One-year-old German shepherd Jo Jo was going to make a perfect addition for one local family.
But Jo Jo never made it out of shelter. The lovable pup was euthanized Tuesday, by mistake, at the hands of staff at Hillsborough County Animal Services. He would've gone home later that day.
"It looks like the file was not cleared for euthanasia but the procedure was done," explained Animal Services director Ian Hallett.
"This is their last chance, this is their last stop you can't make a mistake that's it," said Danielle Yoho, who was coincidentally adopting a pair of German shepherds of her own. She can't imagine how a mistake like that could happen.
Turns out, Hallett says, it's happened before due to the large number of animals that come through the shelter, roughly 20,000 a year.
"There needs to be a triple and quadruple check. Whatever it takes to make sure that the dog that is going home goes home," Yoho continued.
Hallett has been criticized by some after taking over as Animal Services director. This won't help to silence them.
As for the euthanasia procedures, he says they're sound, but added advisers are being put in place, in his words, to double-check the double-checkers.
The staff responsible have been reassigned pending the investigation and firings are a possibility.
"Again I want to express my regrets and sadness," Hallett offered.
"It is already done and over with. Let's just make sure that it doesn't happen because it's not fair for the animals and that's what we're here for," added Yoho.
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