DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Dallas Animal Services is investigating four dogs who were euthanized after local animal rights activists said they were promised a hold for adoption.
The four Australian Shepherd and border collie mixes were rescued from a South Dallas home on New Year’s Day. The group of rescuers said they got DAS involved because there were several other dogs.
The group claims DAS promised to hold the animals while the group found the dogs new homes.
“I felt like I betrayed those animals because the last thing I said to them was don’t worry, you’re going to a better place,” said Deborah Whittington. “These dogs died without ever knowing what true human compassion, love is. They just died a senseless death.”
Whittington said she and other activists have been trying to restore relationships with DAS and trying to work as a team when dealing with stray dogs.
“This is a major betrayal because we thought we were making progress with DAS,” said Whittington.
Dallas Animal Services released the following statement:
On Tuesday, Dec. 30, Dallas Animal Services officers picked up four dogs. The owner gave the dogs to DAS in hopes of finding them a new home. They ranged in age from about one to eight-years old. The officers took the animals to the City shelter, where they were entered into the system as “owner surrenders.” Two days later, on Jan. 1, all four dogs were euthanized by DAS staff based on their health and behavior.
On Monday, Jan. 5, community members said potential homes had been found for the dogs. DAS is now conducting a complete investigation to determine if system failures and/or performance issues may have contributed to the incident. Once the investigation is complete, we will share our findings and potential next steps.
Euthanasia of animals is tough enough for employees. To know that four dogs may have been euthanized in error has devastated staff, and they are also eager to look for ways to prevent incidents like this in the future. We mourn the loss of homeless animals that can be saved. DAS prides itself on caring for thousands of animals that staff members come into contact with each year. The City, DAS and community remain committed to our life-saving efforts and continued progress in this area.
Animal activists like Meagan Serrano understand all animals cannot be saved. But she along with many in the community feel these four dogs were much different.
“I had to back up Dallas Animal Services and promise that they wouldn’t be hurt. I didn’t want that to be a lie,” said Serrano.
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