'It Broke My Heart:' Dog Accidentally Euthanized By OKC Shelter

A metro family is devastated after their dog was euthanized at OKC Animal Welfare by mistake. It all came to light last week after the owner posted on social media.

Monday, February 19th 2024, 6:17 pm

By: News 9, Cameron Joiner


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A metro family is devastated after their dog was euthanized at OKC Animal Welfare by mistake.

It all came to light last week after the owner posted on social media.

Earlier this month, several dogs were picked up by OKC Animal Welfare. Melissa Evans' dog, Spotty, was one of them. "They told me I could pick Spotty up between four and five on Thursday after he was neutered," Evans said.

Neutering before their release is a shelter policy according to OKC Animal Welfare Superintendent Jon Gary. "There were two dogs in this particular kennel that had come in together," he said, referencing Spotty and another dog. "Very similar-looking dogs. Same coloring, same sex, same breed type."

Evans signed the paperwork to reclaim Spotty while the other dog was scheduled to be euthanized. "We went into the kennel and mistakenly pulled the wrong dog out," Gary said. "And the wrong dog was euthanized."

So, when Evans returned to the shelter, Spotty was gone. "It broke my heart,” she said. “I was like no, you have to, you have to have made another mistake."

She says she struggled to understand how this could have happened. "Why would they house a dog that's due for euthanization with a dog that's been reclaimed so that there is that mixup? Like why would they do that? I don't understand it just doesn't make sense," she said.

Gary says it's also been hard for shelter staff. "We don't want to euthanize any dog much less the wrong dog," he said. "You just can't say sorry enough for things like this."

He says they're taking steps to ensure it never happens again. "When two dogs do look really similar like these two did, we need to do a good job of getting ID bands on them, some way to differentiate them from each other," he said.

Evans said despite the terrible situation, she still believes in and encourages adoption and fostering from shelters. She even agreed to adopt the dog Spotty was mistaken for because she wants to give that dog a home, so he isn't euthanized as well.

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