Florida resident Shawntae Rosetta and her family owned two dogs – sisters Hershey and Roxy.
When the Rosetta family decided they were going to move, they realized they wouldn’t be able to bring the dogs with them. The Rosettas tried to give the dogs away to friends, but when no one offered to take them in, the Rosettas did what hundreds of people do every day – they donated them to the local animal shelter to be adopted.
Their plan seemed like it was going to work. After a few days in the shelter, Hershey was scheduled to be adopted by a new family. But one day Shawntae’s mother called and said she saw Hershey featured in a news story.
“My mom called and she said, 'Hershey was on the news.' I was like, 'Oh did someone adopt him?' and she was like, dead (silent) for a moment," Rosetta said.
Rosetta then learned that Hershey had been euthanized at the Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) shelter.
She rushed to the shelter to pick up Roxy to prevent her from being euthanized as well, but she was too late. Roxy had been put down as well.
The shelter called the euthanasias a procedural error.
As if the killing of the dogs wasn’t bad enough, veterinarian Dr. Ridgeway from OCAS responded to questions about the killings in an email that was less than apologetic, to say the least.
"It was not until I got your email that I realized why I came back to OCAS. Besides being stupid, I wanted to get dumb emails from people like you that make my day," Ridgway wrote. "Emails like yours are so stimulating it makes hard working people want to butter up to you to make you happy -- believe me they will.
“I suggest that you attempt to go to veterinary college and when you graduate, if you can, you come take my job.”
Click here to see the full email from Dr. Ridgeway.
Dil Luther, a division manager from OCAS, released a more empathetic statement on the euthanasias.
“We are terribly sorry for this mistake and our hearts go out to the adopting family," Luther said. “An occurrence such as this is extremely rare. However, it happened and it's an error we do not take lightly. We have already reinforced our procedures to ensure this does not happen again."