4 dogs meant to be fostered get euthanized; D.A.S. investigating

Four dogs that rescuers believed were being turned over to Dallas Animal Services for safekeeping for foster homes were euthanized two days later.

It's all under investigation, so there's not a lot of specifics that have been released, but Dallas Animal Services says the dogs were euthanized "based on their health and behavior."

But D.A.S. also says the four dogs may have been euthanized in error, and that D.A.S. staff members are devastated.  

"The last things I did was look these dogs in the eye, and I promised them they would be loved and well cared for," said animal welfare activist Deborah Whittington.

Guilt doesn't begin to describe Whittington feels about the dogs being euthanized by D.A.S. on New Year's Day.

"I can't eat; I have difficulty sleeping," said Whittington.  

The four Australian collie mixes ranged in age from about 1 to 8 years old.

According to Whittington, the dogs were taken Dec. 30 from a woman who had more than two dozen dogs on her property after reports came in of loose dogs.

But there was a problem.

"We were getting to a point where we were running out of fosters, so we asked D.A.S. to step in and just help us with this hoarding situation," said Whittington.

She and another animal rescuer notified the city.

"So we asked D.A.S. if they could hold these four dogs for us so we could network them," said Whittington. "We were told they would put them under protective custody."

But there was a mix-up, and the dogs were instead entered into the system as "owner surrenders."

Two days later, they were euthanized.

"I totally understand their feeling," said Dr. Cate McManus with Dallas Animal Shelter. "That's why we want to make sure, you know, to figure out what happened, and you know, if we did do something wrong, we're gonna be completely transparent about that."

Late Tuesday afternoon, Whittington and other activists went to city manager A.C. Gonzalez's office to file a complaint.

"D.A.S. betrayed my trust, D.A.S. betrayed the trust of this community

and D.A.S. betrayed those animals by killing them," said Whittington.


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