It’s a dog’s life: stray accidentally euthanized
A sheltered dog nicknamed Tom ( ), after movie star Tom Cruise, was mistakenly euthanized by Hsinchu County Animal Disease Control Center, a report said yesterday.
Stray dogs that remain in animal shelters for longer than 12 days without being adopted are usually put to death; however, Tom could have lived.
the mixed-breed dog, labeled F0039, had already been marked for adoption but was euthanized due to a misreading of its number by a staff member at the Animal Disease Control Center.
The hapless hound had been sheltered for more than 60 days, five times more than the usual 12 days, to facilitate his adoption. Unfortunately, the center terminated the unlucky hound after a staff member misread the numbers on Tom’s collar. The mistake was extremely upsetting for everyone involved, the control center said.
The said that it also want to reduce the number of euthanized strays to zero; however, animal shelters will be packed if the public continues to abandon dogs, which eventually leads to euthanasia procedures for strays.
The Council of Agriculture (COA) said that the incident should spur a review with two aims: to determine whether the control center followed the regulated procedures and whether the person who had offered to adopt Tom had failed to collect him within the time limit. Potential owners are considered to have discarded an adoption if they do not appear as arranged in the time period, in which cases control centers have the right to take action.
The staff member was reported to have mistakenly believed that only the animal with the number G0039 was to be kept for collection, apparently unaware that Tom’s number was also on the list.
A woman surnamed Hsu was quoted as saying that at the end of July, a list of dogs to undergo euthanasia was announced. Hsu said that she shared the information, hoping that the hounds would find a home. Eight dogs that were to be put to death have since been adopted by the public or halfway homes; however, due to the short period of time, some potential owners were unable to pick up the dogs, and called the control center to ask for the dogs to be kept alive to be picked up later.
Hsu said that Hsinchu County Animal Disease Control Center is one of the best shelters in Taiwan. The center has good facilities and takes good care of animals, she said; however, animal abandonment rates in the county are high, which is how Tom ended up in the shelter.
According to the COA, the legally appointed time for animal adoption varies among centers; but, according to current law, if a stray is not claimed or adopted 12 days after entering a shelter, it can be euthanized.