Sunday, March 17, 2013
A lost dog was picked up and put down in less than 24 hours. Now the owner is telling her story in the hopes the Wichita Animal Shelter will make some changes.
The 14 year old dog was dropped off at the shelter by a stranger just after noon, Thursday March 7. By eleven the next morning, the dog had been put down. His owner says she wasn't given enough time to claim him.
Claudia Elliot says her two chihuahuas were inseparable. Six months ago, she had to put 17 year old Radar down. Last week, 14 year old Zeke was also put to sleep. But this time, it wasn't Elliot’s choice.
"With Radar, I got to take him down. I got to hold him, and I was with him when it happened. With Zeke it was a total stranger. He didn't get to be held. I'm sure he was scared to death and that's what breaks my heart,” Claudia Elliot said.
Elliot says Zeke got out while she was at work. By the time she got home and noticed he was missing the Wichita Animal Shelter was already closed.
She called as soon as they opened the next day and was told Zeke was there. But when she went to pick him up she found out he had been put down that morning.
We received this statement police department which oversees the shelter
“A Long Haired Chihuahua was brought in to the shelter by a citizen on 3/7/13 at 1230 hours. They found the dog at 9th & Edgemoor. We admitted the dog. Scanned it for a microchip and placed its picture on the petharbor found page. The dog was examined. No injuries were found. It was determined the dog was very elderly and placed in the treatment area and given soft food. The next morning on 3/8/13 at 0800 hours a licensed veterinarian, examined the dog. The Vet noted the dog was not eating, possibly because of significant mouth pain. The dog hadn't eaten the food provided the day before and wouldn't eat when offered fresh food on 3/8/13. The Vet recommended to shelter staff the dog be euthanized. Since the dog was not micro chipped, did not have tags or identification and no owner information was found, the dog was euthanized off the vets mercy euthanasia recommendation and health condition.”
"They didn't even wait 24 hours they did not even wait one day before they put that little dog down because they felt he was in pain,” Elliot said.
According to state law, shelters have to wait three business days before euthanizing a dog unless a veterinarian determines the dog is suffering. According to the statement, that's what happened to Zeke. But Claudia Elliot says she believes her dog wasn't eating simply because he was scared. She also says after questioning the vet and shelter staff, no one could say for certain that Zeke was in pain, only that he "possibly" was.
"That possibly took that dog's life and it's not right and I think something needs to be done,” Elliot said.
Elliot hopes the shelter will take a closer look at how they handle euthanizations and if nothing else, not allow one person to make the decision to put down a dog.
She does take responsibility for the fact Zeke wasn't microchipped or wearing a collar and encourages all pet owners to get their animals microchipped to prevent this from happening to them.