Discussion: Owners Upset Shelter DID NOT Kill Their Dog
September 27, 2012
An Oregon couple took in an elderly stray Pomeranian about a year ago. The dog reportedly has lung disease, bronchitis and emphysema as well as “lumps on her belly”. They recently took her to The Willamette Humane Society and signed her over to the shelter, thinking she would most likely be euthanized. The shelter found the dog had a microchip and attempted to contact the former owners.
While waiting for a response, the shelter vet examined the dog and determined she was not medically hopeless and suffering and that euthanasia was not appropriate. After caring for the dog for 12 days, the shelter found hospice care for her and called the owners to advise. The owners were shocked since they had assumed their pet had been euthanized. They decided to take their dog back and make an appointment with a veterinarian to get advice on how best to care for the dog.
There is a video at the link which shows the dog walking around and resting on the couch. At one point in the interview, the owner uses the dog’s name in a sentence and the dog, in the background of the shot, obviously recognizes her name and perks her ears up. She looks pretty good for an old dog although I suspect she is more than 10.
What are your thoughts on this story? The shelter says they explained “the rules” – presumably that they don’t euthanize animals based solely upon owner request – when the dog was dropped off. The owners were operating on the assumption the dog was dead although they did not ask to stay with the dog during euthanasia. Did either the shelter or the owners do anything wrong? If you were the shelter director, would you have returned the dog to these owners? What do you think the future may hold for this dog?