Family whose dog is mistakenly euthanized picks up ashes
The trust is broken for a Central Illinois family whose dog was mistakenly put down at a local animal control. The Wang family said at first they thought it was a cruel joke only to find out their dog, Moses, was actually dead.
The Wang family just moved into their new Morton, Ill. house a few weeks ago hoping for a happy ever after with their son and dog, both six years old. Monday, they were supposed to bring Moses home from Animal Control to his bed and favorite toys, but instead brought him home as ashes in a small box because of a mistake by the staff.
Tony Wang still can’t believe that their beloved lab-shepherd mix, Moses, is dead.
Moses was full of life and protective of his best 6-year-old best friend Kellan.
“He’s my dog,” Kellan said. “He likes kissing me.”
It all started about two weeks ago, when a maintenance worker came through the backyard unannounced, opened the gate and walked in. When young Kellan came to answer and open the door, Moses acted, biting the man’s leg.
“He just tried to protect his property, perhaps his family,” Tony said.
The Wangs took the man to urgent care and proactively called Tazewell Animal Control, who said Moses must be quarantined for 10 days to check for diseases like rabies.
“I’m regretting that I didn’t stay there longer,” Tony said remembering the Wednesday before Moses’ death. “Just because right before I left he tried to jump, give licks, and I said ‘oh hey, I’ll be back tomorrow’.”
Tony went to visit Moses every day during his lunch break and after work, often bringing treats and food. Tony pleaded to keep Moses in quarantine in the comfort of their home but Animal Control said that it was protocol to keep him at the center. Then, just four work days into Moses at the center, kept in a kennel, the family got the call.
Thursday, Jennifer Wang was at work and said she thought it was a cruel prank, but when she realized it wasn’t she said she was “hysterical and crying.”
She told the person who called to talk to Tony.
“[Moses] hadn’t been there for four days,” Tony said. “And now he’s lying there cold… very cold…”
Tony immediately left work to Tazewell County Animal Control. He still had hope the staff mixed Moses up with another animal.
When Tony got to the room in animal control, he said Moses was lying on the ground with a blanket over his lifeless body. He had to check, still with hope, but that all went away when he saw it was indeed Moses.
“I asked him because all he did was stand there,” Tony said of the man in the room. “I asked him how could this happen, and he said he was informed by the staff that he was supposed to euthanize a gold dog.”
Tony said Moses was euthanized without being sedated with a heart stick, which is a poison syringe.
Tazewell County Animal Control said in a statement:
"On August 7th, Tazewell County Animal Control mistakenly euthanized a dog that was being held in our facility on a 10-day bite quarantine. Tazewell County truly regrets this error. Tazewell County will be reviewing policies and procedures to prevent any such occurrence from happening in the future."
The Wangs said they treated Moses like another son. They said Moses and their son grew up together. When they got Moses six years ago, they saved him from getting euthanized. Moses was one day away from being euthanized when Tony found him and took him home. They never expected this to happen. Jennifer is pregnant with another child and said she wanted the newborn to grow up with Moses too.
“I have his collar and his ashes,” Kellan said. “I wish he were alive.”
The Wang family just got a lawyer Monday to assess the situation. They are hoping for justice. The Wang family said all animal controls across the nation need to make sure this never happens again.