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Family claims adoptive dog was euthanized at Hillsborough County Animal Services

12:36 AM, Mar 6, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - Brandy Perez found the perfect dog to adopt at Hillsborough County Animal Services back on February.

"We have a female Rottweiler now and we wanted to get her a companion," said the Largo resident.

The Rottweiler named Max was a stray taken in by animal services days before Perez's husband filled out the adoption paperwork.

PICS: Max, the dog they planned to adopt

But they say since initially filling out that paperwork back in February 6th, the shelter kept giving her excuses as to why she could not officially take possession of the Rottweiler.

"She said he not doing well. He as an upper respiratory infection. He still hasn't been to surgery," Perez said - referring to the surgery to neuter the animal which is a requirement by animal services before adoption.

Several days after the Perez tried to adopt the dog, she got bad news from shelter officials.

"When we found out he had been put down it was awful. It was like he was already ours."

10 News has reported on at least four incidents in which pets were accidentally euthanized, but the shelter's interim head of operations says this is not one of those cases.

"They got to the euthanasia by mistake," said Ron Spiller, speaking of the previous accidental deaths of euthanized dogs.

The interim operations manager for the shelter insists that Perez was informed that the animal had contracted pneumonia might have to be put down unless adopted it.

"Well, they called at like 4 p.m. and by the time he called and talk to me it was after 5 o'clock again. We couldn't get through," she said.

Spiller admits that mistakes were made during the adoption process when the correct information about Max's health was not passed along to the family initially.

"We don't want this kind of thing happening again. Customer service is a priority and we're striving to make every part of the operation better," Spiller said.

Changes are coming to Hillsborough County Animals Services as earlier as next week.

That is when the organization's new director and operations manager, who were hired from Jacksonville, will officially take over.

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