CHICAGO (CBS) -- The death of a diseased, stray mastiff-terrier mix named Tatum has drawn more than 4,000 comments on the Facebook page of an animal welfare group that's taking Chicago Animal Care and Control to task.
WBBM Newsradio's Steve Miller reports the Facebook page of the Trio Animal Foundation faults Chicago Animal Control for not giving Tatum "the respect that she deserved" before she died.
Graphic photos show Tatum's 4 1/2 pound mammary tumor.
Trio founder Sue Naiden had her organization's vets remove the tumor as soon as she could take custody of Tatum. She said Chicago Animal Control should have done more, sooner.
"There are some great people that work at Animal Care and Control. It's just that their hands are tied. There's only so much they can do. And everybody's afraid to get in trouble," she said.
Naiden said the city should have euthanized the obviously diseased dog early on, but didn't because Animal Control was afraid of being sued by the owner. The city also has a five-day hold on strays, to give the owner a chance to come forward.
Naiden faulted the city for not doing surgery during those five days.
"Not an ounce of respect was given to this dog from the minute she walked into that place," Naiden said.
Animal Control said its vets stabilized Tatum and cared for her, but advised against surgery. They also said Tatum "was kept in the largest and driest cage in the entire facility," and that a vet even fed her a steak for dinner.
At the end of the five-day hold at Animal Control, Naiden and her veterinarians decided to remove the tumor.
In the end, after Naiden's vets removed the tumor, Tatum died.
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