Columbia family upset dog put down by animal shelter - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia family upset dog put down by animal shelter

By Jackie Faye - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - To many, a dog is more than a pet -- they're a family member.

For this story, the pup named Riley was definitely a family member for Chrissy Gregg and her children.

Two weeks ago, Riley was euthanized at the Columbia Animal Shelter.

"She was the girl in our house, I have two little boys, so she was my little girl," said Chrissy.

Riley got away during a recent thunderstorm. "She dug a hole under our fence," said Chrissy.

Chrissy and her kids hung flyers, then they saw a glimpse of hope.

"That's when we noticed a found cocker spaniel sign," said Chrissy.

Chrissy called LeAnn Scudder who took the dog to the city of Columbia Animal Shelter, but only on one condition.

"They told me that they would keep it for 24 hours," said Scudder.

"We told the woman, the person who found it, that we would try to hold the dog 24 hours because the wounds we saw we're on top, we had not seen what had been done to the belly of the dog," said Marli Drum from the shelter.

LeAnn even left her phone number at the shelter. She never got a call and Riley was put to sleep.

"I would have gone to pick it up, I would not have let them put her down," said Scudder.

Chrissy called to let the shelter know she was coming first thing in the morning.

"They actually spoke with the on-call guy for the Richland County Animal Shelter, not for the City of Columbia," said Drum.

Chrissy expected to get her beloved cocker spaniel back from the shelter, but learned Riley had been put to sleep. She wanted an explanation.

"And she's been looked at by a few veterinarians that I've asked to justify this to me and they just can't justify her being put down," said Chrissy.

"We looked at it and I thought this is a great one to sew back up, and it's unfortunate we didn't have the opportunity to do that," said Dr. Greg Brown from the Sunset Animal Clinic.

"It came down to a point of what to do for the animal right then and there to prevent furthering suffering," said Drum.

The Columbia Animal Shelter usually has a vet on hand, but they are between two veterinarians.

They said if they had gotten the call from Chrissy, they would have never put the dog down and they even tried to call local vets to find the owner before they did.

They also want to remind you how important it is to have ID on your dog, Riley would be at home if that was case.

Copyright 2009 WIS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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