(Memphis) Memphis Animal Services is changing the way it operates after a dog set to go home with a rescue group was accidentally put down.
“Every dog in every kennel, we look in their eyes, they are not numbers to us,” said Dea Ibarra who works with animal groups like, Bailey’s Arms Animal Rescue, to help rehab abandoned, sick and abused animals.
But this week, human error showed a pit bull terrier, named Josie, may have been just a number for a couple Memphis Animal Services workers.
Josie was accidentally put down at the city shelter.
Ibarra says she was distraught when she heard the news.
“Cried, fell on my knees and cried, we all cried for each other,” said Ibarra.
Josie was adopted about an hour and a half after the euthanasia list for the next day was created.
Workers put a green tag on her kennel to alert others she had been adopted and changed her notes in the computer system.
But Josie was never physically taken out of the euthanasia room.
The next morning, she was injected with a deadly cocktail.
Ibarra says sadly, Josie’s story happens way too often.
“It’s an emotional roller coaster, the ones you save, you are happy to get,” expressed Ibarra.
In a statement to News Channel 3, Memphis Animal Services administrator John Rogers wrote, “While MAS has made tremendous progress, our processes and procedures continue to evolve as we strive for excellence in our efforts to care for and preserve for adoptions as many pets as we can.”
In just a few days, shelter is already tightening up the rules; creating the euthanasia lists the morning of and physically placing adopted dogs in a separate room.
Ibarra says in extreme cases, euthanizing is best for sick animals, but she hopes these new changes will stop those who have already been adopted, from dying because of error.
“We trust they are going to do it in a humane way. But the ones who already have a foster, already have a life, it’s needless. It makes us all want to crawl under a rock,” said Ibarra.