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Midland woman loses her dog after mistaken euthanization with Midland Animal Services

The city will now begin an investigation to see what happened to Luna and how to keep it from happening.

MIDLAND, Texas — A Midland woman is looking to raise awareness after her dog Luna was mistakenly euthanized at Midland Animal Services (MAS).

Her owners waited on word for Luna - a seven-month old pitbull - for up to five days after she went missing. 

The owner's discovered she was missing in the morning when they wanted to feed her.

"In the morning we went to go fill up her bowl and the other dog's bowl," said Luna's owner, who wished not to be named.

According to MAS, a Midland resident called the Animal Services to let them know Luna was under their house.

When staff saw she wasn't microchipped, they held onto Luna and tried to keep her healthy.

“This animal came in, wasn't microchipped and was put in the isolation and quarantine pods," Christen Bolotov, a MAS staff veterinarian, said. "That is the pods that intake animals come into to protect like for quarantine until they're healthy.”

Staff assumed the pod was disease free but soon learned that wasn't the case.

“The pod that they were put in was presumed healthy and there were no signs of disease at the time," Bolotov said. "Within the day that the animal was there, other animals became sick with a presumed infectious upper respiratory disease and the entire pod was euthanized.”

Normally, a stray animal taken in by MAS can't be euthanized for 72 hours, but staff said the infectious disease warranted a quicker euthanization.

City officials kept in contact with Luna’s owners, who were understandably upset about losing their dog.

It’s what made them step up and begin an investigation into the protocols and systems that MAS take.

City manager Tommy Gonzalez will spearhead that investigation and he already has a suggestion.

“Anytime you have any event that occurs where you want to maybe have a better outcome, you have an after action review," Gonzalez said. "So we'll have an after action review of this just like we would have anything else and then see what we can do to improve processes and systems. We've already mentioned one key way to do that and that's more microchipping for the animals.”

Gonzalez hopes to take Luna's body, which has been cremated, and reunite it with her owners.

As far as the owner, she wants to make sure nothing like this ever happens to any other animal again.

"We need to bring awareness for other dogs so that Luna doesn't die in vain," the owner said.

Meanwhile, Fix West Texas is honoring Luna's memory by offering a deal on microchips. For the rest of the month, you can pay whatever you can afford to get your pet microchipped. 

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