NewsNational & World News


Family's dog euthanized after mix-up at animal shelter

Posted at 8:02 AM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-18 09:02:01-04

NORTH CAROLINA — Joey Varker's family is still trying to figure out how their dog was accidentally put down over the weekend.

“Oh she was devastated. My children were devastated," Varker said.

Their dog Blaze bit a younger family member last week. Although the injury was minor, they sent the dog away to the Davidson County Animal Shelter for a 10-day quarantine. The family received a document from the shelter, showing they were approved to get their dog back after the quarantine.

They planned to pick him up on Friday.

“We followed procedure," Varker said.

Varker's wife stopped by the shelter on Tuesday to check on Blaze but shelter workers couldn't find him.

“When she got to the animal shelter, they showed her a picture of a completely different dog and of course my wife said, 'That's not my dog,'" he said.

That's when she found out someone euthanized Blaze, just days after the dog got to the shelter.

“We were told that the cleaning crew put our dog in the wrong kennel and that's how it got confused," Varker said.

“It was a unfortunate incident and a mistake was made," said Jeb Hanner, the county manager.

Hanner said this is the first time something like this has happened since they took over the Davidson County Animal Shelter four years ago.

“Normally there's a process they go through. They get taken in, a picture made and all of that. And this was in between that stage, so we are taking extra precautions to double check that going in so that this doesn't happen again," Hanner said.

County officials said they feel for this family and are working to rectify the situation.

“We were offered any dog at the animal shelter. We were also offered $300 by the county manager, which I think is kind of insulting," Varker said.

Varker said nothing can replace the loss of their beloved dog.

“I just want answers and I want it to be prevented from happening again," he said.

The county manager added that the family could've quarantined the dog at home if they provided proof of vaccinations. Varker said they were never given that option and it's no excuse for what happened to their dog.