Letter: Upset by euthanizing of returned dog


To the editor:

My husband and I decided to adopt a 5-year-old redbone coonhound named Ned from the Berkshire Humane Society on Nov. 15. This dog was perfect with other dogs and children and really stole our hearts. However, he had severe separation anxiety whenever he was left alone and we tried just about everything — pheromone collar, Prozac, melatonin chews, calming oil drops to put in food, pheromone oil diffuser, music and clothes with our scent on it — we even tried giving him the run of the house, putting him in a crate, and letting him run in an outdoor kennel, all of which he escaped from.

I went back to the Humane Society about a month after adopting him, and that is when they provided me with the calming chews and pheromone collar, and the staff member helping us stated, "If this doesn't work out, you're always welcome to bring him back here." When we adopted this dog, they made us sign a contract stating that if we were unable to take care of him you cannot give him to a third party and you must bring him back to the Humane Society.

My husband and I made the very hard decision to bring him back this past Thursday. It was one of the hardest decisions we ever had to make, but we knew Ned wasn't a good fit for our family since we didn't have the time and resources to work with him through these separation anxiety issues. Since dropping Ned off, I checked the Society's website hourly to see when it would re-post him for adoption, but they hadn't updated the page. I called last Saturday to check on him and I was told they were sorry but management made the decision to euthanize the dog.

I don't understand why no one told me this was going to happen when I surrendered him to the shelter, and I don't understand why they force you to bring an animal back someplace that is going to kill it instead of finding it a perfect home. Ned would have done great with someone who works from home or could spend the majority of the day with him. They even could have contacted a redbone coonhound rescue and someone that is educated about the breed could have given him a nice home.

We were told Ned was only 5 and adopted two other times and brought back when we signed our contract to adopt him, but it was not stated that if we brought the dog back again he would be euthanized. I even donated a 50-pound bag of dog food when I surrendered him to make sure he had enough.

I am so upset with the Berkshire Humane Society, and I just want answers and justice for Ned.

Shauna Hoffman,

Stephentown, N.Y.



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