Today's Nightmare: A Lost Dog Taken to Animal Care and Control Is Mistakenly Euthanized
Typically our boneheads are people who deserve our ire: They're insensitive losers who treat dogs terribly. But sometimes someone with good intentions does something so horribly, boneheadly wrong that we can almost feel sympathy for them -- but we still have to call them out on it. Such is the case with a worker at Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control in Kentucky.
That person euthanized the wrong dog.
What's more: The unnamed worker euthanized the little Chihuahua one day after he was picked up, four days before regulations allow -- even as the family was searching like crazy for little Peanut.
Here's the story: On Saturday, Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control found Peanut wandering the street (he had gone missing earlier that day). Unfortunately, Peanut had no collar (his owners had taken it off that day) and no microchip. The officer knocked on doors to find the owner, but he wasn't successful. He took the dog to HQ.
The next day, a worker -- our Bonehead -- grabbed the wrong dog on the way to the euthanasia room.
"The worker grabbed the wrong dog instead of the one she intended to evaluate," Capt. Tim Mitchell of Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control told the Lexington Herald Leader.
That worker has since been fired.
On Monday, Peanut's owners finally called Animal Care and Control to ask if they had seen their dog. They said the dog had gone missing Saturday when he followed their daughter to a friend's house. They said he was a cute little Chihuahua.
Somebody added up the clues, and the whole sad affair was sorted out. Peanut was dead. His owner, Jonathan Minton, was left trying to explain what happened to his devastated 7-year-old daughter, Alyssa Minton, who spent the day crying.
"It's not like the end of the world or anything, but if feels pretty bad, it feels real bad. He was a family member," he said.
Mitchell of Animal Care and Control tried to do right by the family. He notified them as soon as he found out what happened, and he brought the ashes to the house.
"I can't remember the last time it happened," said Mitchell. "It's devastating to us."
The gesture meant lot to Peanut's owner, who said, "He actually took the time out of his day to come and knock on our door and say, 'We wrongly euthanized your dog. We greatly apologize.'"
"It was human error," Mitchell said. "If we can make things better, we are going to. We will use this situation as an opportunity to learn and grow as an organization."
The lesson of all this is: Get your dog microchipped or make sure he wears his collar. And to the Bonehead worker who killed the wrong dog: Shouldn't you be apologizing to the family as well?