Woman Opts to Euthanize Her Sick Rescue Puppy. One Year Later, She's Shocked to See He's Up for Adoption

Kristie Pereira said she was told neurological testing was unlikely to determine her puppy's condition

<p>Ashi Sae Yang/Getty</p> Stock image of a dog at a veterinary clinic

Ashi Sae Yang/Getty

Stock image of a dog at a veterinary clinic
  • At a loss with her puppy's poor health, Kristie Pereira made the decision to euthanize him. One year later, she was shocked to see the dog is alive and up for adoption

  • In an interview with the Associated Press, Pereira claimed that she dropped the dog off for euthanasia due to his neurological dysfunction, but the rescue diagnosed and treated the dog's liver issues

  • The rescue and the euthanasia service Pereira used both fault her for not confirming the dog's neurological condition with veterinary tests, which she was told were unlikely to work

Kristie Pereira says she was left with few options when her puppy Beau's neurological condition progressed past a reasonably treatable stage.

After months of hoping her dog would rebound, Pereira says she followed veterinarians’ suggestions and brought Beau to be euthanized. 

Just over a year later, the heartbroken pet owner learned her sickly companion was never actually put to sleep. Pereira spoke to the Associated Press about her shock upon seeing Beau up for adoption again at the same rescue where she originally found him, especially considering the medical journey the dog endured under her care.

Pereira — who currently lives in San Antonio — was working at home in Maryland when she picked up the mixed-breed hound from local rescue group Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation.

Beau was 2 months old when Pereira adopted him in 2022; as they bonded, the new dog-mom became increasingly worried about her pet’s health. 

She told the Associated Press that her veterinarian believed Beau was suffering from neurological dysfunction considering his lack of bowel control and hind leg dexterity. The vet also questioned the dog’s liver, but Pereira didn’t see any improvement with prescribed liver enzymes.

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<p>Getty</p> Stock image of a dog at a pet shelter


Stock image of a dog at a pet shelter

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Medical testing was priced at $12,000, but Pereira said she would have paid if there was a chance to save her puppy.

Canine medical personnel said there was only “a very slim chance” of diagnosing the problem, Pereira recalled. And if veterinarians could figure it out, there was “an even smaller chance” of it being treatable.

Pereira wasn’t ready to consider euthanasia when her vet initially suggested it as a humane alternative. The digital marketing professional decided to hold off for a month, during which time she said she consulted staff at Lost Dog & Cat Rescue.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Pereira explained that she actually started to accept that euthanasia might be the right course of action after consulting with people from the pet adoption group.

“They really gave me that support and that encouragement that, although it’s hard, sometimes that’s the best thing to do,” she told the news outlet.

In March 2023, less than one year after she adopted Beau, Pereira took Beau to Montgomery County Animal Services in Derwood, Maryland. She paid $15 for him to be euthanized, but she was told the shelter’s policy prevented her from staying with her dog during the procedure.

<p>Olena Miroshnichenko/Getty</p> Stock image of a dog at the veterinary clinic

Olena Miroshnichenko/Getty

Stock image of a dog at the veterinary clinic

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While visiting her mother in Maryland this May, Pereira spotted her dog’s photo on Lost Dog & Cat Rescue’s website. She recognized his markings, and he was listed under the same name he’d had before Pereira adopted him and called him Beau.

According to the Associated Press, calls to the shelter confirmed that veterinarians determined the dog didn’t need to be euthanized. Instead, Montgomery County Animal Services returned him to Lost Dog & Cat Rescue.

The rescue published a statement on its website sharing that veterinarians were unable to find neurological issues with the dog. In the written statement, the local Maryland organization detailed a timeline showing that he was diagnosed with a liver problem and underwent a $7,000 surgery, paid for through a GoFundMe campaign.

Pereira claimed to be completely uninformed about her dog’s treatment. When she reached out upon seeing his adoption availability, she said they failed to return her calls.

Several days later, Pereira received a call back from someone whom she described as “rude” and “disrespectful” during their interaction.

“Just saying, you know, that I abandoned him, and that I left him to die. That I never cared about him,” Pereira recalled. She said she was also warned that her former pet “will never go back to you.”

<p>Milena Magazin/Getty</p> Stock image of a dog with its owner

Milena Magazin/Getty

Stock image of a dog with its owner

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In a written statement issued to the Associated Press, the rescue organization's spokesperson defended the decision not to return the dog.

As of Tuesday, he is still available for adoption on the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue website.

“LDCRF does not re-home an owner-surrendered dog with its former adopter/owner,” Lost Dog & Cat Rescue representative Chloe Floyd said. “Our mission is to save adoptable and safe-to-the-community dogs from euthanasia.”

Caroline Hairfield, executive director of Montgomery County Animal Services, said that while her staff is sympathetic to Pereira’s situation, the rescue will determine whether or not she will reunite with the dog.

“That’s a civil issue between the two of them,” she told the Associated Press. “We haven’t had the animal in our care for a year.”

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