Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control, in North Carolina, mistakenly euthanized a family’s dogs and is now conducting an internal investigation to figure out what went wrong.
“They just murdered my dogs for no reason,” said Will Harlee.
Harlee has several pictures and videotapes of his dogs Ralow and Deuce. In one videotape, Ralow is wrestling with Harlee on a bed. In another video, Ralow is playing with Harlee’s infant daughter.
Ralow, a 9-year-old pit bull mix, loved sleeping on pillows.
“Prettiest dog you’d ever see,” said Harlee.
A picture of Deuce shows Harlee’s son riding on the pit bull’s back.
“He would even let the kids walk him,” Harlee said.
They were family.
“They were just like two kids. They just wanted to play,” Harlee said.
Ralow and Deuce crawled through a hole in their fenced backyard last week and wandered away. Animal Care and Control picked them up.
Ralow got loose years ago and had a hold on him if found again, Animal Care and Control officials said.
Animal Care and Control paperwork says Harlee could get his dogs back once he fixed the fence. Harlee made the repairs. But when he arrived at Animal Care and Control, he found out the dogs were dead.
”’I’m sorry Mr. Harlee, but your dogs have been euthanized,’” Harlee said, recalling what he was told.
Animal Care and Control apologized. Harlee said employees told him, “It’s a mistake. No one knows what happened.”
Harlee said he cried in front of his children, who still thought Ralow and Deuce were alive.
“I couldn’t even open the door,” he said.
Now, Harlee says Animal Care and Control needs to be held accountable for its mistake, and he still has questions without answers.
“I need to know why and who,” he said. “I want somebody to lose their job over this. I need an impression that this can’t happen to anybody else.”
“We’re going to look at things very carefully because it does concern us and it’s not something we’re going to sweep under the rug,” said Melissa Knicely with Animal Care and Control. “So it’s important to us to make sure things are handled properly.”
Animal Care and Control says it didn’t hear from the Harlees for a couple of days and say the fence wasn’t fixed when they stopped by. Harlee says he didn’t fix it immediately because it was raining.
Animal Care and Control says it’s working on better communication.