Dog Thought to Be Euthanized Found Available for Adoption

Dog thought to be euthanized found up for adoption

Imagine your 5-month-old puppy had health issues so severe that he could be suffering his entire life. After your veterinarian tells you there is little hope for recovery, you make the heartbreaking decision to have your puppy euthanized.

And imagine, months later, you’re online looking at dogs available for adoption—and one of them looks very familiar. He is, in fact, the puppy you thought had been euthanized.

This “Twilight Zone”-ish experience happened to Kristie Pereira. She was shocked and delighted to discover her puppy, Beau, was still alive although she had expected him to be euthanized at the Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center in Derwood, Md.

However, Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation in Falls Church, Va., the nonprofit organization from which Pereira had adopted Beau and which has him now, refuses to return the hound mix to her.

Pereira’s Choice

When I read about Pereira’s situation, my first thought was that if she had been by Beau’s side when he was euthanized, this wouldn’t have happened—but on the other hand, poor Beau would be dead. However, Montgomery County Animal Services doesn’t allow owners to be with their pets while they’re being euthanized.

This is a truly terrible rule! Many veterinarians have told stories of dogs who were terrified during their final moments, with no loved ones there to comfort them. I know some people don’t want to be around to watch their beloved pets die, but it is the last best thing you can do for them.

It needs to be noted that before Pereira surrendered Beau, Lost Dog & Cat Rescue,, reached out to her with an alternative. They offered to take Beau back so he wouldn’t have to be euthanized without her there with him. Pereira told FOX 5 that as she recalls, the rescue told her to make the choice she felt comfortable with based on her veterinarian’s recommendation of euthanasia.

Pereira didn’t explain why she made the choice to surrender Beau to the county shelter rather than have her veterinarian euthanize him so she could be by his side.

Beau Recovers from Liver Injury

Here’s basically what happened with Beau after Pereira surrendered him: The veterinarians at Montgomery County Animal Services believed his condition was treatable. When people surrender pets to this shelter, they sign a release form that terminates their ownership of the pet. The form also states that the shelter has the right to provide medical care to pets surrendered to be euthanized.

Montgomery County Animal Services sent Beau to Lost Dog & Cat Rescue. Veterinarians determined the puppy had a liver injury, which was successfully repaired with a $7,000 surgery paid for with donations.

Pereira told the Washington Post that if her veterinarians had given Beau a positive prognosis, she would have gladly paid thousands of dollars for surgery. But one of the veterinarians had sent her an email saying that Beau wasn’t “acting mentally appropriately” and had no quality of life.

Pereira is also upset that neither Montgomery County Animal Services nor Lost Dog & Cat Rescue notified her that Beau hadn’t been euthanized, but it is neither shelter’s policy to provide updates to the owners of surrendered pets.

Beau, who is now called Amos Hart, is available for adoption—but not by Pereira. Lost Dog & Cat Rescue told FOX 5 it isn’t their policy to return surrendered pets to their former owners.

Should Pereira Get Her Dog Back?

Here’s the tough question: Should Pereira get her dog back? There are over 1,300 comments on FOX 5’s Facebook page. The majority of them seem to side with Lost Dog & Cat Rescue.

As many people point out, Pereira had the opportunity to return Beau to the rescue, or she could have been by his side if her veterinarian had euthanized him. The choice she felt most comfortable with was leaving him at a county shelter, which was obviously not the best option.

This is a really difficult situation, but I hope Beau/Amos Hart finds a loving new home, and if Pereira adopts another dog, she’s learned something from this ordeal.

What do you think? Should Lost Dog & Cat Rescue change its policy for Pereira and let her have Beau/Amos Hart back? Please leave a comment below.

Photo: FOX 5 Washington DC/YouTube

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!