Carol Towry thought she was doing the right thing when she dropped off a pregnant, stray dog at an animal shelter in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last week. Now, she's devastated at the consequences. Brownie, the dog was on the verge of giving birth.
I didn't want her to have her babies outside.
Towry says she feared for Brownie's pups if they were born as strays. On Nov. 9, Towry took Brownie to Tulsa Animal Welfare, the city's animal shelter. She visited the shelter daily.
Meanwhile, several animal rescue groups showed interest in fostering Brownie, Towry says. They were trying to finalize a foster.
On Wednesday, Towry went to visit Brownie, but she was no longer in the kennel.
"She was pregnant and she and her puppies were euthanized," said Jean Letcher, manager of TAW. The shelter has a three-day, stray policy. After that period, the shelter legally owns the animal, which can then be adopted, fostered or euthanized.
Carol Towry took to her Facebook page to voice her regret and despair.
We failed her, the system failed her.
"People failed this dog," Letcher said. When Towry found out about Brownie, distraught, she turned to social media. She says had she known this would happen, she would have left Brownie on the streets. She also said a lot of people were interested in the dog, including the Lab Rescue of Oklahoma, which Towry says messaged TAW about Brownie. But, Letcher says otherwise.
"No one called our animal placement coordinator, no one let us know that there was interest in this particular animal," Letcher said. The shelter is fighting over-population and because Brownie was pregnant she couldn't be transferred to another shelter.
She says before euthanizing an animal, they look at the age, health, behavior and what is already in the shelter. "We already have one mom with 10-day-old puppies and another mom with 10 to 15-day-old puppies in the shelter, and we did not need any more puppies."
Towry says the shelter should have had records of her visits and of interested rescue organizations, but they chose to euthanize Brownie before the public had a chance to rescue her.
If there's one thing people should take away from Brownie's story, it's to spay and neuter your pets so this doesn't keep happening.
So far this month, TAW has taken in 550 animals and euthanized 154.