ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - An Albuquerque woman wants to know why a city animal shelter put her 15-year-old dog down less than 24 hours after they took it in.
The woman said she wasn't given enough time to claim her dog after it wandered off from her home, but the city says it was just putting the dog out its misery.
Phyllis Larue said her 15-year-old dog was named Shadow because she liked to follow Larue everywhere.
But last week, Shadow got out of her sight, turned up at the Westside Animal Shelter that evening and was euthanized the next day.
“I should have had enough time to find her, but I wasn't allowed that time,” said Larue.
She put up flyers and drove through her Westside neighborhood the night she lost her dog on Tuesday, Aug. 20.
The next morning, she called 311 twice to report it and went to Albuquerque's Westside Animal Shelter herself around 10:30 a.m. No one could find Shadow.
Larue returned again at 6 p.m. to find out Shadow had been there and was euthanized that afternoon — 20 hours after being brought in.
Animal Welfare said Larue should have had the dog tagged and microchipped and that Larue’s description of Shadow wasn't specific enough.
Desiree Cawley, marketing manager for Animal Welfare, said Shadow was old, blind, arthritic and emaciated and had to be put down.
“It it's suffering, there is no 24 hours. We have to look at the best interest of the pet,” Cawley said.
Larue said while Shadow was old, she doesn’t believe Shadow was emaciated.
“I got her from the shelter in Aztec because she was going to be euthanized the next day,” Larue said. “I had her for 15 years and then she was euthanized without a just cause as far as I'm concerned.”
Larue said she didn't get Shadow microchipped because the dog was so old, she didn't figure she would be quick enough to wander off. Now, she hopes others learn from her mistake.
Albuquerque requires everyone to microchip their pets and register them every year.
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