Oops Killings at VA Shelter Devastate Family

If your family’s house burns down with several pets inside in November, and the county seizes your surviving pets in December alleging neglect and cruelty, you might be thinking January really couldn’t be much worse.  But if you’re the Wade family in Amherst Co, VA, you’d be wrong:

The Amherst County Sheriff’s office confirmed accusations Thursday that the County’s Animal Shelter accidentally euthanized two dogs.

Those dogs belonged to the Wade family, who lost their home to a fire in November.

Amherst County took them from the family last month saying they were being mistreated. Reports say they were tied to a tree in bitter cold temperatures.

According to Mr. Wade, the county seized Sweet Pea and Bell without giving him any reason and said they were just trying to help him.  I would think they meant “help” as in “your house just burned down and maybe you can’t take good care of your surviving pets right now as a result”.  But then I’d be wrong:

“I swore then when they took my dogs. I said I know what’s going to happen – you’re going to end up killing my dogs,” said Wade.

And the Wades say that’s just what happened. They say the pound told them this week that their dogs were accidentally euthanized.

“They weren’t trying to help me. If they were trying to help me, why are my dogs dead?” said Wade.

Although we have very limited information here, I can’t help but wonder if the county could have offered to truly help the family care for their surviving pets while they sorted their lives out after the fire.  If there was proven neglect going on, was it the type that can be addressed with education and monitoring for compliance?  Or was it so severe that the county had to obtain ownership of the dogs via the courts and rehome them?  Sadly we’ll never know, since – Oops.

4 thoughts on “Oops Killings at VA Shelter Devastate Family

  1. This is so sad. That poor family and these poor dogs.

    Killing seems to be the main thing most shelters do day in and day out. Looks like some shelters have a hard time keeping any pets alive, even the ones they didn’t plan on killing.

    I hope more people awake up to what is really going on at our nations shelters and stand up and do something to make some positive changes.

  2. You don’t accidentally kill an animal. It is an act of intent. Either they were destroyed on purpose because they were sick or so aggressive that no one could rehab them (in which case the county should just come right out and say that) or they were killed due to a culture which allows for this type of thing to happen and in which dogs are of no more value than a plastic fork (meaning they are disposable).

    Use of the words “accident” or “accidentally” is totally uncalled for. I’d be interested to hear what the sheriff’s office has to say after they “look into” the matter. Even if the family had a history, this scenario makes no sense to me at all.

  3. Is the sheriff’s office really looking into this?

    When nearly 200 pets were killed in mass at the Hammond, Louisiana shelter no one could get the sheriff’s office to look into it. HSUS was no help either. Parish did its own “investigation” and found no wrong doing.

    Too many shelters can do whatever they please to the animals in their buildings and get away with it.

  4. Could the Red Cross not help house their dogs until they figured out the whole House Fire thing? The Red Cross in our area helps families with pets by putting them into boarding

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