Carson City dog’s euthaniasia prompts policy review
August 6, 2013
A euthanized dog and a complaint by the owner prompted city government Monday to reassess how it handles such circumstances and provide training for Animal Services personnel.
Carson City Animal Services will be closed for adoptions Tuesday-Thursday this week "for intensive workforce development training in customer service, ethical decision making and best practices," according to a news release from City Manager Larry Werner. Deputy City Manager Marena Works explained the reason.
"We want to tighten up our euthanasia policies," said Works, the former director of the Health and Human Services Department that oversees Animal Services. She said additional time should have been given before a dog owned by Carson City's Jeraldine Archuleta was put down.
"While it was within our legal right," Works said, "there is no doubt that we should have let more time go by so that we had a chance to rectify the situation."
The situation about which she spoke stemmed in part from a dog picked up July 25. Archuleta, the dog's owner, tried to recover it at the animal shelter the next day. She was told she would have to pay fees amounting to more than $100.
Because she didn't have the money and couldn't come up with it within 72 hours as required, she said in a letter to the editor at the Nevada Appeal published Sunday, she was unable to get information on the animal and was issued a citation for abandoning it.
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"I cannot believe that the staff at the animal clinic were so uncooperative and not willing to allow me a few days to get the funds together," Archuleta wrote.
Works said there will be no future euthanasias if an owner turns up.
"If any owner is identified, the animal is not considered stray and we will make every effort to place that animal back in its home, regardless of the individual's ability to pay," she said.
Works also said any euthansia considered currently would occur only after consultation of a veterinarian. She said every effort will be made to avoid any similar situation and added she and Archuleta are in communication.
Archuleta said Monday evening that she's pleased the city is taking action.
"I think that at least they're acknowledging that there was a mistake made," she said. "I'm sorry that it was at my dog's expense. I don't see something good coming out of this for myself, but maybe it'll help others in the future. …
It's just unbelievable that they went this far. My dog didn't deserve that."