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Wrong dog euthanized at Florida shelter, again

1:11 PM, Sep 25, 2012   |    comments
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Hernando County, Florida (WTSP) -- For the second time in less than a year, a mix up at Hernando County Animal Services resulted in the wrong dog being put to sleep.

On September 5, a dog was brought in to the shelter as a stray. A month before on August 6, the owner of a similar looking dog surrendered their pet to the shelter.

Both dogs were reddish brown, female lab or shepherd mixes, says a memorandum regarding the incident.

Photo Gallery: Wrong dog euthanized at Hernando shelter

The dog scheduled for euthanasia was the pet surrendered by their owner in August, but because of a kennel change and a lack of standard procedures around euthanasia preparation and execution, the stray was put down on Friday, September 7.

"There appears to be no uniform procedure or checklist in place for administering euthanasia, which does not allow for consistent application," explains the memorandum.

Read: The Incident Report and Memorandum (PDF)

In addition to the lack of standard operating procedures for euthanasia at the shelter, the dogs are also moved around frequently. This causes confusion, and results in a lack of timely updating to all three required animal identification documents.

In this incident, the dog scheduled for euthanasia was moved from kennel B09 to A23, and the dog brought in as a stray was placed in B09. All of this occurred without an update to the "Master List for Dogs", the list used as the euthanasia list, explains the memorandum.

As a result, the stray in kennel B09 was put to sleep.

Animal Services staff alerted Public Safety Director Mike Nickerson the day of the incident, and investigation was underway as of Tuesday, September 11.

The investigation ended September 20, and Hernando County Administrator Len Sossamon temporarily placed Chief Nickerson in charge of implementing all of the recommendations from the Clerk's Office annual Animal Services Audit Report, states the release about the incident.

Sossamon temporarily relieved Nickerson of his oversight of Hernando County Fire Rescue to allow for total devotion to making changes at Animal Services.

Chief Mike Rampino will now oversee Hernando County Fire Rescue. Sossamon is still reviewing the situation and may take further action as he deems appropriate.

Back in April, another dog was euthanized less than an hour after being dropped off.

An audit made after that dog's death found no wrongdoing by shelter employees, but did highlight several issues concerning understaffing and animal overcrowding.



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