A preventable dog death

Thursday, November 14, 2019


I recently had a very unfortunate experience with the Stafford Animal Shelter. An innocent dog lost his life.

I fostered a dog that I named Joaquin (the shelter named him Rumble), a year-old pitbull German Shepherd mix. I stated several times to the shelter workers that my intention in fostering him was to adopt him.

In the best interest of Joaquin, I decided to bring him back to the shelter for the day on Oct. 29, during our last cold snap.

When I left him at the shelter, a worker agreed to bring him to my house after the shelter closed and kennel him at my house.

That day at the shelter Joaquin exhibited a lot of anxiety and the worker decided to not return the dog to me. The following morning they euthanized him.

Since this event, the shelter has stuck by their policy which says I have no say in how the shelter decides to take care of the dog. Despite an email and a phone message to talk about the miscommunications I experienced, the executive director has chosen to respond by sending me a cold, impersonal email. I never would have returned Joaquin to the shelter if I had any clue they would kill him. Also, if they had reached out to me, I would have come and got him.

I was told by a shelter worker that Joaquin bit another worker the morning they euthanized him.

I am beside myself for the senseless loss of this smart, sweet dog. Every time I walked him I would tell the shelter workers how great he was on the leash. I walked him the single day I fostered him, and he was friendly with strangers, no sign of aggression.

Stafford advertises that they are a no-kill shelter. It makes me wonder how many other dogs have been euthanized without the public’s knowledge?

I believe the death of Joaquin was preventable. The shelter’s response is at best disturbing. At the very least, they could talk to me, and work toward preventing an equally tragic loss in the future.

Liz Allen