Competition dog euthanized by Mesquite shelter due to ‘clerical error'

A competition dog was accidentally euthanized at the Mesquite Animal Shelter because of a “clerical error.” Others say it's just one more sign of a poorly run facility.

Chris Swain says her dog Peppy wasn't your average Chihuahua.

“He was my teammate in agility competition,” explained Chris Swain. “This was my heart, my pet, my companion, my best friend.”

But her trusted friend was euthanized by mistake at the Mesquite Animal Shelter.

It all started on May 24. Swain was taking her dogs out while crews worked on her home's foundation. As she packed her car, 8-year-old Peppy escaped and bit a man walking by.

Swain says she provided documents showing Peppy was fully vaccinated and took Peppy in for a 10-day quarantine at the shelter, as she was ordered to do.

Three days in, she learned Peppy was put down when he was confused for another dog.

“The supervisor admitted that she was the one that did it,” said Swain. “I admire her for admitting that, but it still didn't bring my dog back.”

City Spokesman Wayne Larson said the shelter is taking steps to correct intake procedures and reviewing policies.

“We made a mistake, and we apologized for that mistake,” said Larson. “And we are learning from that mistake.”

But some say that's just the start. Dog rescue groups and advocates addressed the city council Monday night and pointed to broader issues they say are plaguing the shelter, like poor management and lack of accountability.

“We are going to pledge to do everything that we can to ensure that this does not happen again,” said Larson.

Swain says that is all she really wants.

“There should have been some sort of documentation, some sort of paper trail, some sort of follow up, some sort of check and balance,” she said.

The city-run shelter takes in about 5,500 animals a year.