MARTINEZ, Calif. – Investigation into the erroneous euthanization of an already-adopted dog last month is nearly complete. As Contra Costa Animal Control Services wraps up its probe, new procedures may be part of the findings.
“We are going to work hard to ensure this never happens again,’’ said department spokesman Steve Burdo, who noted 2011 as the last time such a tragedy occurred.
“We take this hard,’’ he continued, “and we are going to use this as an opportunity to learn from it.’’
An investigation to learn how the process broke down in the case involving Barbie, a 4-year-old Pit Bull mix who was mistakenly euthanized by Martinez Shelter staff June 18, commenced immediately following the incident.
Animal Control has seen a sharp rise in its live release goals since 2011 when the percentage was just 46 percent. By the end of 2015, the percentage had reached 75 percent, and through May of this year, the live release rate had inched upwards to 79.4 percent.
“We clearly did not hit the mark this time,’’ Burdo lamented. “This is more the exception than the rule.’’
Animal Control Services does not have the benefit of managed intake, so it must accept between 25 to 40 animals each day.
As a result, like a used car dealership, it has to hustle to ensure a lot of adopting is occurring at its Martinez and Pinole shelters to balance its available shelter space.
To that end, Burdo said staff works hard to help citizens achieve adoption. This includes a lot of promotions to remove the financial burden that may prevent prospective candidates from taking home a cat or dog.
An example of a promotion now through Saturday, July 9, involves free adoptions of animals at the shelters that already have been spayed or neutered.
Another solution involves working with rescue groups so the caregiver serves as a foster home for the animal as “a way to get (citizens) on the road to animal companionship.’’