Anyone can make a mistake. Some people exercise more care in their work to avoid mistakes than others but even so, mistakes happen. Your doctor’s office might bill your old insurance instead of your new insurance; the furniture store may advertise a couch at one price but have it marked as a different price in the store; etc. These kinds of things can be frustrating, especially when you suspect incompetence and/or a general uncaring attitude led to the error.
Fortunately, nobody is going to die as a result of the wrong price being advertised on a piece of furniture. But when your business is killing pets – as is the case in most public animal shelters – your mistakes result in the death of beloved family pets. And these mistakes happen far too often:
- In Putnam Co WV, the local shelter insisted on seizing a man’s cat for quarantine after it bit him. When the man attempted to reclaim his pet at the end of the quarantine period, he learned the shelter had accidentally killed his cat after the pet got “mixed up” with some feral cats at the shelter.
- A lady in Sugar Land, TX had been feeding two homeless kittens. She brought them to the local shelter whose policy is to hold for at least 72 hours then, should the kittens remain unadopted, contact the surrendering party to give her an opportunity to reclaim. Instead, the shelter killed the kittens upon intake then contacted the woman to issue an official oops.
- You might remember the story of a NC man whose dogs got out of his fenced yard through a hole and were picked up by animal control. He fixed the fence and tried to redeem the dogs but animal control had “mistakenly” killed them. They could not explain why. Adding insult to injury, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control then sent the owner a bill for $100.
- At Matthew Pepper’s old shelter in Caddo parish LA, a puppy who had been adopted by a family was accidentally killed by the shelter after he got “lost in the system”.
- In NC, a family desperately wanted to adopt a very friendly dog they found but the shelter mistakenly killed the dog despite the family’s efforts to make sure that didn’t happen.
This week, a dog who had saved the lives of American soldiers in Afghanistan and was adopted by one of them, was killed by mistake at an AZ shelter. The dog had slipped out an open gate at Sgt. Terry Young’s home and he checked the local pound’s website for found dogs. He saw his dog’s photo and thought, “She’s in the pound. At least she’s safe”. When he went to the shelter to redeem his dog, he learned of the killing and had to explain what happened to his wife and kids:
“The 4-year-old is really taking it hard right now,” Young said. “She’s saying we need to get the poison out of her so she can come home. She can’t grasp the idea that she’s gone.”