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Two animal shelter workers receive disciplinary review
ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- Escambia County is making changes at the animal shelter after three dogs were put to sleep, by mistake.
This is a story Channel 3 News has been following since August.
New today: Two shelter employees have been put on a disciplinary review.
One a kennel supervisor with 22 years experience.
That follows the removal of the shelter director...
And addition of a new policy that a veterinarian has to review all cases before any animal is euthanized.
We want to know why this is happening and what else is being done to protect Escambia County pets.
The two employees who are in hot water here at the shelter are going through a disciplinary review process that's expected to last about two weeks.
That's more time than these dogs got before the decision was made to put them down
Reporter: What is going on?!
Gene Valentino, Chairman, Escambia County Commission: Good question.
Before we get to my little talk with Escambia County Commission Chairman Gene Valentino, let's review the story so far:
Back in August the shelter accidentally euthanized this dog, Cowgirl, just hours before she was scheduled to be picked up by her owners.
Brittany Meade, Dog Co-owner: "This was such a careless thing that caused the death of our dog"
The manager of the shelter was replaced shortly after that.
Last Thursday the shelter picked up this pooch, Maggie, barking at some kids at a bus stop.
Maggie's owner, who thought she'd be able to come get the dog later, signed papers without reading them, papers that allowed the shelter to euthanize Maggie at their discretion.
Leslie Reeder, Maggie's owner: "Had I seen that, it would have been a whole different ballgame."
Maggie was put down about an hour later - apparently, the shelter was in a hurry.
The latest incident was Friday...
A dog was put down -- even though it was microchipped.
Reporter: "It just keeps happening."
Gene Valentino, Chairman, Escambia County Commission: "Staff is working to clean up this issue and to focus on better controls over the operation."
Reporter: "How would you feel if one of your dogs ended up there?"
Gene Valentino, Chairman, Escambia County Commission: "Oh, you ask me how would I feel? I've got two little shelties...My wife and I would be totally devastated."
As for the dog that was killed Friday, which we don't have a picture of, the county says the animal was picked up on October 18th.
They say they scanned it at that time but couldn't find a chip.
Strays are usually put down after five days.
So they re-scanned the dog again on Friday before euthanizing it and found the chip, but they say the phone number that came up didn't belong to the registered owner and there was no address.
The owner was contacted by email by the company that makes the chips but by the time they found out their dog was dead.
Again, that dog was put down on the day workers found its chip.
Those workers are getting a two week disciplinary review
If that dog got two more weeks it might still be alive today.