A woman brought her dog to the shelter to be euthanized. A year later, the dog is again available for adoption

Last year, when Kristie Pereira found herself exhausted and running out of options after seeking help from two veterinary clinics, she was faced with the heart-wrenching choice of taking her severely sick puppy to a Maryland shelter for euthanasia.

Last week, she was taken aback when she discovered that the dog she had adopted was now up for adoption at the very same pet rescue organization.

“I have numerous inquiries, but above all, my utmost desire is to have him return to me,” Pereira expressed to The Associated Press on Friday.

Pereira, currently residing in San Antonio, shared that she was based in Maryland at the time when she made a payment of $450 in late 2022 to adopt a 2-month-old hound mix from a nearby organization called Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation.

She named the puppy Beau, and they quickly became inseparable. Beau would snuggle next to her as she worked, sleep in her bed, and even tag along with her when Pereira left the house. However, within weeks, it became evident to Pereira that something was amiss with the puppy.

According to a veterinarian, the suspected cause of Beau’s health issue was neurological. Although blood tests indicated a potential liver problem, Pereira was given liver enzymes and assured that she would witness noticeable improvements if Beau’s liver was indeed the underlying problem.

The dog’s condition continued to deteriorate. According to Pereira, the dog’s veterinarian, the clinic’s lead veterinarian, and an animal emergency room veterinarian all reached a consensus that the dog’s inability to control his bowels and lift his hind legs indicated a serious neurological issue.

Pereira, a 32-year-old digital marketing professional, was shocked when she received a quote of up to $12,000 for a series of tests to determine the health of her beloved pet, Beau. Despite the high cost, Pereira was determined to find a way to afford it, as saving Beau’s life was her utmost priority.

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She recalled being told that there was a very slim chance of finding the root cause of the problem, and even if they did, the chances of it being something that could be fixed were even smaller.

They started suggesting that it might be more humane to euthanize the puppy, which she wasn’t ready to consider. She held out for another month.

Throughout the entire ordeal, Pereira mentioned that she continuously sought advice from the staff at Lost Dog & Cat Rescue.

Pereira expressed her honest sentiment, stating that she felt reassured and confident in her decision to euthanize her pet after speaking with them. She emphasized the support and encouragement she received from them, acknowledging that although it was a difficult decision, it was ultimately the best course of action.

Having experienced several sleepless nights witnessing Beau’s evident pain, Pereira made the difficult decision to take him to Montgomery County Animal Services in Derwood, Maryland, in late March 2023. She paid $15 for the euthanization procedure but was informed that the shelter’s policy prohibits individuals from being present during the process.

Last week, while visiting her mother in Maryland, she couldn’t help but feel curious about the dogs available for adoption on the rescue’s website. That’s when she came across Beau’s picture. Despite his growth, the puppy still had the same markings and went by the name Amos Hart, the name given to him by the rescue before she adopted him. It was a name inspired by a character from the musical “Chicago.”

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The shelter confirmed through phone calls that they did not euthanize her dog as the veterinarians believed that it was unnecessary. Instead, the shelter reached out to Lost Dog & Cat Rescue and returned the puppy to them.

The rescue organization has confirmed on Friday, through a written statement, that their veterinarians have thoroughly examined the dog and found no neurological issues. After conducting tests to diagnose a liver problem and successfully performing a $7,000 surgery, which was funded through a GoFundMe campaign, the dog has been declared healthy.

Pereira was not informed about any of it. According to Pereira, she had to make the decision to pay $7,000 to bring Beau back. She mentioned that it took the rescue several days to respond to her calls, and when they finally did, it was someone she had never spoken to before.

In tears, she shared her distressing experience of receiving a call from an individual who displayed rudeness and disrespect towards her. The person went as far as making hurtful accusations, claiming that she had abandoned him and left him to suffer alone. These words deeply affected her, as she was accused of lacking care and concern for the person in question.

Pereira received a call informing him that the dog “will never go back to you.” The caller then abruptly ended the conversation.

Chloe Floyd, a spokesperson for the rescue, declined to comment on whether any staff member had made those remarks to Pereira. However, she justified the organization’s choice not to retrieve the dog.

According to Floyd, in a written statement, LDCRF does not re-home a dog that has been surrendered by its owner with its former adopter/owner. She emphasized that their mission is focused on saving adoptable dogs that are safe for the community from being euthanized.

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The rescue organization confirmed that it had a conversation with Pereira while she was contemplating whether to euthanize the puppy. During the discussion, the rescue stressed the significance of taking the dog to a veterinarian who would permit Pereira to be present during the euthanasia process. Additionally, they emphasized that if she was unable to fulfill this requirement, the rescue would take the dog back.

The rescue and the shelter both criticized Pereira for not agreeing to undergo extensive testing to determine if the cat was experiencing neurological problems.

According to Caroline Hairfield, the executive director of Montgomery County Animal Services, the organization is obligated by contract to return surrendered animals to the rescue. She emphasizes that their actions are limited due to this contractual agreement.

According to Hairfield, Pereira has garnered sympathy from everyone, but the decision to return the dog to her lies solely with the rescue.

She said that it is a civil issue between the two of them and clarified that they haven’t had the animal in their care for a year.

The dog was still up for adoption on the rescue’s website on Friday.

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