“Pet of the Day” killed before the day ends
About five hours after she was featured as “Pet of the Day” on a Raleigh TV news program, Sassy, an 8-month-old Lab mix, was euthanized by the Wake County Animal Center.
Sassy appeared on WRAL’s noon news Tuesday.
She was euthanized Tuesday at 5:30.
Wake County Deputy Manager Joe Durham released a statement several hours later saying that “it was a mistake” for Sassy to have appeared on TV as an adoptable dog.
“Sassy appeared to be healthy when she left the center. That evening, a kennel technician reported Sassy was demonstrating a ‘honking cough and green nasal discharge,’” he said. “At that time, Sassy was identified as a dog that needed to be euthanized, based on her demonstrated symptoms.”
Animal Shelter Director Dennis McMichael, who started the job Monday, was scheduled to do an interview with WRAL News Wednesday to talk about Sassy’s death, but later canceled it, the station said.
Shelter volunteers told WRAL News that at least one caller saw Sassy on TV and wanted to adopt her. “She was such a great dog and very adoptable, and it’s just sad that this is her outcome,” said volunteer Julie Powers.
Sassy, a Labrador/hound mix, appeared to be in good health Tuesday afternoon when she appeared on the news program with a shelter staff member who pronounced her immediately available.
“She’s already spayed. We went ahead and did it earlier, so we can go ahead and send her home today,” the staff member said.
The county-run shelter also posted Sassy’s TV appearance on its Facebook page:
“Check out Miss Sassy on WRAL! She is sweet as sugar and all ready to go.”
Since the dog’s death was made public, the Wake County Animal Center — which has come under criticism in recent months for its soaring kill rate — has seen its Facebook page inundated with angry comments.
In January, the Wake County animal center euthanized 131 dogs, or about 18 percent of those brought in. By August, it euthanized 327 dogs, or nearly 42 percent of the intake.
“I don’t understand how Sassy … can be ‘Pet of the Day’ on WRAL at noon and then dead by suppertime,” said Hope Hancock, executive director of the Wake County SPCA, which also operates a shelter in Raleigh.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
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