Pit bull wrongfully euthanized by Memphis Animal Services - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Pit bull wrongfully euthanized by Memphis Animal Services

(WMC-TV) - A pit bull was wrongfully euthanized by Memphis Animal Services after being adopted.

This case captured the attention of local animal advocates who say something has to be done to stop these mistakes. 

The euthanization has struck a chord with many like Cindy Marx-Sanders, co-founder of Community Action for Animals. According to Marx-Sanders, this happens far too frequently.

"Every time the city and the director, Mr. Rogers, apologizes and assure us that stops have been put into place to make sure this never happens again, but it does," said Marx-Sanders.

According to a post on the Bailey's Arms Animal Rescue Facebook page, a pit bull named Josie was adopted by the organization. She was to be picked up Valentine's Day and given a safe place to live, but it did not go that way.

"They came in the next morning to pick up their dog and were told that the dog had been mistakenly euthanized," said Marx-Sanders

Memphis Animal Services Administrator James Rogers says Josie was euthanized due to human error; it involved confusion about an ER holding list that did not reflect the animal's adoption, despite other precautions taken.

The full statement Memphis Animal Services, including the corrective steps taken since Josie's death is below.

I regret to inform you that "Josie" Female Pit Bull, ID # 263120 was accidentally euthanized due to human error. This unfortunate accident provided an opportunity for us to review our processes and take immediate steps to lessen the likelihood of this happening again.

While MSA 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.

Our research into this incident shows that the ER list was created and duly signed by MAS management personnel on Tuesday, 2/11 at approximately 3:00 p.m. for Wednesday morning ER. The dog was in ER Holding. The pet was adopted at 4:38 PM on Tuesday evening by Bailey's Arm rescue. Notes were put in the system that the pet was adopted and a green card generated to indicate adoption with all appropriate information and documentation placed in cage card holder.

The dog remained in ER Holding overnight with updated card. On Wednesday morning ER began using the approved ER list created at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, 2/11. Unfortunately, CAETS failed to inquire about the pet, which had obviously been adopted according to chameleon data and the highly visible green card on the cage.

I have addressed the issue with management and staff and instituted the following changes:

1) The ER list will be created the "morning of" the ER process with appropriate signatures from management.

2) All pets will be moved from ER to another holding when adopted.

3) Because CAETs are the last chance to ensure animals are not euthanized in error. All notes should be read, cards matched and the two (CAETs serving as the injector and holder) agree on the facts.

MAS has made tremendous strides in every aspect of the operation and we remain steadfast in our effort to make adjustments in our processes, and we will continue to work with rescue organizations such as Bailey's Arms to find new homes for pets in our care.

- James Rogers, Administrator, Memphis Animal Services

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