Police dog mistakenly euthanized

Nov. 28, 2009 at 10:06 AM

HOWARD LAKE, Minn., Nov. 28 (UPI) -- An aging police dog escaped his kennel in Howard Lake, Minn., and was euthanized when a shelter couldn't determine who owned him, officials said.

Eleven-year-old Felony had helped the Howard Lake Police Department uncover $25,000 worth of narcotics since 2002. He was slowing down but still rode most nights in a squad car, Police Chief Tracy Vetruba said.

"Our evening officers loved having him along," Vetruba said.

On Oct. 30, Felony escaped his kennel and wandered to the yard of Howard Lake resident Tammy Bren, who surrendered him to shelter officials, The Star Tribune of Minnesota reported Saturday.

In a communications mix-up, the police failed to learn Felony had been taken to an animal shelter in Buffalo, Minn., and the shelter couldn't determine who owned the dog because he wasn't wearing identification tags. Felony was deemed unfit for adoption because he was aggressive toward shelter officials, so he was euthanized him Nov. 6, the Star Tribune reported.

The police learned of Felony's death when Bren saw his photo of the black Labrador in the local paper and told them to contact the shelter.

"He was nearing the end of his service career with his age getting up there," Vetruba said. "We just didn't expect it to end quite like this."

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