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Amarillo City Manager admits mistakes made concerning euthanization of pregnant pit bull: Threats made against city employees

Amarillo City Manager Jared Miller has admitted some mistakes were made by the city's Animal Management & Welfare department concerning the recent euthanization of pregnant pit bull known on social media as G7.

“We made a mistake when we brought the dog (G7) to the kennel. We did not document properly the status of that dog and the conditions under which it was surrendered. We did not red tag the dangerous dog, nor put it in an isolation kennel so nobody could access it, whether it be volunteers or staff.

"Based on that status, she would have been euthanized early in the morning, prior to delivering any puppies. Because we failed to document properly on intake, the staff that came in in the morning wasn’t aware of the status of the dog.

“At least two volunteers accessed the dog and nothing adverse happened in those interactions. At one point they realized the dog was going into labor, so they told staff and they began constructing a whelping box to aid in that delivery.

"At the same time, the staff became aware of the status of the dog, so the decision was do we let the dog go through the birthing process, which is terribly painful, and then euthanize the dog and puppies, or do we euthanize the dog immediately and any puppies that have been born. The decision was made to euthanize immediately and the reason for that was the dog wasn’t a viable option for foster care or for adoption, because of the dangerous dog status. One of those two choices had to be made," Miller said.

The employee who made the mistake was disciplined and continues to work for the city.

Miller also said there have been threats made against city employees and their families concerning the G7 controversy. The threats have been made via email and social media posts.

Amarillo Police Department’s Public Information Officer Carla Burr confirmed the department is currently investigating the threats.

“We had one subject from out of state send a threat through social media, expressing a desire to come here and do bodily harm to everyone involved. We turned that over to the FBI. The remainder of the threats are generalized and the department’s Detective Division is pursuing those, with no charges having yet been filed," Burr said.

Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson also responded to the controversy.

"I’ve received questions regarding the euthanasia of a female dog last month. It is always sad when any animal is euthanized, and any God-created life is cut short.

"I am very concerned about the pain and potential recovery of a man who was injured by a dog attack and a family that has been traumatized by the dogs they surrendered. I am also shocked and burdened that compassionate, animal-loving people would lash out against other people with words of extreme hate and threats of violence.

"I am thankful we live in a city where people are engaged and passionately determined to make our community better. Please join me in getting the facts and engaging in conversations that will move our city forward in a better way," Nelson said.

The City of Amarillo has released photos and a timeline of events that lead up to the euthanization of G7.

“The first incident was May 8. The male owner originally told the Animal Welfare staffer that interviewed him a stray dog entered the home and attacked him. Later he said it wasn’t a stray dog, it was his dog and provided the full accounting detailing how his female dog attacked a six-month-old juvenile male dog.

"The male dog joined in, the owner attempted to break up the fight and was subsequently attacked by the male dog. He was later euthanized," Miller said.

Here is the timeline released by the city:

May 8th, 2018 at 11:41 PM – An emergency 9-1-1 call was placed to request an ambulance for a male citizen that was bleeding. The injured citizen was transported to a hospital. Injuries sustained were significant and required surgery.

May 9th, 2018 at 12:17 AM – An Animal Management & Welfare (AMW) officer arrived at the hospital to interview the injured citizen for the bite report after being told the attacking dog was a stray. Upon further dialogue, the citizen admitted that the attacking dog was his male dog. According to the report, the fight was instigated when the owner’s female dog started attacking a six month old puppy at which point the male dog joined in the fight.  The owner tried to intervene and was attacked by the male dog which resulted in injuries to the owner.

May 9th, 2018 at 10:58 AM - AMW arrived at the owner’s residence to meet with the owner’s wife who surrendered the male dog to AMW for aggressive behavior toward humans and animals, and the dog was humanely euthanized upon arrival to the shelter.

May 9th, 2018 at 10:11 PM – Another emergency call was made from the same residence to report that a dog had attacked two people and another dog.

May 9th, 2018 at 10:44 PM – AMW arrived at the residence and found the female dog was the attacker. The occupants refused to go back inside the residence while the dog was inside, and the owner surrendered the dog to AMW.

May 9th, 2018 at 11:14 PM – AMW returned to the shelter to impound the surrendered female dog which was subsequently placed in kennel G7. AMW procedure is to “red-tag” a kennel which houses a dangerous animal. This procedure was not followed, and disciplinary action was taken upon discovery.

May 10th, 2018 at approximately 11:30 AM – AMW was notified by a shelter volunteer that the female dog in G7 was in labor. At this time, staff became aware of the dangerous animal status and determined to humanely euthanize the female dog and two puppies. The female dog was euthanized via intravenous injection and the puppies were subsequently euthanized via intraperitoneal injection, in accordance with accepted veterinary medicine practices of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

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