SNYDER, Texas (BigCountryHomepage) – A Snyder family is in limbo after they were told their dog was admitted to the animal shelter and euthanized the same day. However, the shelter’s records say otherwise.
Willie is a “Golden Lab” who is about 1 year old. According to the owner Kassie Estrada, Willie left her home on Tuesday, April 6.
After Willie left, the Estrada family continuously contacted the Snyder Animal Shelter. They checked for their dog Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Estrada says she had left her contact information in the shelter hoping to get a call in case anyone turned in Willie. However, they did not receive any calls.
According to Estrada, the people in the shelter said they remembered her and Willie since they had picked Willie from the shelter before.
Brandell Ziegler found Willie outside her home the evening of Wednesday, April 7, and posted a picture of him on her Facebook to try to find the owners.
Ziegler says she fed Willie and brought him into her house.
“We fed him, gave him water, we even brought him into our house with our dogs, and he was great,” said Ziegler. “We actually loved him, we thought about keeping him if we didn’t find the owner.”
Thursday morning (April 8), Ziegler took Willie into the shelter where they checked if he had any microchips in him. Since Willie did not have any microchips he was put in the back.
“I said, ‘Please let me know if you find the owner, if you don’t find the owner let me know cause I would like to adopt him,'” said Ziegler.
On Sunday, the Estrada family found Ziegler’s post saying Willie was now in the shelter.
“My husband ended going up there on Monday, and he was told they had an outbreak of distemper… they ended up putting all of the dogs and all of the cats down.”
It was heartbreaking news for the Estrada Family. According to Kassie, Willie was vaccinated and did not show any symptoms. Ziegler also said Willie looked healthy and she even let him play with her dogs.
The Snyder Police Department reported a distemper outbreak and advised citizens to check their pets for symptoms Wednesday morning.
Estrada was told she did not receive a call about Willie because he had already been put down on Thursday morning (April 8) by the time she left her number.
However, the records of the animals euthanized on Thursday do not match the description of Willie.
Snyder’s city ordinance regarding the destruction of wounded or diseased animals requires the animal shelter to file a report in writing, as stated below:
Sec. 2.01.008 Destruction of wounded or diseased animals
(a) When from any cause it may happen that any animal within the corporate limits of the city shall be so wounded, maimed, injured, or diseased as to render its recovery hopeless, then it shall be the duty of the animal services officer to cause it to be destroyed. Such destruction shall take place as soon after such injury or discovery as practicable, and shall be conducted in such manner as the animal services officer shall determine to be the least painful. Upon destruction, the animal services officer shall direct or cause the carcass thereof to be lawfully removed and disposed of. When the animal services officer shall cause any animal to be destroyed under this section, it shall be his/her duty to file a report in writing of such destruction with the chief of police. Such report shall show:
(1) A description of the animal destroyed and the name of the owner thereof if known.
(2) The injury which made destruction necessary and how same was inflicted, and by whom if known.
(3) The names of at least two reliable witnesses who are conversant with the facts of the injury and the destruction.
(b) The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to veterinarians or veterinary hospitals.
Big Country Homepage submitted a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for the documentation of all dogs euthanized from Wednesday, April 7 to Friday, April 9.
The records show 10 dogs were euthanized Thursday, April 8, the same day Willie was admitted into the animal shelter.
However, none of those dogs werw admitted on Thursday and euthanized the same day, which would have identified Willie.
The Estrada family is now hoping Willie was mistakenly given up for adoption and hope they can find him again.
The document received through the FOIA request can be found below: