Karen Lopez arrived from an out of town trip to learn her family pet was gone.
"They cremated him and that's the worst part," she said. " That upsets me. That makes me emotional because he was part of my family. We loved him and he would've been here right now."
‘He' had a name. Red. And yes, Red was a pit bull mix. It's not a breed for everyone, but it is the breed Lopez loved. And according to a spokesperson for BARC- the city's animal shelter- the breed had nothing to do with a mix up that ended with the dog's death and new guidelines to prevent similar mix ups from happening again.
Let's rewind to last week. Red was alive and his owners were out of town.
"My dog got loose and the city picked him up," Lopez said. " He was taken to the animal shelter, BARC."
According to a Kennel Record, Red was taken to the shelter on September 25. Lopez said she called the shelter that same day and made arrangements to pick him up upon her return. But on October 1, when it was time to bring Red home, a supervisor told her Red had accidentally been euthanized.
"He had no reason, no explanation but he did say they had failed to look at the police report and that (they thought) he was a stray," Lopez said. " And I said he wasn't a stray. He had an owner and I called you the same day you took him in."
BARC has had its fair share of problems in the past. And while it doesn't ease Lopez's heartache, administrators are taking responsibility for the mistake. They've completed an investigation into Red's death and are now changing the way personnel communicates with medical staff and 311 operators, who usually handle calls from people reporting stray dogs and owners looking for their pets. They've also notified the mayor's office. The extra measures are an effort to prevent what happened to this woman from happening again.
"They had all my information. They never called to let me know they were going to put him down."