Woman demanding answers after lost dog is needlessly euthanized at shelter

By Jola Szubielski - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Hershey's favorite bowl. It's the only thing Teresa Jacobsen has left of her beloved friend. She rescued her twelve years ago - heartbroken now, that she was unable to repay the favor.

Hershey went missing 4th of July weekend scared off by the sound of nearby fireworks.

"I called and called for Hershey and I couldn't find her," said Teresa.

Teresa filed a report that Monday with Animal Control. She followed up with phone calls, flyers, and the department's web site.

"I knocked on doors, I talked to people, I continued to walk, I'd go out at night with a flashlight looking in the woods," she said.

Just four days after Hershey was reported missing, she was found and turned over to Animal Control. Staff say, as per policy, a description was posted on their web site and a picture soon followed. But Teresa says the picture didn't hit the web site until it was too late.

"I looked at the website and the first dog's picture on strays was my dog. I mean, it was my dog!" Teresa said.

But Teresa's excitement soon vanished. Pushed for space, animal control had put Hershey down that very morning. She had been at the pound for 10 days - Animal Control's limit. Leaving Teresa wondering how her dog could've slipped through the cracks...

"In her eyes you could see she was sad and lost, it shouldn't have happened," Teresa said.

Animal Control Chief Kevin Kilgore says Hershey had no tags or ID, making the process nearly impossible. He says the department has limited resources, and can't post pictures as quickly as they'd like.

"Sometimes because of the volume of animals, sometimes it takes a few days. We're working on that but we don't have the manpower to make it instantaneous so we do rely on when people call to come in and check to see if their pet is here," said Kilgore.

Still mourning, Teresa is now taking her cause to the county board. Hoping no one else experiences her pain.

Staff at Hanover Animal Control says they're grieving as well, and have immediately begun reviewing its policies. And with Teresa's presentation in front of the board, the matter is now being officially investigated by the county.

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