ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – A stray dog that was supposed to get a second chance at life, was accidentally euthanized earlier this week. The mistake comes after an out of state non-profit had already agreed to rescue him.

Giles, a 2-year-old shepherd mix was brought to Roswell Animal Services on July 11. He went in alongside Gillian, soon to be mom of three puppies. Giles was put on the euthanasia list, so the non-profit, Friends of Roswell Animals stepped in to save him. Volunteers didn’t want to separate Giles from his little family. So they worked with another non-profit Noah Center, in Washington, to save all five dogs. “So we had already worked and arranged a special flight to Washington in the 9th of August,” said Sammy Leflar, Friends of Roswell Animals founder.

She said her non-profit has been working with Roswell Animal Services for several years, saving around 1,500 animals per year. This time around something went wrong. Despite Giles being tagged as safe from euthanasia, a miscommunication left to him being put down.

The City of Roswell said Animal Services was in the midst of a busy day of staff training day, which lead to confusion ending with a big mistake. Gillian and her pups will still be flying to Washington state.

Full Statement from The City of Roswell:

“Monday at the animal shelter, there was staff training taking place, rescue groups coming in to retrieve multiple animals, and a number of new animals coming in. As some of these things were occurring simultaneously, the busyness resulted in some confusion and a lack of the standard communication among staff and between staff and rescue groups. Unfortunately, that resulted in the dog in question mistakenly being taken to a veterinarian’s office as part of a group of several dogs to be euthanized.  

When this was later brought to the attention of the Animal Services supervisor, instruction was given to shelter staff to reinforce the proper communication processes and timelines to ensure the shelter is adequately providing information to rescue groups so they can notify the shelter if they see any conflicts regarding animals they have tagged and those designated for euthanasia. In addition, the internal process used by shelter staff when loading (for transport to the veterinarian’s office) animals designated for euthanasia has now been enhanced with an extra cross-check and confirmation of the specific animals before leaving the shelter.  

Animal Services apologizes for the error and appreciates the efforts of the rescue groups to get animals out of the shelter and into good homes. “                

-Todd Wildermuth

Public Information Officer