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Animal Law

Lawsuit Possible in Mistaken Euthanasia of Afghan Hero Dog

Posted Nov 19, 2010 7:34 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The adoptive family of a dog that helped deter an Afghan suicide bomber is considering a lawsuit after their beloved pet was accidentally euthanized.

The dog, Target, was put to sleep after she escaped from her adopted family’s home in Arizona, was taken to a shelter, and was then mistaken for a different dog scheduled to be euthanized, according to the New York Times and the Arizona Republic. The Army medic who had adopted Target had paid a fee online to recover her, but when he arrived at the shelter the dog was already dead.

Target was one of three stray dogs that confronted a suicide bomber at the entrance to an American military barracks in Afghanistan in February, the stories say. The dogs snapped and barked, and the bomber blew himself up. No soldiers were killed, but one of the dogs did not survive.

Target was adopted by Sgt. Terry Young, an Army medic who witnessed the incident and treated soldiers and dogs who were wounded in the bombing. According to the Times, a lawyer specializing in animal issues has contacted Young, and a lawsuit is possible.

“My 4-year-old keeps saying: ‘Daddy, bring Target home. Daddy, get the poison out,’ ” he told the Times.

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