A friendly three-year-old Labrador retriever mix named Cowgirl was mistakenly euthanized by the Escambia County Florida Animal Shelter on Friday in Pensacola, Fla. just hours before her owners were to bring her home; all because the dog’s intake card did not have an “arrow” drawn on the top right hand corner with the one word “over,” indicating the dog was claimed and going home.
According to the social media Facebook group, Lost and Found Pets of Pensacola and Surrounding Areas, the owner of the dog, Danielle Riggens, admitted her frisky, playful female brindle and brown canine pal was a bit of a scamp and mistakenly ran away last Monday. That’s when Escambia County Animal Control picked her up.
By Wednesday, Riggens was already able to track Cowgirl’s location and stated she had been in constant contact with the shelter, but because of her work schedule wouldn’t be there until Saturday to claim Cowgirl. Missing her dog very much, Riggens decided to send her roommate over to the facility located at 200 W. Fairfield Drive on Wednesday afternoon and pick up Cowgirl, however the shelter stated they would not release Cowgirl to anyone but her owner.
According to Brittany Ann Meade who went to the facility to claim Cowgirl for her roommate, the policy of the shelter is take the information card of the dog – in this case A250885, and when the owner comes in to claim their dog, the front office person notates the information on the card, and in the top right corner draws an arrow with the word “over” indicating to the staff the dog is safe.
Before Cowgirl was given her lethal injection, no one checked the back of her card.
In a heartbreaking post on Facebook which every dog parent can relate, Danielle Riggens stated:
” All I can think about is how happy she was getting that leash put around her thinking she was coming home, or going for a walk, or someone was taking her out to play …unfortunately she had no clue what was about to happen – either did we…”
At 12:45 on Friday, Cowgirl was put to sleep; the staff telling her owner the dog was “accidentally put down” because the staff did not read the notes on her paperwork.
Riggens plans to meet with the shelter and an attorney. Nothing will bring Cowgirl back, but Riggens wants to be the voice for other lost pets.
Escambia County Animal Shelter did not return any phone calls.
Rest in peace Cowgirl.
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