Animal Control Agency Mistakenly Euthanizes Dog

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An animal-control worker in Lexington, Ky., accidentally euthanized the wrong dog, according to the Lexington Herald-Reader. Local laws require animal control to wait a minimum of five days before putting down a dog it brings in. Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control mistakenly euthanized Peanut the Chihuahua the day after he was taken into custody.

Peanut was taken to Animal Care and Control facilities on Saturday after he was found without a collar. On Sunday, an employee simply selected the wrong dog by accident to evaluate. Peanut didn't pass a temperament evaluation and was euthanized.

Peanut's family filed a lost-dog report the next day.

Jonathan Minton says Peanut was his 7-year-old daughter's dog. The family had removed the collar Peanut normally wears to let him cool off, and the dog then got lost following Minton's daughter down the street. That's when animal control picked him up.

Capt. Tim Mitchell of Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control says the mistake was "devastating to us." The service operates under strict regulations to prevent such mistakes, and the incident occurred due to human error. The unidentified employee who euthanized Peanut has since left the agency.

Said Susan Malcomb, who heads both Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control and the Lexington Humane Society, "We have very strong protocol in place and interact with thousands of animals every single year. While this instance with Peanut is tragic, I hope that the community will realize that this is not what we do and the level of service that we provide."

Capt. Mitchell contacted the Mintons as soon as he discovered the error, and personally delivered Peanut's cremated remains to them. Jonathan Minton says that although he is upset by what happened, he was impressed that Mitchell took the time to come see his family and apologize in person.


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