Hillsborough County euthanizes young dog by mistake

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The Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center in Florida is currently under negative scrutiny for the wrongful killing of a dog named Loki. In September 2016, the 8-month-old black and white American Staffordshire terrier was picked up as a stray.  He had a history with the Pet Rescue Center as a dog who had been adopted, returned, then re-adopted before coming back as a stray. In October, he disappeared from kennel reports.

WFLA Channel 8  reporter Steve Andrews interviewed Tamar Barry of Rescue Me Tampa. She stated it was unusual to have a dog just disappear from kennel reports.  As a rescue, they rely on the kennel reports so they can see notes about each dog to aide them in getting eligible, adoptable dogs out of the shelter. Ms. Barry reached out to the Pet Rescue Center director Steve Trebatoski asking about Loki’s status.  He responded via email stating Loki had been euthanized on October 5, 2016, but due to an error it wasn’t entered into the computer until October 6, 2016.

When Ms. Barry asked why Loki was euthanized, there was no response.  Standard procedure at the Pet Rescue Center is to indicate the cause for euthanizing such as an unprovoked bite. Tamar Barry requested to see all of Loki’s records However, not all the records were sent.  Information was purposely withheld.  Ms. Barry demanded all records be released as they belong to the public and the taxpayers who are not only paying to maintain the shelter but for euthanizing the animals in its care.

The full story of what happened to Loki came out in the disciplinary records of former employee Christa Lepisto who failed to follow procedure and as a result Loki was mistakenly euthanized. Pet Rescue Center director Scott Trebatoski issued the following statement to WFLA;

As the only open-admission shelter in Hillsborough County, the Pet Resource Center takes in approximately 20,000 dogs and cats every year. Even though Pet Resources established a best-practice protocol with multiple checks-and-balances to reduce the likelihood of errors, the dog was euthanized in error. Immediately, corrective action was taken with the employees involved. A post-incident assessment was done to determine how this incident occurred. Policies and protocols were assessed and revised with updated procedures now in place.”

He did not address whether the Pet Rescue Center actually withheld public records. Loki didn’t have a chance in his short life. He was adopted, brought back, adopted out again, ended up as a stray then killed for no reason. Apologies, disciplinary action or brushing the truth under the carpet will never bring Loki back.

This dog was stuck for hours before being found – find out where at this link to his story.

Where did this pit bull end up after being stolen from a shelter? Watch the video here.

Yum – need I say more?? Margarita Bars!! – click here for the recipe.

17 replies
  1. Adrienne says:

    Mandatory spay and neutering of all dogs until the excessive dog population is under control. So-called breeders must also be included in this. Heavy fines if not followed. Something must be done to stop these poor dogs from being killed on purpose, or in this case, by accident. Too many animals in shelters and not enough people to foster or adopt.

  2. Barkley's Mom says:

    “Imediately, corrective action was taken” and what good did that do,:Loki was already gone! Correct all your policies you want, it won’t bring him back. When you are dealing with living pets, you best know what you are doing because mistakes like this are FATAL and unforgivable!

  3. Cynthia Como says:

    Inexcusable and unforgivable! Really irks me that they tried to hide what they done! Many thanks to the woman who uncovered the truth! JERKS!

  4. Melissa Gurley says:

    That was a terrible mistake that dog paid with his life I hope something is done to the person who ordered this dog to be killed or should I say murdered

  5. Tracy Whitcomb says:

    What good did that corrective action do??? Poor Loki was killed for NO reason. Everyone involved needs to be punished.

  6. Sherry says:

    If they had” multiple checks and balance” in place so this wouldn’t happen, then this wouldn’t have happened or do you expect us to believe that all of the double checking or alternate method of balance failed as well as the initial? To me, this isn’t just a “clerical error” because it involves a DEATH. I think we should euthanize the employees there for their extreme laziness, incompetence and negligence. They act like like this should be taken in stride, but when you hold lives in your hands, you have to be a lot more careful than this. I understand losing a copy or dropping a phone call, but I do not understand whoops, we killed this dog by accident. Give me a damn break. Again, another shelter run by dumb and dumber.

  7. H.Simpell says:

    Sounds like a lot of crapola to cover yet another deadly ” mistake”. In such a hurry to kill they end of the life of a young pup just at the beginning. It is absolutely heartbreaking.He didn’t have a chance.

  8. Nancy Raymond says:

    MISTAKE???? This so called ‘mistake’ seems to happen way too often and then the cover up begins – Loki was killed by some idiot employee who either did not read the procedures or did not care and now he is gone and they are frantically trying to shove his death under the rug – I would not let ANY management or staff clean my cat litter – they’d probably throw out my cats along w/the litter.

  9. Nancy Raymond says:

    Hillsborough needs to be held responsible for murdering Loki – he died due to negligence, incompetence and utter stupidity and all Hillsborough did was try to cover it up – the statement of ‘corrective action’ was nothing more than lip service. Nothing will change – watch, this will happen again and again.

  10. Mary says:

    I do not understand why shelter people have to kill heathy puppies and kittens. They get lots of donations to keep up the shelter and vet and food . They need to fine people that dump the adopted pets. And keep updating the ones that just got adopted. There is NOT SOEVER ANY EXCUSE for mistakes like this.


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