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Afghan Hero Dog Put Down by Mistake in Arizona

3 years ago
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This ought to outrage dog lovers all over the free world.

A stray dog, adopted by an American soldier after helping prevent a suicide bomber from inflicting mass casualties at a U.S. barracks in Afghanistan, has been euthanized by mistake in Arizona, the New York Times reported.

Target, a shepherd mix, was one celebrated mutt before her untimely death on Monday, the newspaper said. The hero dog appeared on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and other major media outlets after she was brought to the United States with another canine, Rufus, and adopted by Sgt. Terry Young, an Army medic who witnessed the incident in Paktia Province in February.

Afghan hero dog, Target, before she was mistakenly put downAccording to witnesses, Target, Rufus and a third dog intercepted a suicide bomber at the entrance to a barracks in the Dand Aw Patan district near the Pakistani border. Their snarling, snapping and barking apparently caused the militant to detonate his bomb prematurely, killing himself and one of the dogs. None of the soldiers were killed.

Target and Rufus were subsequently shipped to America by a charity and adopted. But last weekend, Target, who appeared acclimated to her new surroundings, escaped from Young's backyard in Florence, Ariz. She was captured and taken to the Pinal County animal control shelter. Young spotted her photo online and paid a fee to recover her. But by the time he got to the shelter to pick her up, she had been put to sleep by lethal injection -- due to a mix-up with another dog.

"My four year-old keeps saying, 'Daddy, bring Target home. Daddy, get the poison out,'" Young told the Times."Obviously, at first there was extreme anger and horror. Now that a couple of days have passed, the anger has been replaced by sorrow."

Hit with criticism, the county ordered an investigation of the mistake and put the unidentified woman who euthanized the dog on administrative leave. But it was too late for Target.

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5 Comments

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Steph

You would think that employee take extra care when holding an animal's life in his/her hands.

My thoughts go out to the family who lost their wonderful friend.

December 15 2010 at 4:53 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
jce1512

Sad story, even sadder is the story of 2 Arinzonans who have been denied life saving transplant surgery due to Governor Brewer's initiation of death panels.

November 20 2010 at 4:44 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Larry

why is this story in the political section?

November 19 2010 at 8:30 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
Pam

This is so horrible to me...how does a healthy dog get euthanized "by mistake"? We Americans need to put a stop to the culture of death that exists at many so-called animal "shelters". Shelters should be safe havens, not death traps. What a waste of life, and a disgusting story all around. My sympathies to the Young family.

November 19 2010 at 8:29 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
mskukla2

This is so sad and such an outrage. How and why did this happen. The culprit who is on administrative leave should be fired.

November 19 2010 at 7:58 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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