Healthy family dog accidentally euthanized after mix-up at North Carolina animal shelter where he was quarantined

Healthy family dog accidentally euthanized after mix-up at North Carolina animal shelter where he was quarantined

A Davidson County family's beloved Australian cattle dog was mistakenly put down at an animal shelter in North Carolina after a catastrophic mix-up. 

The Varker family from Lexington, NC, made the shocking discovery that their 16-month-old pup named Blaze was euthanized over the weekend after the Davidson County Animal Shelter workers were not able to find the pet. 

Blaze was placed on a 10-day quarantine at the local shelter after he bit a young member of their family the week before which resulted in a minor injury. He was also often found to be lagging on his rabies vaccinations. 

He was being held for a 10-day routine stay when Rhea Varker and her three children decided to visit him a the shelter on Tuesday.

Taking to Facebook, Rhea's husband Joey Varker wrote, "Our family just got a new dog to add to our family and my wife was at Petsmart getting supplies and thought, ‘While I’m out this way, I’ll go to the animal shelter and check on Blaze'." 


"When she gets there, she is shown a picture of a completely different dog and asked if that was our dog and, of course, my wife says no... After checking the kennels, it is found that our dog (a full blooded blue healer) was mistakenly put down!!!! How does this happen?”

Rhea revealed the shelter told the family it was a fatal mix-up that was caused due to Blaze being put in another dog's kennel by mistake.

"The blame was left on the cleaning crew that comes in and cleans kennels, basically stating that they just put the dog in the wrong spot. No other explanations were explained. I wasn’t offered the opportunity to identify my dog," she said, according to WXII.

Assistant County Manager Casey Smith blamed the mix-up on Blaze's paperwork. "Just a mishap with the paperwork. The intake paperwork, this was a bite dog that came in late last week... And when we had the paperwork, sometimes we had interim paperwork from animal control officers that we intake into our official intaking system at the shelter. We had not done that yet because we only have two people there on the weekend, and a lot of animals that come in and the paperwork got crisscrossed, and an accident happened," Smith told WXII. 


Joey revealed that the family was offered any dog they wanted from the shelter as a replacement and monetary compensation of $300 from the county manager.

According to Fox 8, Jeb Hanner, the county manager, said, "It was an unfortunate incident and a mistake was made." 

The Varkers did not accept the money or the new dog but just want certainty that this will not happen again.

Talking to the NY Post, Joey said, "I want procedures put in place where this doesn’t happen again. It’s about our children. I don’t want anyone to lose their job, but just procedures put in place to prevent this so it doesn’t happen to someone else."


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