Justice for Dog Euthanized Without Family’s Consent


Target: Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton

Goal: Justice for the family who lost their family dog to questionable euthanasia by animal control.

Roxie, an 18-year-old pit bull-shepherd mix, was killed by Maricopa County Animal Control after escaping her family’s fence. The dog had a large tumor on her neck that led the staff at animal control to “feel as if she was having difficulty breathing.”

Without otherwise notifying the family, they then brought in an unnamed vet who deemed Roxie to be in a lot of pain and decided euthanizing her was “humane.” However, this “humane” decision was reached without notifying Roxie’s family that she was in animal control’s care. Only after killing the family’s pet did animal control notify them.

According to Maricopa County Animal Control, they do not have to defer to the family when deciding a pet needs to be euthanized. They are also not required to notify them of the decision. So who is to stop these individuals from deciding to put any animal that comes into their care down? This incident is beyond questionable.

How animal control handled this was completely deplorable. Shirking blame by saying they were only acting in a “humane” fashion does not excuse them. If they truly felt their actions were in Roxie’s best interest, they could have waited until her family was present and discussed it with them, so they would at least be able to say goodbye to a member of their family.

Sign and urge Mayor Stanton to push for an investigation, at the very least to pull the vet involved’s license. Anyone who can take a pet’s life without the conscience to call the family has no place treating people’s pets.


Dear Mayor Stanton,

Recently a pit bull-shepherd mix by the name of Roxie was taken into the care of Maricopa County Animal Control. While under their care, it was decided by those working at the shelter and a vet that she was suffering and had difficulty breathing due to a tumor on her neck. Despite the fact that Roxie was tagged and collared, animal control took it upon themselves to euthanize her without notifying the family beforehand.

While their may be laws that allow a shelter to put a suffering animal down, there should be nothing that allows them to kill a beloved pet, especially when they have contact information for the family and only choose to inform them afterward. Roxie may have been suffering–the point on that is moot. What is not okay is that this family, who was desperately looking for their dog, was only notified of her safety after she was killed. There is nothing humane about stealing away the life of a family member and attempting to excuse it.

Please look into this matter and ensure the vet involved never has the ability to take advantage of another family’s pet. See that Roxie is given at least this much justice.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: KPHO/KTVK

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  1. If she were my dog, those involved would be fearing for their own lives now. And being sued.

    • Wendy Waltenberg says:

      Exactly what I think.
      How dare someone make that decision without consulting the family or even giving the family an opportunity to say goodbye to their family pet.
      I would be unstoppable if they did that to any of mine.
      It is beyond belief that they feel they have the right to do this.

  2. Mike Kimmel says:

    Living for 18 years show how loved and well cared-for this pet was. And to make it 18 years in a loving environment only to die in this unnecessary and inexcusable manner…

    “Maricopa County doesn’t have to…” Please pardon the language, but what an absolute chickenshit statement to hide behind.

    If it was so defendable, why is the veterinarian not identified?

    It’s bad enough that there are sick beings among the general public who would kill a pet for the sake of killing a pet. To do so under the cloak of justice or procedure or whatever they claim makes them as useless as the criminals. Maybe they should go join that sweetheart of a vet in Texas.

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