Woman says dog was accidentally euthanized by East Baton Rouge shelter

Woman says dog was accidentally euthanized by East Baton Rouge shelter
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - One Baton Rouge woman is living a dog owner's nightmare after finding out several weeks ago that her dog was euthanized by accident. The shelter said it was an unfortunate mistake, while the owner can not believe her four-year-old dog is gone.

Brittany Seelmann loved her dog Thrall so much that she held a memorial for him right outside the East Baton Rouge Animal Shelter, where she said he was accidentally euthanized.

"I was just devastated when she called me. I immediately started crying," Seelmann said.

Thrall was with the brother of Seelmann's boyfriend on July 19 when the dog bit an AC repairman. Animal Control took the dog away two days later because he did not have an updated vaccination tag.

He was put on a 10-day quarantine by Companion Animal Alliance (CAA), the group that manages the shelter. According to paperwork, that quarantine was supposed to end on July 29. However, one day before, on July 28, a shelter worker accidentally euthanized him.

"I called up here every single day, checking on him, making sure he was eating, making sure that the release date was the 29th," Seelmann said. "Every time I called them, I reconfirmed with them, the release date is July 29."

CAA Executive Director Beth Brewster released the following statement about the incident:

"My staff and I are devastated we failed Thrall while he was in our care. He was brought to us after a bite case occurred for quarantine as required by ordinance. Our protocols are based on national standards, but unfortunately human error does occur. Everyone involved has been reprimanded, we are retraining staff on procedures and working on tightening our vigilance to ensure that this will not happen again."

CAA would not comment further on how many people were disciplined and how.

Seelmann also used Thrall's memorial service to raise awareness about other controversial euthanizations that the shelter has been involved in, including an incident in 2013 involving a dog named Bow Wow.

In that case, the owner showed up to claim his dog, saw him alive, left to go get money to pay the shelter and returned just minutes later to find out his dog had accidentally been put to sleep.

"I don't want to attack anybody, I want to fix the problem, so that this doesn't happen to anybody else. This shouldn't happen, it shouldn't happen to anyone's pet. They're family members, they're not just animals."

Seelmann said the shelter did cremate Thrall for her, and she is very thankful for that. However, she hopes the shelter will have more and better employee training moving forward.

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