Shelter: Procedure followed when euthanizing dog

Tampa, Florida -- 10 News has learned more about a dog claimed to be accidentally euthanized at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, which used to be called Animal Services.

10 News reported a woman tried to save a dog by following the correct procedures. But after further questioning, 10 News found out the woman's alleged effort to rescue the dog appears to be untruthful.

For the last month, Lisa Lawson has adopted dogs from the Pet Resource Center. She's saved five so far and tried to save a sixth dog on Saturday, a pit bull named Chai.

"I sent the email to the shelter and I said, 'I am on my way,'" said Lawson in an interview with her from Monday.

The Pet Resource Center's director Scott Trebatoski said they have had a new email system in place for months for adopting "high risk" dogs that are about to be euthanized -- and Lawson is familiar with that newer email system -- yet Trebatoski said this time Lawson's email never came to them.

"We didn't receive an email," said Trebatoski. "We looked in the trash we looked every possible place.

But Lawson forwarded 10 News the email she claimed to send and said that email should have stopped the euthanization. It said it was sent Saturday July 13th at 11:45 a.m.

"The reason we could not find her email is because we screen grabbed the email from the 10 News story and her email had an invalid date," explained Trebatoski. "Her email said Saturday July 13th, when Saturday was actually July 12th."

10 News called Lawson and she claimed she did not know about that date change in her email.

"The dates do not change, because I asked you to send it directly from your Sent Box to me so I could report it accurately," said 10 News to Lawson.

"I was looking at that too and I was like, 'What the heck?'" responded Lawson. "I honestly don't know how it happened."

Trebatoski is disappointed Lawson made allegation that the dog was euthanized after she claimed it for adoption. However, the shelter said their records did show she made a call to a volunteer to stop the euthanization, but by then it was too late.

"That person went to our rescue coordinators at 12:30 and said, 'Hey, we think we got an adopter,' so our pet rescue coordinator pulled the animal up in order to pull it off the list and said, 'I'm sorry, the animal was euthanized at 12:03,'" explained Trebatoski.

Lisa said her goal with her interview is to change the times of euthanization and the email process, but Trebatoski argues the process works; adoptions are already up 20 percent since April.

"It's a new era here," said Trebatoski. "We are taking on new challenges. I would not be surprised to see 70 percent of the animals leaving alive after the first year. We started at 45 percent."

The email system to save high risk dogs works like this: The shelter puts out a list at 5 p.m. You have until 9 a.m. to send them an email that says you will come by before 10 a.m. to take that dog home, and it has worked for several of Lisa's saved pets.

To learn how to save high risk dogs and cats use this link to the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center.

PHOTOS: Top 10 Reasons to adopt a pet from a shelter


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