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
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.
According 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 Now that a couple of days have passed, the anger has been replaced by sorrow."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.