APPLETON (WITI) -- A Wisconsin family says it missed out on adopting a lost dog. They claim the Fox Valley Humane Association in Appleton put the dog down unnecessarily. The Humane Association says it was following its policy -- and now, animal lovers are protesting the Humane Association.
The Fox Valley Humane Association was the target of more than 30 peaceful protesters on Saturday, November 9th.
"We're looking for some change," Sara Miller said.
Liz Dietz, the Executive Director of the shelter, asked protest organizer Miller to call off the dogs, so to speak. The protest was interrupting the shelter's planned 24-hour adoption drive.
"To change policies and procedures isn't even necessary. All we need are more resources to be able to continue the good work that we do.We have possible adopters that reached out and said they're not comfortable coming out to be caught in the middle of a crossfire, so they're waiting to come out and adopt, which is unfortunate, because I'd love for these animals to be in the homes as soon as possible," Dietz said.
"We're not trying to prevent that whatsoever. We don't want anything to happen to Fox Valley Humane Association. We want to improve them," Miller said.
The protest was prompted by the euthanization of a dog named Peanut.
Betsy Quaintance says she and her daughter Allie Riedl were driving in Greenville, Wisconsin a few weeks ago when they saw a Beagle on the side of the road.
“She was barking, she was shaking, she was scared. It was raining. It was cold. So Allie and I spent maybe 15 minutes just trying to talk her down, calm her down, coax her to feel comfortable to come to us, and finally she did. I took her home and she sat on my lap the whole time and was kissing my face the whole time,” Quaintance said.
Quaintance says she took the dog, whom they named “Peanut” to the Fox Valley Humane Society, to see if anyone would claim her.
After seven days, no one did.
“After the seven day hold, we are able to move forward with getting them ready for adoption,” Fox Valley Humane Society Executive Director Liz Dietz said.
As Dietz’s team conducted several tests, they say they noticed problems with Peanut.
“With Peanut’s food aggression, we saw big red flags that if we were to put her into an environment she would be a threat in that environment,” Dietz said.
Dietz says after consulting several behavioral specialists, her staff made the difficult decision to euthanize Peanut.
Quaintance says her family went from the excitement of wanting to adopt a new pet, to utter shock.
“My husband described it like being shot in the chest. It was just heartbreaking and we were just stunned. My daughter was crying. You know, she’s 19, and she’s just devastated,” Quaintance said.
"It's something that could have really been prevented, because I work at a doggy daycare and I've worked with a lot of dogs with food aggression and food guarding issues, and it's something that we find fairly easy to work with. It just takes a little time and patience," Riedl said.
Riedl hopes the Fox Valley Humane Association can find time to work with dogs like Peanut, indicating a little change could help save lives.
The two sides met earlier in the week to discuss possible options for the shelter.
Both Miller and Dietz say they hope to meet again in the near future to continue the conversation.
The protest lasted nearly three hours. The shelter reports receiving mixed feedback about their decision to euthanize Peanut.