Bruce King of the Detroit Health Department, which oversees animal control, said an injunction against the euthanizing issued by a Wayne County Circuit judge never reached his department, the Detroit Free Press reported Friday.
The pit bull, dubbed Ace, was euthanized Thursday following departmental policy, he said, noting Detroit Animal Control does not adopt out or release pit bulls or pit bull mixes unless proof of ownership can be established through a license or supporting documentation.
The dog was found last week in a Detroit Ace hardware store.
Detroit resident Nitta Moses said she believed Ace was her dog that had been stolen, her attorney, Corbett O'Meara, said.
O'Meara said he gave a copy of the injunction preventing Ace from being killed to a security guard at the Animal Control office Wednesday but received a call from the city's Law Department Thursday saying officials never got it.