A woman says someone "too lazy to double-check a mix-up" at the city animal shelter caused the accidental death of her dog.
"Shouldn't there be special efforts so mistakes like this aren't made?" asked Nicki Lucia, who said she will take legal action against the shelter.Jay Eakle, shelter director, has launched an internal investigating into the incident. But, he said, Lucia changed her story after the dog was killed.
Lucia said her dog, Sheba, broke free from her backyard chain a week ago Friday and was captured by animal control officers.
The shelter agreed to reduce the $90 release fee by half, if Lucia would have the dog spayed.
"So I agreed, and she was going to be sent over to the vet on Tuesday. I checked on her and gave her cage number and told them that she had a blue collar and choke chain," Lucia said.
The day after the surgery, Lucia said she got a call from the vet saying the city had sent them a 10-year-old dog that had already been spayed.
"They had called animal control and Ogden had told them nothing would happen to the other one until I got there," Lucia said.
But when she arrived, Lucia learned Sheba had been killed by an animal control officer.
Lucia said the workers at the shelter's front desk told her the man who euthanizes the animals knew there was a mistake and that he was putting the wrong dog to sleep.
"But he did it anyway," she said.
She suspects shelter workers put tags on the wrong dog when she bought a license for Sheba between the time the dog was captured and the scheduled surgery.
The dog the city delivered to the vet "wasn't anywhere close to my dog. It was an old female dog twice the size of Sheba," said Lucia.
But Eakle has a different version of events.
He said Lucia did not identify the dog that was killed as the one that belonged to her. Both dogs were female black labs. The one sent to the vet was wearing tags indicating it was Lucia's dog, he said.
"The circumstance is that she said this other dog, the one that was sent to the vet, was hers all along," he said. "Now, we are talking about another dog."