Residents concerned over euthanization of family pet - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Residents concerned over euthanization of family pet

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - An animal control officer is in the dog house after putting a dog down just hours after picking him up.

According to his pickup sheet, Pocahontas Animal Control Officer George Pratt, Junior said the dog had hair loss and was neglected, leaving him to make a judgement call.

"When my daughter saw her dog in the back of that truck, she just hit to her knees," says dog owner Everett Rice. Nearly a week ago, his English mastiff, Homer, disappeared. "His collar had wore a spot on his neck and he lost some hair. It was going to make a sore so she loosened it up just a tiny bit," says Rice. Homer apparently wiggled out of the collar and escaped. "We started looking in the yard and everywhere and couldn't find him," says Rice.

The next day, Rice went to Animal Control only to find out "Homer" had been euthanized just a few hours after he was picked up. "It's terrible that they can just pick your dog up due to a bad circumstance, he even told my wife himself that he would have put the dog down sooner if he hadn't had something else to do," says Rice.

"You know when I found out this dog had an owner, it sinks pretty deep and I feel bad," says Pocahontas Animal Control Officer George Pratt, Jr. "If they just would have been following the law and doing what the law says they're suppose to do, I would have never euthanized the animal," says Pratt.

According to state law, if a dog is found running at large with proper tags animal control officers must notify the owner at least five days before destroying the dog. "If the animal has no identification then that subsection doesn't even count. I can terminate the dog at whatever time I think I need to terminate it," says Pratt.

Rice says the city ordinance is different. "They have to wait 10 to 15 days before they put a dog down," says Rice. Animal Control must also make a diligent effort to find the owner, and it doesn't specify any exceptions for dogs without I-D. "We had the Chief of Police tell us that what he did was legal because they he was acting under state ordinance and not local ordinance," says Rice.

Pratt says the city is currently looking to revise the ordinance to require Animal Control keep all dogs for at least three days before ethanizing the animals.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

bio | email feedback


By Amanda Hanson -

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) – Residents in Pocahontas are outraged after hearing the Pocahontas Animal Control euthanized an English mastiff no more than two hours after picking it up.  It happened just over a week ago, leaving many in town concerned.

Coming up tonight on Region 8 News at 6 and 10, hear from the Pocahontas dog catcher about what happened.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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