Texas Shelter Oops-Kills Agility Dog

Peppy, as pictured on the CBSDFW website.

Chris Swain’s competition agility dog Peppy bit someone on May 24. He was seized by the Mesquite Animal Shelter for a mandatory 10 day rabies quarantine, despite proof that he was fully vaccinated. From there, things began careening downhill:

“They told me I had to release the dog to them. I was instructed to put Peppy into this kennel,” Swain explained. “He still had his collar and all of his identification tags on him at that time. There was no documentation, and I was told I could not have any contact with him.”

No documentation was given to her or placed on the kennel as to his status or release date, she added.

What could possibly go wrong?

When the Swain family called to check on their beloved pet 3 days into the quarantine, they learned that Peppy had been mistaken for another dog and killed.  Oops.

Ms. Swain and a number of local animal advocates addressed the city council this week to complain about Peppy’s killing and a generally suckass environment at the shelter:

Among other issues cited by speakers were a lack of professionalism, a laisse-faire attitude by some shelter employees, failure to properly care for baby kittens, lack of cleanliness and improper care of isolated pets.

All this at a place that tosses a loved pet into a cage with no cage card or paper trail then kills him because hey, little yappy dogs, so interchangeable.  I mean, I’m assuming the dog he was mistaken for was another little yappy dog.  For all I know the dog actually on the kill list was a lab or an Irish Setter or a… Siamese.  But yeah, I can imagine how they do orphaned kittens.

The city is investigating itself in the matter of Peppy’s killing and in case you are in need of even more super reassurances, the city is on it:

“We made a mistake, and we apologized for that mistake,” said [City Spokesman Wayne] Larson. “And we are learning from that mistake.”

Just to clarify, “that mistake” was the needless killing of someone’s healthy, trained pet who was wearing ID tags that the shelter was supposedly holding in order to protect the public health. Since the dog was oops-killed before the quarantine expired, the bite victim probably had to choose whether to undergo treatment for rabies exposure or risk getting the disease. And the dog’s family is now saddled with a heartbreak that will last a lifetime. That’s what “that mistake” was.


“We are going to make some efforts to beef up our training and do what needs to be done to provide a quality service,” [City Manager Cliff Keheley] said.

Beef up our training.  I guess I’ll just go with lol there.  And doing what needs to be done is so ambiguous, it makes the “that mistake” guy seem slightly competent.

Keep raising hell, Mesquite animal advocates.  These people are not going to change one damn thing or do one damn thing or care one damn bit.  Get them out of the shelter and away from your animals.

(Thanks to everyone who sent me this story.)

5 thoughts on “Texas Shelter Oops-Kills Agility Dog

  1. Holy shit.


    But hey, let’s “beef up” our training. Because apparently, reading dog tags wasn’t part of the training before?

    This needs to be a lawsuit. A big one. That is the only damn way that people like this will change their lazy, pet-killing ways.

    Frankly, I’m surprised he didn’t whip out the old “Well, it’s really hard for us to kill pets and we do everything we can to avoid it.” Except, you know, read a dog’s tags.

    I really hope the advocates keep their county’s feet to the fire on this one.

  2. All dog’s should be quarantined in place – AT HOME!!! – with or without proof of vaccination as long as the owner knows the dog’s been vaccinated. If the owner doesn’t know, or it’s a new dog without proof of vaccination, the dog should be quarantined at the vet’s office, where they know the dog by sight and won’t kill it. I hope they sue the city and every person involved in this DISGUSTING bullshit – although they probably won’t be able to because of some other bullshit excuses.

  3. This article is everything I wish I could say..and the comments are dead on. We won’t give up! -Mesquite Animal Advocate

  4. I don’t even have words to express my outrage about this incompetence on the part of these people who killed this little dog unnecessarily. I don’t know how a mistake like this can possibly occur but a price needs to be paid for this horrible error. This dog’s life cannot be taken in vain and it is up to all of us to speak out in behalf of Peppy and all animals whose lives have been lost through no fault of their own.

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