A tragic mistake at a Houston area animal shelter led to the death of two dogs.
Jax, a pit bull mix, and Jake, a purebred French bulldog, were brought to the Fort Bend County Animal Shelter Monday morning. But by closing time, they were dead.
Jax and Jake's owner told KPRC-TV in Houston he put the dogs in a fenced backyard Saturday morning. When he went back 30 minutes later to let them inside, they were gone.
At some point a neighbor found the dogs and took them to the shelter Monday. The shelter says the dogs did not have any identification on them.
Melissa White volunteers with the shelter. She told KPRC she had a rescue ready to take the dogs until the owner could be located.
"We got the whole plan in place. When I was ready to leave, we found out the dogs had been euthanized because of a mistake," White said.
Fort Bend County Animal Shelter officials did not speak to KPRC on camera, but said if a lost animal is found and brought to the shelter, the owner has three days to claim it before it is euthanized. If an owner drops off a pet, it can be euthanized the same day.
White said, "The kennel techs thought that it was an owner turn-in...and they euthanized the dogs thinking they had to make space."
The shelter said protocol wasn't followed here and disciplinary action will be taken.
The shelter's assistant director told KPRC the facility is striving to be a no-kill shelter, but right now it is getting as many as 600 animals brought in per month and not enough people wanting to adopt.
That means space at the facility is very limited.
The dogs' owner said, "They apologized and that's all they could do, and they were very sorry and that's all they could offer, were their condolences."