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.