York County family devastated after beloved dog is euthanized

Family fights York County animal shelter over the death of dog

ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - A family in York County is fighting their local animal shelter, saying they had no reason to end the life of their beloved Labrador.

Mike Cunningham says 10 year old Mocha ran away from their home on New Years Eve, somehow, getting through a fence and an electric fence.

But Cunningham says the grief his family is facing over the loss over their dog could have been prevented.

"She won't be here anymore. It's very sad. But there's a lot of anger now," Cunningham said.

Cunningham says his dog was hit by a car on Main Street in York County that night. She was found by Charles Ansell, who called animal control.

"The dog wasn't hurt physically that bad. She had one spot on her right hip. She wasn't in that bad of shape," Ansell said.

Meanwhile, Cunningham searched for his dog of ten years, posting fliers and calling animal control multiple times, until he finally got the devastating news two days later.

"The lady on the phone informed me that yes, she had been struck my a car, and she was euthanized due to severe injury," Cunningham said.

York County Animal Control tells WBTV Mocha was barely breathing and was euthanized on the recommendation of a veterinarian. However, after hearing Ansell's account, Cunningham doesn't buy it.

"To listen to a story of a man that I don't know tell me that he picked my dog up and he pet my dog and my dog was moving her head and was responsive. And then to be told that she was squashed like a grape. I find it hard to believe that there could be that big of an inconsistency in stories," Cunningham said.

Cunningham says he also requested Mocha's ashes and was only given a cardboard box filled with the ashes of multiple animals, since it was a mass cremation.

The county says they're investigating, but that's not enough for Cunningham who plans to take Mocha's fight to the courtroom.

"Nothing I can do to ever bring my dog back, but I want to make sure no one else ever has to go through what we've gone through," Cunningham said.

Cunningham says Mocha was wearing identification on her collar, and that she had a microchip. But York County animal control says they couldn't find a chip.

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