GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Think about your family pet and what you would do if it went missing. When a Gastonia man went looking for his lost dog, he found it had already been caught and put to sleep.
Brian Humphries says his beloved Ace had been missing just a matter of hours when he was euthanized.
"They just made an assumption. He's old, one of his legs is messed up, I think we'll kill him," Humphries said.
Humphries said his Chihuahua-Dachsund mix dug under his fence about two weeks ago. He told us he searched the neighborhood and even the local shelter for Ace multiple times, but two days later, he got a call from animal control.
"They said, we retraced our steps and we actually did pick your dog up. And we picked him up and euthanized him immediately. He had an injury," Humphries said.
According to Humphries, that injury was simply a small birth defect that caused Ace to walk with a limp.
"I'm sure he wasn't whining, he wasn't whimpering, he wasn't in any pain. He's had a limp since he was born," Humphries said.
When the family asked, Gaston County's Police Chief wrote them an email, citing North Carolina law which says the animal can be put down before the minimum holding period is up if the animal is seriously ill or injured.
"I don't see how any law could give any one person the authority to just kill something else," Humphries said.
Humphries admits his beloved dog wasn't micro chipped or wearing any identification. Now, he just hopes others will learn from his mistake.
"I never had a chance to try and save my dog. Nothing will ever replace Ace," Humphries said.