Zeke was put to sleep at the Wichita Animal Shelter at 11 a.m. on 3/8/2013, less than 24 hours from when he arrived on 3/7/2013. The shelter closed before his owner, Claudia Elliot got home from work and discovered that Zeke was missing, and when she called as soon as they opened the next morning, the shelter staff told her he was there. However, when she arrived to pick him up she says she was told by staff that Zeke had been euthanized, and that no one including the vet who made the decision could tell her he was certainly in pain, only "possibly".
This is a statement released by the Wichita Animal Shelter who supervises the Wichita Animal Shelter:
“A Long Haired Chihuahua was brought in to the shelter by a citizen on 3/7/13 at 1230 hours. They found the dog at 9th & Edgemoor. We admitted the dog. Scanned it for a microchip and placed its picture on the petharbor found page. The dog was examined. No injuries were found. It was determined the dog was very elderly and placed in the treatment area and given soft food. The next morning on 3/8/13 at 0800 hours a licensed veterinarian, examined the dog. The Vet noted the dog was not eating, possibly because of significant mouth pain. The dog hadn't eaten the food provided the day before and wouldn't eat when offered fresh food on 3/8/13. The Vet recommended to shelter staff the dog be euthanized. Since the dog was not micro chipped, did not have tags or identification and no owner information was found, the dog was euthanized off the vets mercy euthanasia recommendation and health condition.”
Claudia Elliot feels her dog wasn't eating because he was scared and wants the Wichita Animal Shelter to change their policy that allowed one person to make the decision to euthanize him so quickly. We find that Zeke not eating for less than 24 hours in a situation where high anxiety could have been cause for his loss of appetite was not probable cause for euthanization, especially given that he had no other injuries. The police department says that no owner identification could be found, but if they recorded the calls at the WIchita Animal Shelter on paper they could have easily seen that someone was coming to see if it was their pet. If Claudia Elliot had enough time to claim Zeke, it's very possible he may still be alive.
Also, there are other fallacies in policies at the shelter. The WPD said in their statement that the dog did not have a chip. Yes, in this case that is true. However, if it was another dog that did have a microchip it's possible they could not have even known; making that an irrelevant statement in their report. They only scan dogs for microchips if they have time. They only scan cats for microchips if the owner shows up and is unsure the cat is theirs. Even if the animal was microchipped, the shelter is only required to make one attempt to contact the owners. What if someone changed their phone number? Why not send a certified letter too?
Wichita Animal Shelter- we don't want an apology for a poor decision. We want an immediate change in the course of action that caused this event to occur and a review of all current policies that could cause harm to the animals that come into your facility.