Animal control director defends decision to euthanize animal two - WNEM TV 5

Animal control director defends decision to euthanize animal two hours after being picked up

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Laurie Lambeth still can't believe it happened.

“Nowhere in my mindset was the thought that being picked up by Saginaw Animal Control Shelter would result in immediate euthanization,” Lambeth said.

Lambeth's 11-year-old cocker spaniel, Baylee, was euthanized last month, two hours after being picked up by a Saginaw County Animal Control officer.

Baylee faced many challenges, she was completely blind and had a benign tumor on her belly.

She was found wandering in a Birch Run neighborhood with no form of identification.

Still, director Leeann Ridley defends the euthanasia of Baylee.

“We followed every protocol which would have been to consult the vet, which the shelter did and that was the vets decision along with the officer that picked up the dogs decision based on the overall condition of the animal,” Ridley said.

Following an investigation, the county controller found the animal care center correctly followed procedures, despite a recent change in its policy handing stray animals.

“Obviously when someone makes a change, they know that there is something that would be improved,” Lambeth said. “In this case they realized they did a few things that were incorrect.”

Ridley insists the center did nothing wrong. But she does say her officers will now do a little more checking before deciding what to do with a stray animal.

“When we pick up a stray, we will check with the people who found it and check with some neighboring houses to see if they've noticed the dog in the area, if this is a dog that does live somewhere in the community,” Ridley said. 

Lambeth believes if officers did just that, she wouldn't have to experience losing who she considered was part of the family.

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