NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A North Texas dog owner talked exclusively with CBS 11 News and expressed her outrage after her pet was spayed without her permission.
Taylor Sells says the surgery happened after she had reached out to the City of Irving's Animal Services to try and claim her dog.
As Whiskey, a shepherd mix, looks longingly at another mom's puppies her owner does everything she can to soothe her pet.
"You can just see it now in her face," Sells said looking at her dog. "She's depressed. She sees Charlie [the other dog] with her puppies and knows she can't have them."
Whiskey and Charlie are back home after making a great escape more a week ago. The dogs dug out of their new backyard in Irving, while their owners were busy moving from their country home in Denton.
On a Saturday, two days after the dogs went missing, Sells found their pictures on the City of Irving's website. The pictures had captions which read, "Very pregnant. Needs a rescue."
Sells says she called the shelter immediately, that afternoon, and left a voicemail.
"I figured if you call about a dog who is pregnant, [and] they're desperately trying to find them a rescue online, and you call and say both these dogs are mine, they should be relieved and say, 'okay pick them up.'"
While Charlie came home from the shelter with a litter of 10, Whiskey came back spayed, a sterilization procedure that removes a dog's ovaries.
Animal Services Manager Corey Price says a city ordinance requires the shelter to prepare animals for adoption after they've been in the system for 72 hours. The ordinance exists to help animals get adopted as quickly as possible. Spay or neuter surgeries are a part of getting animals adoption ready.
"The shelter is always receiving animals," Price explained. "We're always at or near capacity. So, it is an urgent thing to keep moving animals towards adoption, to prevent euthanasia."
Price says a veterinarian on site deemed the surgery safe for Whiskey. She says members of the staff also called Sells back and left a voicemail on Saturday to inform her of the policy, but there was never a pickup date communicated. There were only voicemails exchanged between both parties. The surgery happened Tuesday morning.
Price said neither dog had identification tags or microchips... something she says could make a difference. "Animals with identification on, here in Irving, can be held for up to 10 days while we try to reach out to the owner."
Whiskey's owner believes she did everything within her power to relay the information about her pets. "As a responsible owner I did all I could. I called. I was not able to get there. Seventy-two hours is such a short notice."
Price claims her staff called Sells back and left a voicemail on Saturday to inform Whiskey's owners of the policy. Neither dog had identification tags or microchips... something Price says could make a difference. "Animals with identification on, here in Irving, can be held for up to 10 days while we try to reach out to the owner."
Sells maintains that with the shelter closed on Sunday and Monday she believes there was a reasonable expectation that her dog would not have been spayed.
"At least give me until Tuesday afternoon," Sells said. "They did it Tuesday morning. I didn't even have a chance."
If your dog or cat is lost, the best solution, according to Animal Services, is to visit the shelter and search for the animal in person, so you can reclaim your pet as soon as possible.
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