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Animal advocates call for state investigation, firings after family dog put down by 'mistake'

Posted at 11:12 PM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 12:15:35-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Animal Foundation is launching an investigation after a Pit Bull puppy was put down by mistake after a 10-day quarantine period for biting a child.

"He's just a puppy," said the dog's owner, Ayla.

The 11-month old Pit Bull puppy named Sway was rough-housing her Ayla's 9-year-old son when the incident happened.

RELATED: Animal Foundation transferring 38 puppies, 1 adult dog to partner organizations

Ayla took her son to Sunrise Hospital where he received one stitch.

Ayla says the dog bite was reported to authorities based on the hospital visit and the injury.

"That's why he was at the shelter," said Ayla.

"He had to be boarded for the 10 days because that's Nevada law, they have to be quarantined for any bite," added Ayla.

RELATED: Animal drop-offs skyrocket at the Las Vegas Animal Foundation

The 10-day quarantine period ended on Saturday after business hours.

Ayla went the next day and learned Sway had been put down instead of being returned to her and her family.

The Animal Foundation released a statement regarding the situation:

On Saturday, managers at The Animal Foundation were alerted to a situation that an 11-month old pit bull, who was under the shelter’s care while on a bite quarantine for biting a child in the face, was euthanized on Saturday following the conclusion of the 10-day required quarantine hold that ended on Friday. We understand that the owner had informed City of Las Vegas Animal Control at the time of confiscation that they wished to reclaim the dog at the end of the hold. However, that did not happen, and at this time we are seeking additional information to determine exactly what transpired.

The Animal Foundation takes situations like this very seriously and has long-standing policies and procedures in place to prevent this type of tragedy. Although mistakes and communication breakdowns can occur, this type of situation is very rare. Multiple organizations and departments are involved in bite quarantine cases such as this, and it will take some additional time to fully explore and understand all the facts and details.

The Animal Foundation recognizes how much sorrow the family is going through right now and that there are no easy answers when something like this occurs. We have reached out to the owner to offer our condolences and let them know that we are committed to assist them in any way we can.

“I can imagine this dog walking down the hallway excited, wagging his tail because he thinks he’s going home but that’s not where he went," said Gina Greisen with Nevada Voters for Animals.

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Greisen is calling for a state investigation into what happened and wants accountability at the Animal Foundation.

“It’s just the error of epic proportion that’s just so heartbreaking," added Greisen.

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