Family: Shelter put dog down despite them wanting it back

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A family is mourning the loss of their dog after they say it was euthanized by Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services even though they were reassured the dog was safe and they wanted it back.

Kane, a pit mix, was in the hands of the city service for a little more than a week. The family said when they showed up to bring Kane home, he was already put down.

Christian Louis and Carol Smith said Kane escaped when a friend was watching him, and the shelter got him on Nov. 7.

Smith said he was supposed to pick up Kane on Nov. 13 but called 904-630-CITY the day before to say she couldn't because she worked until 6 p.m.

Louis and Smith said someone from the city told them Kane could be picked up on Nov. 16, but when the family showed up, he was already put down. The family said Animal Control said it was because there wasn't enough room for him.

"They need space? But when you look online, they have dogs in there since September, and they are telling me they couldn't keep my dog for four days?" Smith said.

The family said they were never notified that there wasn't enough room.

"She said their main goal is to re-home animals, but this dog has an owner that wanted it, never tried to contact him," Louis said.

Smith said she was told the dog would be safe as long as he didn't bite anyone.

"I said, 'Well, did he bite anyone?' And she said no," Smith said.

She said she called the city every day worried about Kane.

"'He's in with the aggressive dogs. Are you sure he's going to be OK?'" Smith said. "They assured me at 630-CITY that my dog would be OK. But they put him down on Friday, and no one tried to contact me."

Louis said the city and the shelter have a different understanding of what safe is.

"The call center told us our dog was safe, but she was like, 'Once an animal enters a kill center, they are never safe," Louis said.

The family had Kane for nearly three years. They hope the city will fund a phone line for the shelter so there will be better communication for other families in the future.

A city of Jacksonville spokeswoman released released Animal Care and Control's kennel card for the dog, but said they have no record that the family contacted the city about the dog.  Yet it is in the city records that Smith would adopt the dog because she wanted to adopt him.

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