Woman's puppy mistakenly euthanized at shelter


She later learned that the dog was at the shelter when she called and then euthanized after she called.

"He was a puppy," Jessica Ruiz said. "He was 5 months old."

Ruiz and her five daughters lost one of their best friends -- a Labrador, pit bull mix named Rocky.

"They came and picked him up," Ruiz said. "I was never notified."

Days later, the Franklin County Animal Shelter euthanized the puppy.

"They put him down for no reason," she added.

Ruiz says along with breaking her heart, the shelter broke state law. She says the staff at the shelter didn't wait the required 72 hours to put Rocky down.

Shelter director Graham Stallings wouldn't go on camera but told ABC11 Eyewitness News he "accepts responsibility."

He said the dog looked sick and they put him down just two hours before the 72 hours window closed.

But that's little consolation to Ruiz.

"Because of what they did, my dog will never be home," she said.

Ruiz says Rocky could be and should be alive today. Two days after the puppy was picked up, Ruiz called the shelter to report him missing.

The Lost Animal Record confirms the call, but she says they told her Rocky wasn't there. He was there, and they put him down the next day.

"They're supposed to help us," Ruiz said. "They're supposed to know if our dogs are there or not and they never did. And they had our number and our address and they could have contacted us anytime."

The director told ABC11 the shelter will move forward and try to learn from the experience.

Ruiz says she has not received an apology and for her, the situation is far from over.

"One thing I would like to see happen is the staff is fired up there," Ruiz said. "Every single one of them because not one of them did their job. He's not going to die in vain, I won't let him."

Wednesday the Franklin County Animal Advisory Board will hear the case. If it finds the shelter at fault, it can only make recommendations to the Franklin County Board of Commissioners.

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