A dog owner is distraught after his 18-year-old dog was accidentally euthanized at a shelter after he claimed him. A week ago, Bow Wow, the Calhoun Collie mix of Patrick Morris got out of his gate. Patrick and his wife Kimberly put up flyers all around their neighborhood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana hoping someone would see their dog.
It turns out someone did see Bow Wow, as animal control came and picked the senior dog up and took him to their shelter. Patrick said he went to the East Baton Rouge shelter several times over the seven days he was looking for his dog. He was told on at least three separate occasions that Bow Wow wasn't there. But Bow Wow was. Shelter paperwork shows that the dog was processed last Saturday, but the dog was put in the wrong area.
Then on Friday, Patrick convinced 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 was told he needed his driver's license and to pay the $140 fee to get Bow Wow, so he made a trip to get the necessary items, and when he returned less than an hour later, he was told Bow Wow had been accidentally euthanized.
"It was a horrible feeling," Patrick told WAFB on Friday. "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."
Beth Brewster, director of Companion Animal Alliance, the organization that runs the shelter, said they take full responsibility. "CAA takes full responsibility for what happened." She added, "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 has been the director of the shelter for under four months after the previous shelter director resigned under allegations of neglect and animal cruelty. The public animal shelter has been beset with problems in the past few years. The Advocate reported, that "it's endured disasters of a different variety over the past couple years - including a revolving door of its leadership, investigations revealing overcrowding and mismanagement, and a small-scale mutiny by its own employees who publicly complained a former director was breaking veterinary protocols."
The shelter is typically overcrowded and houses about 400 animals at any given time. It is attempting to transition to a no-kill shelter since last fall.
Patrick's wife Kimberly says she would like to see a system overhaul at the shelter. "There is nothing that can replace him," she said. She said they are not seeking monetary gain. They simply don't want this to happen again to anyone else who comes to find their dog.
If you would like to support the Morris' request for change, here's what you can do:
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