Family’s Dog Mistakenly Euthanized

Pit bullThe Tsougarakis family was relieved when they found their lost dog at an animal shelter, but were then completely heart broken to find out their pit bull was mistakenly euthanized.

The one-and-a-half year old pit bill ran away on Saturday, and he was found at the Mesquite Animal Shelter on Wednesday. There were no tags or any identification on the dog.

The family went to pick their dog up at the Texas shelter on Wednesday, but the employees told the family they had to come back with documentation and photographs to prove the pit bull belonged to them.

They came back the next day, but they were too late. The shelter had already euthanized their dog.

The shelter said the staff employee should have placed a special hold on the pit bull as soon as the family came to claim him. The Mesquite Animal Shelter said they will review procedures to ensure a situation like this will not happen again.


19 Responses to “Family’s Dog Mistakenly Euthanized”

  1. catmom5 says:

    Texas isn’t looking too good when it comes to animal welfare right now ~ seem to be lots of folks whose first reaction to a stray/lost/found animal is euthanasia! Too bad somebody forgot to mention that this poor dog had a family. Too bad this poor dog didn’t have a collar/tags/identification. Too bad that another animal had to pay for human negligence with his life.

  2. Jenny Bark says:

    this is so sad, I want to cry. On the link above my their is a video, how sad. They signed the papers the night before saying it was their dog & came early the next day to prove it. They didn’t say anything about a chip. It was a pb all bp dogs i’ve have had had to have a chip. I would like to hear more of her story about why no collar or tags before I blame her.maybe she just gave it a bath. My Melanie’s fur is so long that no matter what collar I use she knots her fur around the collar & it hurts her. I take it off most times at night in the house & try to always remember to put it back on in the day when she can use the doggie door but some times my husband forgets. No matter who is wrong this is sad. Why are these cases we keep reading about always being put to sleep at night when most people arn’t around? I would want to see my dog even if she was dead to make shure it was realy my dog or cat.

  3. nora says:

    This is infuriating and there is NO EXCUSE for the Mesquite Shelter to euthanize this dog the way they did. NO EXCUSE!!!!!!! It makes me want to go to that shelter and kick some ass, seriously! And by the way, although I was born and raised in the Midwest, I LOVE TEXAS and wished I still lived there (Austin) . I have lived all over the U.S. building Cable TV many years ago and traveled and lived all over the U.S. From New York to California and Texas to Iowa and just about everywhere in between. There are cruel and ignorant people in every region of the U.S.A. just as there are Compassionate and good people in every region. No reason to single out a single region as more ignorant than the next. That view actually speaks volumes about the person who thinks that way.

  4. mittens says:

    what the shelter did is reprehensible.

    however- ” no tags, no id” and how did the dog, particularly a pit bull , who over populate shelters and tend to get euthanized sooner then later, get loose? there’s NO EXCUSE for untagged and uncollared dogs( and uh aren’t those rabies tags required in most places?). if you care about your animal you make damn well sure theyre appropriately id’d if they leave the house at all.

    as someone mentioned in an earlier post- you have to go to the shelters in your area physically if your animal is missing- a call isn’t good enough, and bring photos and if it’s a dog youre suppose to have a damn license too. when i rescued a roommate’s abandoned pets i was trying to save and i didnt know where she dumped them i sent everyone out with photos- i think it made all the difference in them giving us the cats right off.

    who in their right mind would euthanize animals during business/ adoption hours? of course they do it when theyre closed to the public. they’re kill shelters that they public created out of their irresponsibility. it’s particularly bad PR that could stop any of the animals being adopted. with human’s and unnatural death it’s out of sight ,out of mind.

  5. Gary says:

    By looking at the news for some time now, it seems absolute stupidity is running rampant across the country in most things. There is something being lost in human beings.

  6. Lynne says:

    Before jumping on the judgement bandwagon, my dog Dusty has managed to ditch his collar while in the fenced back yard. Had he also gotten out, he would have been sans collar and tags. Shit happens. In my mind the onus lies squarely on the animal “shelter”. Judging from what I found on the net, this isn’t the first time they’ve been quick to kill a pet:

  7. NH says:

    Uhm….I hope they fired that employees a$$.

  8. catmom5 says:

    Sorry if I gave the impression that I was singling out any area ~ but there has been quite a bit of press recently about disturbing animal events in Texas. I realize there are wonderful folks and not so wonderful folks all over.

  9. Lynn says:

    I was the one who mentioned that you really have to haul your butt into the shelters [and not just the one that services your city either] EVERY DAY.

    You MUST assume the worst: that the tags were lost, that the microchip is unscanable, that the city lost your records of ownership, that the animal was picked up by some kind-hearted soul but turned into a shelter in THEIR neighborhood in the next state. And something important: don’t assume the animal will be turned in as a stray [which are given more time before being killed]. The person turning in the animal could for whatever reason [and it happens] turn the animal in as an owner relinquishment, which significantly cuts down on the time the animal is held.

    And above all: do not delay. Not for one moment. Take days off from work and lie if you have to about why you’ll be out.

    So today, not tomorrow, get out the camera and photograph your pet and the vaccination records and the ownership records. Make copies and put them in an envelope in a safe place at home. Because dogs DO get loose.

  10. Stefani says:


    “as someone mentioned in an earlier post- you have to go to the shelters in your area physically if your animal is missing-”

    Actually, the article said they did go to the shelter. They just were sent home by the staff to get proof. In the interim, the dog was euthed. Clearly, the shelter failed to mark the dog as waiting for pickup. This is really awful and SAD.


  11. Marie says:

    This is HORRIBLE!! I have a sneaking suspicion that this would not have happened had this dog not have been a Pit Bull. This is a classic case of shelters discriminating against the breed. My heart goes out to the family. This absolutely should not have happened. The fact that the dog did not have on a collar has no bearing at all. You take off your dog’s collar when they get a bath & it is possible to forget to put it back on right away. This does not constitute a bad owner.

  12. Jenny Bark says:

    My girfriend’s daughter is a paid worker at a kill shelter & they euthanize in the day when they have more workers. They do this in a different section & people don’t even know it is being done. I guess all shelters are different.

  13. nora says:

    catmom5, you are a good lady! I truly enjoy sharing mutual concern over our furkids with all of you.

  14. 2CatMom says:

    If you haven’t looked at Lynne’s link - please do. There are some truly bad, bad folks working at this shelter. This appears quite deliberate on the shelter’s part.

  15. Sky Eyes Woman says:

    Marie said:
    “I have a sneaking suspicion that this would not have happened had this dog not have been a Pit Bull.”

    I agree. There are a LOT of horrible hateful people out there who would love to see every Pit Bull dead. I don’t doubt it at all, that poor dog wound up in the hands of Pit haters.

    I hope that family sues the shelter and gets some justice for the pain they suffered for this.

  16. Dog Euthanized At Shelter After Owner Claims Her | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] comes to you when called.Sign up for our daily email digest or subscribe in a RSS reader.This is another unfortunate and heartbreaking incident of a dog being euthanized even when the owner had already claimed the […]

  17. tsougarakis says:

    for “puppy” the family called the animalshelter, and was told no pitts were picked up that day ,was told the same the owners did go to shelter ,left all information on puppy. with a picture…. on tuesday an family member and friend went by to look for puppy, the person who owned puppy had to go out of town to work didnt come back till friday morning. so when the family member seen puppy in the first window , and claimed him ,this person is also the breeder of ‘puppy with papers ,[registered]. told employees ,he was there and puppy was ours , wanted to take him home. the employees said that it was awfully quick for them to pick out the first pitt in the first kennel, considering ‘he’ was spanish, with tattooes, they wanted more proof. so the shelter was closing . both men told the employees they will be here in the morning , jokingly one of the men said know dont kill my dog , and they laughted assuringly that this would not happen.. so in the morning ,waiting for the shelter to open, with photos and pictures in hand.. was told he had been uthanized , the lady who should have placed an tag/info on dog being picked up , was never done. was told she was having a rough week.. we looked for puppy, called daily and filled a missing animal at shelter and all over ..Puppy was special to his owner and family very much loved dearly.

  18. Raye says:

    That is just not right if someone comes in to claim a dog wether or not it is theirs or not they should not eutnanize them. All animals have a life i just say to anyone who kills an animal “how would you like it if some one killed you for not having a home or for just trying to get some food” i know some vets they dont care about your pet if you come to euthanize a pet they will break its neck right there in front of you or they will take it in the back and basically torture it then kill it slowly im sorry but i just have to say that if you have a pet tag it or something please so it does not get euthanized. Thank you

  19. Angel says:

    How about this. On October 17th I went to the local Shelter in San Angelo and adopted a beautiful black and white female kitten. Signed the papers, paid for her, everything. The shelter told me that they would make an appointment to get her fixed on Monday, (10-19-09) and call me with the date and wher to pick her up. Monday passes no call. Today 10-20-09 at 4:30 pm, I call the shelter to find out when her appointment is. They tell me that they forgot to make the appointment but if I will hold on the line they will make it now. I wait they make the appointment for 10-26-09. I hang up. 5 minutes later they call back and tell me they are sorry but they are not allowed to adopt out black or black and white cats in October. Then they tell me the cat I adopted and already paid for has been euthanized. When I ask for a refund, they tell me that they do not do refunds and it says so on the paperwork. They tell me that I can come in and pick another cat in exchange for the one that they killed. When I tell them no that I want a refund, they say “Why? Do you only like black and white cats?” I say no, you killed the one I wanted. When I ask for the dirctors name they give me her first name and say that they can’t pronounce the last name. They tell me she is too busy to come to the phone. Then they tell me I am being rude when I ask if they can spell the directors last name for me since they cannot pronounce it.

    Can you believe these people. They won’t adopt black cats out in October because of Halloween (they didn’t tell me this when I adopted her and didn’t have it posted) because they are afraid that people will kill them, and then they go and kill them themselves!

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