Couple’s dog accidentally put down – shelter blames human error

Lost dog accidentally put down by shelter
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A couple in Columbia, South Carolina, was heartbroken when they arrived at the  City of Columbia animal shelter to retrieve their dog and discovered that he had been accidentally put down. According to WCNC News, Tyson, a German shepherd who belonged to Jeff Stahl and Abby Frotten, was taken to the animal shelter after he escaped from his yard.

The couple found out that Tyson had been picked up and taken to the Columbia Animal Shelter, but they weren’t able to immediately retrieve him because they had fines to pay because the dog was not licensed and because he was roaming free.

It took the couple a few days to get the funds together – when they went to pick Tyson up, they were told that he was dead. Stahl told WCNC News, “He was accidentally euthanized. He was mistaken for another dog and that right there is unacceptable.”

Tyson’s untimely demise was a mistake – Robert Anderson with the city explained, “Clearly it was a matter of human error. When our officer went through to pick up the animals to be euthanized, he picked up the wrong animal of the wrong pen.”

The couple has not decided if they want to take legal action against the city or not.

How can you keep your pet safe? Ensure that your dog is licensed, and microchipped. Dogs should also have an identification tag with current contact phone numbers which will allow owners to be notified immediately when/if their lost pet is picked up.

(Images via screenshots from WCNC News)

Find ALL recent Pet Rescue Report news at this link.

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Back to life! Watch an incredible video of a dog being saved by firefighters here.

Cookie’s foster family prepared for the day when she went to her forever home, but the adopters failed to show! Nicki, the foster mom, scrambled to find their phone number. But when she looked closer at Cookie’s file, she was absolutely stunned by what she saw written on the pages.
Read the touching story here.


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    Until these incompetent, compassionless troglodytes are PUNISHED for these mortal “errors”, they will continue with impunity!
    Rest-in-peace, precious Tyson: You SO did not deserve this end…

    • True, the dog did not deserve it. Truly the shelter made a terrible mistake. HOWEVER, the owners must assume equal responsibility and accountability. Had they properly register the animal, had it chipped it wouldn’t have come down to this. it’s a 50-50 blame situation. Unfortunately the dog was the victim.

  2. It’s inexcusable for having no tags at the very least on your dogs. That being said, tags do come off. I’ve seen dogs with tags so loose it’s a wonder they don’t come off as a matter of course. MICROCHIP!!!

    However, Tyson’s death rests squarely on the shoulders of the person who was too damned careless when he looked through the cages at the pets he was supposed to kill that day. He was in charge of the LIVES of helpless victims, and he CHOSE expediency over care and concern! They can’t speak up and say ‘hey, wait a minute, you have the wrong dog here!’: it’s up to HIM to make certain he’s right before he ends a life! Every one of those lives matters, and it matters if he takes the wrong one, although clearly it did not matter to him. This happens far too often in shelters every single day (obviously) in this country, and it has to stop.

    The person who did this had better be fired. If you’re in charge of lives, and your actions cause a death, you are a MURDERER.

    I hope the family does take legal action. Maybe then this ‘shelter’ will be more careful and hire responsible people who take their job seriously.

    • Something tells me, whoever was picking up the dogs and took the wrong one, wouldn’t have been scanning for a micro chip at that time anyway. They knew whose dog it was, the people had been in contact with them and were trying to raise the money to bail Tyson out. “Human error” doesn’t cut it with me, if you are dealing with the lives of these dogs, you best KNOW what you are doing and KNOW you are taking the right one. It’s disgusting any of them are being euthanized in the first place! I hope the family sues too!

    • I couldn’t agree more….for God’s sake, this is not a mistake that can be undone or corrected….they took a life. RIP Tyson.

  3. I am getting sick of hearing of these “mistakes”! These “accidents” should NOT be happening! These shelters shouldn’t be so quick to kill dogs be they strays or someone’s family pet! I would be suing, they knew it was someone’s pet and they didn’t take the proper care in making sure Tyson was safe and cared for while in their possession! Rest in peace Tyson, I know your family must miss you terribly!

  4. Once again a sickening mistake that could have been avoided with a simple little micro chip in the pet. There are too many “human error” excuses that I just do not accept. However, I do not get it, especially if you have a large dog who can jump and escape your yards. MICRO CHIP THEM PEOPLE!!!!!! God bless, WHY WILL PEOPLE NOT DO THAT? It does not hurt them, it costs very little and it can save the life of your precious fur baby!!!

  5. Human error doesn’t return their dog to them. Too inconvenient to double check that you have the right animal to kill? Your time is too precious to do that? This shelter worker, no matter how stressed or busy, should have taken two seconds to make sure all the dogs collected for killing were the right ones. Once that needle goes into the dogs, that is it, over, dead dog. That is why all shelters must be no kill and more places should retrain unwanted pets to give them the chance of finding a new home. Wonder how much extra these kill shelters get for killing a dog? Must stop and spay and neutering must be made mandatory.

  6. DUH… Is this human error still working, post this idiot’s face so we can see what that this idiot does not work for another shelter. i hope the family can sue…!

  7. This is disgusting! The shelter must be held liable! They are lucky I’m not the parent of that little one! I have had pets all my life and I have never had to worry about such things! They are outside if I am otherwise not! You must make sure your dogs can’t escape this is heartbreaking!

  8. There would be NO question of my filing charges against the shelter! Although nothing will bring back their loved family member, sueing them would bring a small amount of satisfaction. The worker who did this must be fired…. human error my butt! That’s pure neglect and failure of duties. How do you ‘pick’ the wrong animal? The wrong kennel? The wrong information card? Obviously that worker did not pay attention to the information posted on the kennel. THERE IS NO EXCUSE!!! The shelter hired unqualified personnel, failed to train correctly, lacked supervision. There should be double checking when going to murder any of the animals! Or do they just allow any worker to take any animal and murder it without enduring it is the correct animal? The human family must sue both the shelter and employee, some type of justice must be given to this innocent animal. I’m appauled this could happen. Seems shelters have become so blatent with the murdering of animals they don’t use caution. NO animals deserve to be murdered just because they are homeless, aren’t adopted within a few days of arriving, become ill or injured. The ‘fix all’ shelters use is to murder them. It must stop!!! Illnesses can be cured, injuries can be fixed, homes can be found… life’s can be saved!!!


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