Euthanasias Gone Wrong: Just Mistakes or an Indicator of a Nationwide Illness?

target the hero dog euthanized accidentally by US shelter

Hero dog survives war but not U.S. shelter system

You  remember Mia’s story–the Rottweiler who survived euthanasia and was later adopted by another family who is financially capable of seeking medical treatment for her ailments? Happy ending to a shocking mistake, from a real lack-of-class-act veterinarian.

A mere month later, we mourn the loss of Target. Target was a true hero and saved the lives of American soldiers by preventing a suicide bomber access to a large room where soldiers were. She, along with a couple other stray dogs, had befriended the American soldiers serving in Afghanistan, and after their act of courage and loyalty proving to be man’s best friend, Target was brought over to the U.S. and adopted by Sergeant Terry Young, one of the soldiers Target helped save.

Target quickly earned a special place in the heart of Young’s family, as well as melted the hearts of many Americans after her appearance on Oprah. Her glory though, was short-lived.

Mass breeding only leads to mass murder. America is all too quick and eager to bring pets into this world, and all too quick to end their lives.

Target escaped from her owners last Friday. Her owners contacted local news channels to alert the public that she was missing. Friday night, Sgt. Young found Target’s picture on the local shelter’s website. He paid the fee via computer to adopt her, and mistakenly assumed the shelter was closed for the weekend.

Monday morning he went to rescue Target from the shelter, only to learn that she had been killed. Mistakenly.

Apparently, the shelter explains the wrong dog was “P.T.S.”–put to sleep, after being incorrectly picked out of the pen and sentenced to her death.

You read correctly. The shelter euthanized the wrong dog. The kicker? (Yes there’s more.)

A former employee of the shelter says it happens all the time.

All the time? I’d love to ask the vet that works at this shelter what their job is like, as this shelter is obviously and grossly mismanaged.

Is this not a symptom of a illness? Our nation is plagued by disease, a disease which disvalues the lives of shelter dogs, both of hero and ordinary variety, and of allowing puppy mills to go largely unregulated and puppy mill offenders to go largely unenforced. This mass breeding only leads to mass murder. America is all too quick and eager to bring pets into this world, and all too quick to end their lives.

Please join us in spreading the word, raising awareness to the masses. The Puppy Mill Rescue Movement and the No Kill Shelter Movement are both on a roll; let’s ensure that Target’s death is not in vain, and keep the momentum going.  Please consider sharing this, not only with your pet friends, but with those that aren’t aware of the horrors of puppy mills or the No Kill Movement.

Dr. Laci


Dr. Laci Nash Schaible, DVM

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November 20, 2010 at 15:50

People make mistakes. Anybody can make a mistake. But when it involves lives, substantially more caution should be used for crying out loud.

November 22, 2010 at 13:27

Jana, More care should certainly be used. That is a given. I can’t imagine what person wouldn’t recheck and recheck.

November 20, 2010 at 17:04

Such a sad story:-( It still is SO difficult for me to understand how something like this happened. I only wish Target had a microchip- although I don’t honestly know if it would have made much of a difference…I only hope that this is a “wake-up call” of sorts that there needs to be something done to change the way our shelters are run in the US…

November 22, 2010 at 13:30

Yes Sarah. Things really need to change. It is horribly unfortunate that Target had no chip. :-(

On the other side, I think it is wonderful that pets are finally getting some real time in the media–between puppy mills, pet food, dogs coming back from the dead and now Target, I hope more people will start to take note, and hopefully we can arrive at a solution–or at least better systems.

November 20, 2010 at 21:45

this is so sad. i can’t believe stuff like this happens frequently.

November 26, 2010 at 12:01

Yes, it is very sad and really draws attention to how poorly run America’s shelters are.