Maryland woman learns dog believed to be euthanized is alive and up for adoption

A woman who thought she had her dog euthanized in Montgomery County a year ago was stunned to see the same dog up for adoption a year later.

Now, she wants to know what happened and wants her dog back.

Kristie Pereira says she adopted her dog in December 2022. She named him Beau.

She says she loved him.

He was just a puppy, and she really cared for him.

About two months after she adopted him, Pereira says Beau started acting a little differently.

She took him to a vet who said that he may have a neurological condition, prescribed some meds, and said to go to the ER in a bit if he didn’t improve.

He didn’t, Pereira said.


So, she took him to the ER doctor, who agreed with the initial vet’s assessment, that there may be some major health problem with Beau.

Very early on, the vets she consulted with indicated there were some tests she could perform that were serious, expensive, and she says they communicated to her that Beau’s quality of life might not improve, and she should think about euthanasia.

Eventually, Pereira with a letter in hand from a vet saying Beau’s quality of life was not good, made what she called the difficult decision to take him to the Montgomery County Animal Services to put Beau down. It's their policy that "owners may not be present in the room during euthanasia."

"I don’t think that someone that just wanted to get rid of the dog would feel anywhere close to how I’m feeling about this and how I have felt about it. Like, none of it was easy," Pereira said. 

She wants more answers.

Montgomery County sent FOX 5 a copy of the form that pet owners fill out when they bring a dog in for euthanasia.

There’s a box in bold on the form that says the pet owner is requesting humane euthanasia, but it also states that if Montgomery County acknowledges the pet is treatable and adoptable, they can treat and have the pet adopted.

That’s what the county says happened here.

They did their own evaluation, didn’t feel euthanasia was appropriate, began the process of diagnosing Beau with what ended up being a liver issue, and instead of returning Beau to Pereira, decided to return the dog to the original organization she adopted him from.

This whole time, Pereira thought that she’d put her dog down and never got a call from the county or adoption organization about what was going on.

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Montgomery County Animal Services tells Fox 5 they typically don’t call the owner of a surrendered pet if there was a decision made not to euthanize it unless the owner calls back and expresses immediate regret.

Then, last weekend, on the Facebook page of the group she adopted Beau from, she saw him up for adoption again.

The adoption organization told FOX 5 Tuesday that they told Pereira when she was making the decision to euthanize him that she could return Beau to them, particularly if she was going to put him down in an environment where she wouldn’t be near the dog during that process.

Montgomery County Animal Services does not allow pet owners to be with their dogs during euthanasia.

Pereira says her recollection of that conversation was them telling her if her vets said there was a major health issue and recommended euthanasia be considered, to make the choice she felt comfortable with.

The adoption organization told FOX 5 that while they understand how difficult this situation is for Pereira, it’s their policy not to return surrendered dogs to their former owners, and they have indicated they’re sticking with that policy in this situation.