. For the rest of his life.

    What do you think you would do?

    What if you reported the vet to the state veterinary board . . . and the state board fined the vet only $250 and called this “fair.” Nevermind the fact that you had spent over $10,000 dealing with the brain damage and its consequences.

    What if the vet changed his story and denied that the overdose had ever happened at all, in spite of the fact that it was documented; in spite of the fact the vet admitted it and told his veterinary colleagues about it; in spite of the fact that he filed a liability claim based on it, and all the symptoms were entirely consistent with the admitted drug overdose?

    What if this was the pet you loved more than anything in the world — the cat (or dog) of your life?

    What do you think you would do?

    That happened to me.

    You THINK — before this ever happens to you — that you will do a million things. But your pets need you, your family needs you.

    So instead of turning vigilante, you go the “right” way and report it, hoping for some strong action. And you are disappointed.

    Then you see the value of your beloved dog or cat. The value to these people is ONLY the money you can put in their pockets. They don’t care about them really at all. And they don’t care about you either, just your cash. And their own egos and reputations. THEMSELVES, their fortunes, their reputations, that’s IT.

    The system (state regulators, politicians, the professional associations) doesn’t care about you either. They care about the blood money they get from the pet food lobby, the pharmaceutical industry, the medical and veterinary lobbies. They do not care about malpractice victims. They do not care about the victims of food poisoning. And they will band together to protect their own and protect the powerful organized professional groups whose members perpetrate these horrors, and who pay off the politicians and regulators to protect them. One hand washes the other.

    Some people who speak out after this kind of thing happens to them actually get sued for alleged “defamation.” It doesn’t matter whether what they are saying is the truth, the vets sue to impoverish them, to shut them up, because they don’t want anyone to know what they did. They victimize their victims over and over. Crush you into the ground. Sadists who know no bounds.

    Your pets need you. Your family needs you. So what do you do?

    Maybe you start a website, in the small hope that just be warning people about how these things happen, they will learn NOT TO TRUST ANYONE but themselves when it comes to their beloved pets safety and wellbeing.

    NOT vets.
    NOT groomers.
    NOT shelters (!).
    Not AAFCO.
    Not AAHA.
    Not their congressman.
    Not AVMA.
    Not anyone.

    Only themselves.

    The Toonces Project
    “Is Your Pet Safe at the Vet?”

  14. Sharon says:

    They killed her while he was there waiting to take her home. I hope somebody goes to jail. I hope it’s the Williamson County Sheriff.

  15. Bridgett says:


    I read your story about your kitty. Horrible! You are right, while I threaten blood shed, what I would do is just break down and cry hysterically. Then I would take action through the appropriate channels and, like you, be hung out to dry by the people who are supposed to take care of these matters.

  16. Margaret says:

    What!!!!Employees just walk around that place with a syringe loaded with Penobarbitol ? I think not! This is a totally controlled substance -should be under lock and key. Takes time to get out and WHERE was the animal euthanized.
    This “explanation ” smells more than a little. More likely the dog was injured by rough handling -and then slated to be euthanized, at least that would make sense.
    If (heaven forbid) this happens to you ask to have your dog’s body IMMEDIATELY.
    Something else is going on here.
    Most shelters only euthanize on certain days when a qualified Veterinarian is present. If this is not the case this “Shelter “needs a thorough investigation.
    Not to late for owner to get a Lawyer or animal rescue group to look into this……..

  17. mittens says:

    once again- NO IDENTIFICATION.

    i am not quite sure what part of this people do not understand-

    1) how did a pit bull of all dogs get out of your sight? ( you’ll notice in both these stories there’s no attempt to ascertain from the owner, ie the person entirely respnsible for the dog’s well being, how their allegedly precious beloved dog, a type of dog most likely to be euthanized immediately in a shelter, got away. this is to garner as much sympathy for the pet owner who in all likelihood was the one originally negligient. this is to negate their responsibility which other pet owners disturbingly find comforting. i think it’s selective , faulty emotion driven reasoning.)

    2) dogs with no ID, no dog license.if you so cared about your dog you’d make sure he was ID’d. now you only care because of a tragedy- a tragedy percipitated, perhaps, by your own damn negligience. we had relatively low aggression risk dogs when i was a child. they NEVER left the yard , they were never out without a human there, they were on a leash if they did leave the property and they always had their dog licenses and rabies tags on. i was able to follow all these saftey precautions as a child because i was told it was my responsibilty to take care of the dogs. if an 8 year old can do this why can’t grown, adult pet owners, particularly ones with what are preceived of and generally are( due to stupid people not the breed) problems? you have to watch your out for your pets and be proactive because no on else is going to take up the reponsibility you brush off. grow up for god’s sake and be adults -if you can’t manage to adequetly maintain, protect and watch your pet you shouldn’t have one. and while it’s true that accidents happen, the truth, the freakin elephant in the room, is that most of these mistakes can be avoided through reponsible training and reponsible pet ownership.

    this is the second story like this that has popped up so soon and indicates exactly WHY communities have issues with pit bulls and related dog breeds-the amazing amount of irresopnsible pit bull dog OWNERS who seem to think their apparently free ranging dog have Constitutional protections. pit bulls and related dogs overwhelm the shelters. you can love and adore the breed all you want but bad owners are making a very large very often dangerous problem for many communities. what is it about pit bulls that attracts these jack asses that couldn’t control and maintain a stuffed toy dog want them? if a dog strayed on to my property and bit me, a child or any of my animals i’d shoot the damn thing to and sleep fine afterwards. i would still have sympathy for the dog but contempt for the owner if the situation was born of irresponsibility. bad things happen, things that beyond you are in themselves wrong, when you don’t take control of your responsibilities.

    you’re demanding the shelter take responsibility for it’s actions but why doesn’t the owner do so too?-the community has no legal obligation to ensure the safety of untagged, unlicensed dogs roaming the streets. you play fast and free with keeping your dog in check and the dog pays the price.

  18. Jenny Bark says:

    Stefani, thank you for sharing your terrible pain again & I know your words are from the heart & the TRUTH about the way this world is. Sometimes I think these powerful groups can get away with things is because everybody is so busy working & trying to take care of their familys that their circle of people they realy know is so small. Neighbors don’t even realy know each other any more so how can they know what terrible things have happened to each other.Cases like yours happen to people too & people read in the paper & think every thing is going to be fixed & forget about it. If they would go visit these same people they would find out nothing has been fixed & their life is terrible.

    You are such a good person, intelligent & you keep learning. You express yourself so well in your posts that someone like me who has been around a lot with eyes open still learn new things from you. Thanks a lot for being you & giving to all of us. I also want to thank you for your help with my Kitty, almost 100% home cooked now.

  19. Jenny Bark says:

    Sharon, Thanks for the link.

  20. Lynn says:

    Phentobarbitol is a controlled substance, as someone mentioned earlier, and is therefore kept under lock and key. To my knowledge, each animal on the death list is euthanized by injection in a small room by the vet. The vet does not go cage to cage, carrying the drugs around with him.

    Furthermore, most shelters do not have a vet on the premises 24 or even 8 hours a day. It’s a very short time - long enough to do what needs to be done.

    My thoughts on this incident at the Williamson shelter?

    I have to wonder if the kennel personnel aren’t stealing the dogs and selling them for a couple bucks to some dog fighting operations. Seems like it would be easy to forge the records.

  21. Jeanie says:

    I would have sued.

  22. catmom5 says:

    Re: mittens
    The owners were there to claim their dog while they killed him. ID wouldn’t have made a bit of difference in this situation. That dog could have had his name and address tattooed on his butt and they mostly likely would have put him down. This isn’t about euthanizing “unclaimed” strays.

  23. Lynn says:

    If the head of this shelter is smart, they’d “plant” a “lost” pit bull there in the shelter and do some 24/7 surveillance. I think some undercover theft is going on.

  24. Sharon says:

    It sounds to me like the dogs were not euthanized by a vet at all but by some low level employee or volunteer. Aren’t there laws regulating controlled substances? This is criiminal negligance.

    They also refuse to return the animals bodies to their owners. I would want an autopsy or an explanation from the County Sheriff as to why there is a problem with that.

  25. Jenny Bark says:

    Sharon, I think you might be right, but no matter how it was done sounds like they have some big time help now. Will you & Nora PLEASE keep us informed on what happens. This law firm sounds big enough to get some answers.

    Nora please read Shaaron’s message. You two know about this shelter.

  26. catmom5 says:

    The local humane society has a euthanasia tech ~ that’s about all she does. Can’t think of a worse job!!!

  27. Radcliff, Allie, Luna, & Ozzie says:

    We’re with Lynn. This shelter seemed awfully fast at ‘killing’ this dog once an owner showed up to claim her. Our guess is someone at the shelter is either selling pit-bulls, or is fighting dogs himself (or herself).

  28. Jacob says:

    I tired of reading all these peoples comments saying that someone should go to jail or pay. im sure they were just doing what they were told. and its not like they are cold blooding torturing and abusing the dogs. and its not like they are humans, they are just dogs. one person will go through countless dogs in their life, losing ONE dog is nothing. and in all honesty people should keep track of their dogs and not let them run the streets to get picked up and takin to the pound. your lucky the pound even lets you get your dog back. that if they dont kill’em first HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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  30. luvnjustice says:

    you should of press charges!!!!
    they have no right to kill your dog with out you authority!!!!
    since you did not sign any papers for her death you should of urge until you
    see them sufer!!!
    if i were you… they would of all be fire and maybe return them the favor!
    even if i did that it still wouldnt make me happy!!!
    cause you went to your dog and she saw you pet her imagine what great relief she might of felt but turns out she see’s a shot and her last moment she starts wondering
    vengence is never the answer but…its a start.

  31. K says:

    I would adore it if someone starts a petition and spreads the word to get this petty excuse for a shelter shut down! These lowlife supposed “professionals” (ha!) must have gotten it into their sick ignorant minds that the word “REFUGE” must constitute the abuse, neglect, carelessness, and bad attitudes that they have imposed on these families and their fellow family members (pets are family!). Better yet someone could visit this shelter, posing as a volunteer with a small hidden camera… And BUST their sorry asses! The fact that they won’t even give the families the dead bodies ( which are worthless to the shelters…unless they’re hiding something) really has me extremely suspicious! Did anyone start a website to boycott this awful place?

  32. Jones says:

    That animal shelter needs to be sued. That would be the least of what I have done. I protect my pitbull.

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