Elderly dog euthanized before stray hold was up

Shelter euthanized old dog, who escaped from yard, before stray hold was up

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A shelter in Florida euthanized a man’s elderly dog before the required stray hold was up. In fact, 17-year-old Boni was put down on the same day that he was taken in at the Manatee County Animal Services facility. According to Wednesday’s Bradenton Herald, the senior Labrador retriever mix was deemed to be “suffering” and therefore euthanized before his five day stray hold had expired.

Boni belonged to Matt Van Vranken – the man who had shared his life with the dog for 17 years. Van Vranken told the Bradenton Herald about the dog who wandered away from home on December 21, “That was my best friend.” Boni suffered from typical age-related issues, including a sore hip, but Van Vranken insists that the senior dog wasn’t suffering, as long as he took his daily joint supplements.

Carmen Lucena, former veterinarian at Animal Services, had a different opinion about Boni’s condition – she determined that he was suffering and needed to be euthanized because he was in pain. It was Lucena’s recommendation that ended Boni’s life.

Since Boni was put down, Lucena has been removed from her position and “procedures” have been put in place to prevent something similar from happening in the future. Sarah Brown, the chief of Animal Services, told the Herald:

“There is nothing more important to me than the welfare of the animals in our care. The reputation of MCAS in our community demands that we remain accountable for our actions.”

The animal services changes may save lives in the future, but nothing will bring Boni back to his grieving owner.

(Photo via Pixabay free images)
21 replies
  1. Star Shelley says:

    Very sad very unfortunate for the Mr. Van Vrarken. Even though his dog was old the decision to euthanize should be the owners choice not Ms Lucena. Finally I hear the reputation of MCAS , its good to know they care. I would be willing to pay for Mr. Van Vrarken adoption fee for another companion if he would like. My Name is Star Shelley at shelleystar2@verizon.net. Just let me know, I will sent the money.

    • pennysdachshund says:

      That is such a kind offering !! I am sure The Lucena’s are worried just sick as to what has happened to their two companions…. and I also hope they make their property more secure prior to obtaining other pets!!! perish the thought it happens again!!!

  2. Darla says:

    RIP Boni. I’m sorry you were murdered. Your death should have been at the choice of your owner and with him by your side. I had a 15 or 16 year old Labrador that was euthanized only when the tumor on his spleen ruptured and he was suffering. Carmen Lucena, you SUCK!

  3. Barkley's Mom says:

    So Lucena has been removed from her position and “procedures” have been put in place to prevent something similar from happening in the future? This doesn’t bring back Boni so he can live out the rest of his life with the man that loved him. I don’t care how much they think the dog is “suffering” holding a dog the required length of time to see if someone is looking for him should be standard procedure. Certainly they could have given him pain meds to help to relieve the pain. Poor Boni died without having his loving owner there to comfort him. He died alone and scared and for no good reason. The Manatee County Animal Services facility should be ashamed of themselves! Condolences to Mr Van Vranken, I know nothing can bring back your boy I hope somehow you can get some justice for Boni out of this.

  4. Barbara Garabedian says:

    How horrible poor ???? dog ???? those evil ugly people there should be a Court order to get rid of these awful creeps & shut the place downs& find other ???? poor animal they did not have to do that they need to be sued & should have waited 5 days I hope the other animals are rescued in time & get out of there bg

  5. Brenda Minarik says:

    What is it with these vets who do they think they are god how many mistakes have they made and the animals pay for their mistakes not to many good vets out there it’s all about the buck$$$$$$$ stop using animals as ginnypigs saving lives is what it’s about stiffer laws to protect our animals

  6. pennysdachshund says:

    In my biased opinion this individual has the right to be damn mad!!! Our little Scrappy was in his early twenty’s when WE and OUR OWN VET made the Choice it was time!!! Scrappy enjoyed every moment of his life was also on joint medication… Loved his cottage cheese 3 times a day and WOULD DAMN well tell us if he wanted more!!! This individual took care of his dog for 17 years it should have been his choice !!! when it was time!!! Not some Vet who more than likely glanced at this aged loving companion and never even gave thought to the owner or give the owner a chance to claim him…

  7. Linda Patton says:

    That female who ordered this innocent dogs murder must be charged criminally, arrested, and sent to prison. IF the dog was in pain, why didn’t she medicate and treat so comfort could be given? Why didn’t she give ample time for the dogs humans to be contacted, locate their dog, so he could be taken to his vet? Why did she feel murder was the only solution? Is it her opinion elderly beings with normal arthritis issues have lost the right to life? She overstepped her bounds, authority, lost all compassion and mental abilities, and turned into nothing less then a mass murderer. I’m quite sure she’s done this same type of thing to numerous other innocent animals. Those with over grown nails… murder them instead of trimming the nails, ear infections, splinters, matted hair, fleas… let’s just kill them instead of helping them. Oh… this animal is hungry, murder it!!! It’s suffering, hunger pains you know… NOTHING can be done to bring back Boni, the heartbreak, loneliness, emptiness, the years of companionship lost, future days that could have been…. the female who did this horrific felony crime MUST be charged and arrested! She MUST loose her job, be forever forbidden from working with or having contact with any type of living being, ALL animals in her immediate household must be removed and rehomed for their own safety, she must pay Boni’s human(s) a large cash momentary payment for their suffering, heartbreak, loss of a family member, although we all know no amount could bring Boni back or replace him. She must pay the price, both by loss of freedom, employment, money for his thoughtless, vile, heartless, unexcuseable, vicious murder of this innocent dog. There is no excuse, no excuse, no excuse for what she did.

    • Joanne says:

      Linda, I agree with you 100 percent. Poor innocent Boni was the victim of that despicable, incompetent, heartless, and lazy vet (VILLAIN). I am certain there were many other poor innocent animals that were needlessly and wrongfully murdered by that incompetent scumbag! Her license needs to be immediately revoked, and she should be criminally prosecuted for her egregious wrong and quick decision to murder this innocent dog that was dearly loved by his human companion. The hasty and unnecessary murder of this beloved elderly dog is unacceptable and extremely heartbreaking and horrific! The poor dog must have been terrified and in extreme fear because dogs instinctively “know” when someone is evil or bad; and poor Boni must have known that the scumbag was evil and up to no good. Boni died alone and frightened without his beloved family member, so, so sad. That cruel and heartless monster villain must be severely punished! She should NOT have the title of “vet,” she is a “villain.” Angel Boni, I am so very sorry humanity failed you. My heart is bleeding that your precious life was sacrificed because of that inept, disgusting, lazy scumbag! My sincere and heartfelt condolences to Boni’s family for the loss of your beloved boy. Rest in Heavenly Peace, Angel Boni, you are now safe in the tender loving care of Jesus. I am praying for your deserved justice and that cruel heartless, inept villain is fired and criminally prosecuted! Angel Boni, you are loved and you will not be forgotten. RIP, Precious Pup.

  8. Angela Corso says:

    This sounds like a decision that was not based on the welfare of the dog, but a decision based on the dog’s age and room at the shelter. Shame on this shelter and the person who did this. This man will not only live with the grief of his passing dog, but the guilt due to another’s unfortunate actions.

  9. Maureen McGrath says:

    This was a senseless murder. My oldest is 17 and she sometimes has hip issues, but wears a sweater, takes supplements and I expect her to live into her 20’s. She is also an escape artist when I am not home. Always looking for me. If this happened to her I would be certifiably out of my mind. So sorry for you loss.

  10. Linda Szymoniak says:

    The article doesn’t say if the dog was microchipped. That would have helped get his back home. Yes, senior dogs may have aches and pains, but it appears the owner was giving him something for that. My senior girl, Suki, who passed in April of last year, was taking supplements and was doing much better – without any pain – as long as she was on them. This dog was away from home, so obviously didn’t get his meds for a day or more. The owner needs to get records from his vet that prove the dog wasn’t suffering. That will go a long way in getting justice for Boni. Nothing will bring him back, unfortunately, and I’m in tears for what his owner must be going through.

  11. Julie D'Ambrosia says:

    Matt, I am so sorry. I know through my brother in law how much you loved Boni. May he R.I.P. No words. Julie from NC.

  12. Maria says:

    Matt, I am so sorry to hear about Boni. RIP poor baby. Please close that shelters door. Because to look for an easy way to solve problems. You are barbarics!


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