Animal shelter accidentally euthanizes German Shepherd puppy on day new owners were due to bring him home

  • Rescue dog wasn't the first to be put down after being adopted at Florida center
  • Staff responsible have been reassigned after life-saving paperwork was missed

By Jessica Jerreat

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A Florida animal shelter has been criticized after staff euthanized an adopted puppy on the day it was due to go to its new home.

The director of the shelter apologized for the error, but it is not the first time Hillsborough County Animal Services has made a fatal error.

In the latest case, one-year-old German Shepherd JoJo was waiting for his new owners to arrive when staff mistakenly put him down on Tuesday.

Fatal error: JoJo the German Shepherd was put down as he waited for his new owners to collect him

Fatal error: JoJo the German Shepherd was put down as he waited for his new owners to collect him

The error was described as 'regrettable' by the shelter, which cares for about 20,000 animals each year.

In an official statement the shelter said: 'Sadly, JoJo had been selected for adoption and was to be picked up by his new family later that day ... a combination of human errors may have been the cause of JoJo’s euthanization.'

The staff responsible for the tragic error have be reassigned at the shelter as an investigation into how an adopted dog came to be put down is carried out.

 

'It looks like the file was not cleared for euthanasia but the procedure was done,' Hillsborough County Animal Services director Ian Hallet said told Fox 13.

He said the family had visited the shelter to adopt a puppy, but fell in love with JoJo. After the dog was accidentally put down Mr Hallett contacted them personally and says they still plan to rescue a dog from Hillsborough.

Danielle Yoho, who was in the process of adopting two dogs from the shelter, told Fox 13: 'This is their last chance, this is their last stop you can't make a mistake.'

Apology: Shelter director Ian Hallett says the staff responsible have been reassigned

Apology: Shelter director Ian Hallett says the staff responsible have been reassigned

She added: 'There needs to be a triple and quadruple check. Whatever it takes to make sure that the dog that is going home goes home.'

JoJo wasn't the first dog to be put down at the shelter despite being adopted by new owners.

In April last year and mixed dog named Zeus, who had been adopted, was accidentally euthanized only an hour after arriving at the shelter.

The shelter has also been criticized over illness at the shelter, including a recent outbreak of Parvovirus, a contagious and potentially fatal dog disease, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Mistake: JoJo is not the first adopted dog to have been accidentally euthanized

Mistake: JoJo is not the first adopted dog to have been accidentally euthanized

A protest is being organized outside the shelter on October 19, with a combined drive to bring in donations of blankets and toys for the animals to help the facility.

Mr Hallett was brought in as director last year to implement changes at the shelter and try to reduce its high kill rate. About 12,000 animals a year are euthanized at the center.

Since taking over he has extended the center's opening hours to allow more potential adopters to visit the animals being held there.

The comments below have not been moderated.

This place doesn't sound like much of a "shelter." I would think they would check the paperwork about 50 times before actually killing an animal. Guess not.

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Horrific, this seems to be an organisatiion for the mass destruction of fit dogs. 12,000 a year !!!

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I pray for all animals every night.

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what the hell can't any one do there jobs right any more or they to stumped that pup didnt desived to died not animal should I hope that person was fired and they get sued

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what kind of idiots are they hiring the apologe dose jojo a lot of good RIP little guy

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Day successfully ruined, Bravo.

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Reassigned?? How about FIRED!! This is an inexcusable mistake..

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