It’s a dog’s life: stray ac­ci­den­tally eu­th­a­nized

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY ANITA YANG

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.

Ac­cord­ing

to

the

re­port,

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.

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