Controversy Over Euthanized Dog In Kent County - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Controversy Over Euthanized Dog In Kent County

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CAMDEN, Del. - Controversy surrounds the death of a dog in Kent County, Delaware. Last month, the SPCA in Camden euthanized a pitbull brought in with injuries. But the dog's owners and a local pet rescue claim the action broke state law.

The young pitbull, named Neo, is now the focus of a state investigation. The Wilmington family believes the Kent County SPCA euthanized their dog without letting them know. But Murrey Goldthwaite, executive director of the Kent County SPCA says they where operating within the law. "My question, to the people that had this dog, why did they not contact the animal control to say either it was stolen, missing, stray, or runaway?"

Animal control allegedly found Neo wandering around Wilmington without an ID collar. Officials says he was in bad shape, with dog bite wounds all over his body; primarily around the head, neck, and shoulders. On April 20th, Kent County SPCA staff picked up the dog from the Wilmington SPCA because they traced Neo's microchip back to the Camden, DE facility. 5 days later, they euthanized him.

"When we have an animal come in like this," says Goldthwaite, "we have to make a decision...monetary-wise, the health of the animal and what the animal was actually going through itself." When WMDT asked if the dog was close to death, Goldthwaite said, "It was in very poor physical condition, that's all I can really state at this time."

J.C. Hans runs a local chapter of Canine Nation, an animal rescue group. He rescued Neo from the Kent County SPCA and adopted him out to the Wilmington family. When he heard rumors the pitbull had been seized and euthanized, he tells WMDT he called the SPCA to find out why he or the owners had not been contacted. Goldthwaite told WMDT, "they were contacted back when the animal first came in." But then immediately retracted his statement saying, "I should say they were supposedly contacted...it's a he said, she said thing."

According to Goldthwaite, the microchip gave them superior title to the animal, so they had the right to put the dog down after 5 days holding. Hans disagrees, "It's almost like they're tearing up the transfer contract that we signed when we took the dog. And they are throwing out the window everything that had to do with the microchip. And if that's the case, all the pet owners out there who had their animals microchipped, it's worthless."

There are still many unanswered questions in this investigation. Thursday night, in part two of this series, find out what the Governor's office has to say about all of this.

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