Shelter euthanizes dog after owner arrives to claim it

Updated: May. 17, 2013 at 6:41 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The director of the East Baton Rouge Companion Animal Alliance admits her city-parish shelter messed up big time Friday.

"We take full responsibility," Beth Brewster, CAA director  "CAA takes full responsibility for what happened."

Patrick Morris has had his dog Bow Wow for almost 18 years. A week ago, Bow Wow got out of his gate. Patrick and his wife Kimberly put up fliers all around their Central neighborhood, hoping someone would see Bow Wow.

And someone did. Animal Control picked him up as a stray and took him to the shelter.

Patrick Morris says he went to the EBR animal shelter several times this week looking for his dog. He was told at least three different times that the dog wasn't there.

But as it turns out, he was. Shelter paper work shows workers processed the dog last Saturday, but put the dog the wrong area.

Eventually Patrick talked the workers into letting him take a look for himself.

"I said - I need to go back there and see if he's back there," Patrick recalled.

"And sure as I walked in the door, he was right there. When he saw me, he started cutting up - jumping and stuff like that."

Patrick needed to pay the $140 fee to retrieve his dog.

He made a trip to the ATM to pull out money but by the time he got back - his dog - the one he's had for 18 years, had been accidentally euthanized- put to sleep in a matter of minutes.

"It was a horrible feeling," Patrick said. "What I went through today was horrible. People will look at this and might say... I can tell you it was like losing a child."

Patrick's wife Kimberly says she would like to see a system overhaul at the shelter.

"There is nothing that can replace him," said Kim Morris.

"No monetary gain. I don't want this to happen again."

CAA director Beth Brewster promises change.

"This is not the reputation I want us to have because humans make mistakes and we just have to look more closely at our protocols to make sure this doesn't happen again," Brewster said.

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