9OYS Wants to Know: How was hero dog accidentally put down?
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Target, a heroic dog who saved the lives of 50 soldiers in Afghanistan, was mistakenly euthanized by an employee at Pinal County Animal Care and Control. Now, many people, including the woman who found Target and turned her in, are wondering how such a terrible mistake could have been made.
On Veterans Day, an unlikely Afghanistan war hero, got lost and ended up at, of all places, an early Thanksgiving dinner. She had somehow wandered away from her home.
"Target came to the door and actually tried to run in the house. So, from there, I put a leash on her and walked her around the neighborhood and asked if anyone knew the dog," explained Theresa, who only wanted her first name used. She was in from Wisconsin visiting family in San Tan Valley.
Theresa believed the two-year-old dog's nose for turkey may have led her astray. And, she knows a thing or two about ladies like Target. Theresa is a veterinarian technician in Wisconsin.
Theresa had no idea this lost dog saved 50 soldiers from a suicide bomber and appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show. And she couldn't possibly know the dog would survive war, only to be accidentally put to sleep by Pinal County Animal Care and Control. Now, Theresa is left to wonder if she's the one who made a mistake.
"It's human nature that I feel bad that there are so many 'what ifs' to the story, that you feel like 'what if I hadn't called and kept the dog another day?' And someone found (Target)? There are too many 'what ifs' to the story," Theresa said.
KGUN9 also had questions for Pinal Animal Care and Control. But, those "what ifs" got shot down; they were not talking. Director Ruth Stalter declined to comment to 9 On Your Side, referring all questions to the public information officer, Heather Murphy, who also would not comment.
But, Target's heartbroken owner, National Guard Sergeant Terry Young did have something to say. He took time to thank Theresa for spending quality time with Target during her last moments here.
"He (Sgt. Young) thanked me for calling, and he appreciated it and it made him feel better," said Theresa.
Pinal County Animal Care and Control released a statement Monday, saying a mistake led to Target's demise. The person responsible was put on administrative leave.
Theresa tells us Target's collar only had a marksman pin on it and a rhinestone charm with the letter "T", presumably for "Target."