MAS euthanizes dog despite guaranteed adoption

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A dog who was guaranteed to be adopted was euthanized Saturday.

"I'm sad because he'd be sitting here in front of my fireplace right now if they hadn't killed him," Vickie Carter said.

On December 16, Carter rescued the dog from two others who were attacking him. He had minor injuries and needed medical attention, so she took him to Memphis Animal Services because it was across the street, and because she thought his owners might live nearby and would check MAS for him.

Carter told WREG she asked MAS staff to make sure the dog wasn't killed because she planned to get him out. That communication reportedly included conversations with multiple staff members, a veterinarian, and even director James Rogers.

She also said she would adopt the dog if no one claimed him, and was told to wait until Saturday, the dog's review date, to get him.

But when Carter arrived, she couldn't find the dog. A staff member told her he had been euthanized. When asked why, the staff member replied, "I don't know."

"If it didn't get put down that someone wanted to adopt that dog, then they're not doing their job and something needs to change. This needs to stop," Carter said.

Carter will attend the shelter advisory board's next public meeting to demand answers. Carter also claims MAS was half empty when the dog she'd brought in was euthanized.

Rogers confirmed the dog was euthanized Saturday, and sent the following statement:

It is with sincere apology and deep regret that, unfortunately, MAS mistakenly humanely euthanized Pet ID# 273747 on Saturday, December 20, 2014.  It is true that Vickie Carter came to MAS with an injured dog on December 16, 2014 and requested time to network the dog. MAS failed to document Ms. Carter’s request in our system. With no information in the system of her request the pet was humanely euthanized on its review date. 

When asked about possible disciplinary action, Rogers said in an email, "An administrative fact finding hearing will be held within ten (10) days. The employee will be given an opportunity to plead his/her case along with union representation.  A decision will be rendered after the hearing. The decision will be fair, impartial, and appropriate."

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