Texas family’s missing dog accidentally adopted out by shelter, not likely to be returned

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LOCKHART (KXAN) — A Texas family is heartbroken after their dog was mistakenly adopted out after it got out and was taken to the local shelter.

The City of Lockhart admits it broke its own ordinance, calling it an accident. But the mistake may cost the family their pet forever. 

Photo of Squeaky from Morones Family

The dog’s name is Squeaky. Marissa Morones says her 6-year-old daughter picked out the name.

“Here’s her lifetime licensed tag that we got her,” Morones said from a picnic table at a park where they usually brought Squeaky to play.

The dog tag and collar are some of the few things the Morones family has to remember their dog. 

“To know that she’s alive, and I still can’t even get to her that just makes me feel like a failure as a mom,” Morones said.

Morones said Squeaky got loose on Jan. 28 and was picked up by the Lockhart Animal Shelter. 

“We made several phone calls regarding Squeaky,” Morones said. “They just kept telling us, no, she wasn’t there. They even tried to sway us into believing she was dead.”

Squeaky was given up for adoption three days after being brought in, according to the City of Lockhart.

A Lockhart city ordinance says a licensed dog must be held for at least seven days.

“The employee should have double checked that the wait time wasn’t held correctly,” City of Lockhart Public Works Director, Sean Kelley said. “It was a mishap on our part.”

Kelley said Squeaky was picked up by animal control two times before, and was returned home safely. This time, while checking the microchip, things were different.

“Our animal control officers made multiple attempts to try to reach this person but were unsuccessful, so, when the dog got adopted, the microchip got reinstated to the new pet owner,” Kelley said.  

The Morones family admits their contact information for the microchip was old, but they updated it a day after Squeaky went missing.

Now, their daughter plays at the park alone.

“I just miss her,” Morones’ daughter said.

Morones still thinks there needs to be more accountability.

“We just want something like this to never happen to anybody,” she said.

The City of Lockhart said it is negotiating with the new pet owner and the Morones family to see if they can work something out. According to the city, the new owners don’t have to give the dog back legally. The city said this mistake has never happened before.

Kelley also noted the Lockhart Animal Shelter is a ‘no kill shelter,’ adding they haven’t euthanized an animal in several years.

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