Dog owner surrenders pet to be euthanized, but a year later the dog is available for adoption.

Last year, Kristie Pereira found herself exhausted and running out of options after seeking help from two veterinary clinics. With a heavy heart, she made the difficult decision to bring her sick puppy to a shelter in Maryland to be euthanized.

Last week, to her surprise, she discovered that the dog she had adopted was now up for adoption at the very same pet rescue organization where she had initially gotten it.

“I have so many questions, but above all, my main priority is getting him back with me,” Pereira expressed to The Associated Press on Friday.

Pereira, currently residing in San Antonio, recalls working from her home in Maryland when she made a payment of $450 in late 2022. This payment was made to adopt a 2-month-old hound mix from a local organization called Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation.

Beau, the name given to the puppy, formed an inseparable bond with her owner. Whether it was snuggling next to her while she worked, sleeping in her bed, or joining her on outings, Beau was always by her side. However, Pereira soon noticed that something was amiss with the puppy.

The veterinarian determined that the problem was likely of a neurological nature. Although blood tests indicated a possible liver problem, Pereira was given liver enzymes and assured that she would notice a quick improvement if Beau’s liver was indeed the cause.

According to Pereira, the dog’s condition continued to deteriorate. The veterinarians involved, including the dog’s own veterinarian, the clinic’s lead veterinarian, and an animal emergency room veterinarian, were unanimous in their assessment. They all agreed that the dog’s inability to control his bowels and lift his hind legs indicated a serious neurological issue.

Pereira, 32, who works in digital marketing, revealed that the cost for conducting a series of tests to determine the solution was estimated to be as high as $12,000. Although this price tag came as quite a surprise, Pereira emphasized that she would have been willing to find a way to afford it in order to save her beloved pet, Beau.

She remembered being told that there was a minimal chance of identifying the problem and an even smaller likelihood of finding a solution for it.

When faced with the suggestion of euthanizing the puppy, she refused to entertain the thought, stating that she wasn’t prepared for that option. Instead, she held out for another month.

Pereira mentioned that she continuously sought advice from the staff at Lost Dog & Cat Rescue throughout the entire process.

Pereira expressed her feelings, stating that she felt reassured and confident about her decision to euthanize her pet after consulting with others. She emphasized that their support and encouragement played a crucial role in helping her realize that sometimes it is the best course of action, despite the difficulty involved.

After enduring multiple sleepless nights witnessing Beau’s obvious pain, Pereira made the difficult decision to take him to Montgomery County Animal Services in Derwood, Maryland, in late March 2023. She paid $15 for the euthanasia procedure, but was informed that the shelter’s policy prevented her from staying with her beloved pet during the process.

During a recent visit to her mother in Maryland, curiosity led her to the rescue’s website to browse through available dogs for adoption. It was there that she came across Beau’s photo. Although he had grown bigger, he still had the same markings and went by the name Amos Hart, which was given to him by the rescue before she adopted him. The name was inspired by a character from the musical “Chicago.”

After confirming with the shelter, it was revealed that her dog was not euthanized as the veterinarians believed that it was unnecessary. Instead, the shelter reached out to Lost Dog & Cat Rescue and returned the puppy to them.

The rescue organization released a detailed written statement on Friday, stating that their veterinarians did not find any neurological issues with the dog. The dog underwent various tests, which revealed a liver problem. Thanks to a successful GoFundMe campaign, the organization was able to cover the $7,000 surgery cost, and the dog was ultimately declared healthy.

Pereira, who said she would pay the $7,000 cost to get Beau back, was not informed about any of it. She mentioned that it took the rescue several days to return her calls, and when they finally did, it was someone she had never spoken to before.

In tears, she shared her experience of receiving a call from a person who displayed rudeness, disrespect, and a nasty attitude towards her. The caller accused her of abandoning him and leaving him to die, claiming that she never cared about him.

Pereira received a heart-wrenching call, informing him that the dog “would never return to him.” The caller abruptly ended the conversation.

Chloe Floyd, a spokesperson for the rescue, declined to comment on whether any staff member made those statements to Pereira. However, she supported the choice not to give the dog back.

According to Floyd, in her written statement, LDCRF does not re-home a dog surrendered by its previous owner with the same adopter. The organization’s main goal is to rescue dogs that are adoptable and pose no threat to the community, thereby preventing them from being euthanized.

During her deliberation about whether to euthanize the puppy, Pereira had a conversation with the rescue. The rescue made it clear to her that it was crucial to take the dog to a veterinarian who would allow her to be present during the euthanasia process. If she was unable to do so, the rescue emphasized that they would take the dog back.

The rescue and the shelter blamed Pereira for not agreeing to the comprehensive testing to determine if the dog was experiencing any neurological problems.

According to Caroline Hairfield, the executive director of Montgomery County Animal Services, they are contractually obligated to return surrendered animals to the rescue organization. She emphasized that their ability to take action is limited in this regard.

According to Hairfield, Pereira has garnered sympathy from everyone, but the decision on whether the rescue will reunite her with the dog lies in their hands.

According to her, the dispute between the two parties is a civil matter, and it has been a year since they had the animal in their care.

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