Dog mistaken as stray euthanized by Hempstead shelter

A Freeport family is distraught after their pet dog was picked up as a stray and euthanized by the Hempstead Animal Shelter.

The De La Rosa family says their family dog of 13 years, named "Oso," had escaped from their backyard through a gate that was accidentally left open. The dog was later picked up by Hempstead Town Animal Control officers on Friday morning.

The family says they were searching the neighborhood and calling around to local shelters for their lost dog.

"I called to three different places and I didn't get any answers," says Jessica De La Rosa. "I said 'There's no hope now. I'm just going to call in the morning.'"

By the time the family discovered the dog's whereabouts, it was too late. The pet had been euthanized.

"It's frustrating, there was no words I can say," she said. "They told me the vet said he was in too much pain."

The town issued a statement saying in part that vets at a private emergency animal hospital determined that the dog, who had no collar and no microchip, was in bad shape.

According to the statement, the dog had difficulty walking, wasn't eating, had blood in his urine and a tumor on his bladder. The vets determined that euthanizing the dog was the best course of action.

According to Hempstead Town Director of Communications Mike Deery, the shelter followed a state law that allowed veterinarians to euthanize an animal when they are suffering or sick, rather than follow the normal five-day waiting period for healthy strays.

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