A Yazoo County resident is hoping that sharing the story of his heartache will prevent anyone else from making the same mistake.
Tommy Lancaster is mourning the loss of his dog after taking his pet to the Mississippi Animal Rescue League in Jackson while he was upset with her for attacking a fawn on his property. Lancaster said that because such behavior was out of character for his dog, it caught him off guard, and he took the dog to the shelter while he was still emotional about it.
He changed his mind on the way home, but it was already too late.
Lancaster said his dog was euthanized less than an hour after he dropped her off.
The female red Doberman Pinscher had always been friendly. Visitors to Lancaster’s music studio on his property regularly played with the dog.
“She was not a mean dog at all,” Lancaster said. “She was good with kids.”
Perhaps that’s why it bothered Lancaster so much when his pet harmed a small deer near his home.
“I was upset about it, and that’s when I decided to take her to the Animal Rescue League,” Lancaster said.
Lancaster said that when he and his wife spoke to the staff at the rescue league, they thought that the shelter was going to try to find a new home for their pet.
“They asked a lot of questions about the dog, and my wife explained that she was not violent, and that she was very well behaved,” Lancaster said. “She’ll sit, lay down and rollover. She’ll do everything. She was just smart dog that was well socialized. They asked a lot of questions, and all of them were positive. There was nothing negative about it.”
On the way home, Lancaster began to regret leaving his pet at the shelter.
“We had made it about to Gluckstadt, and my wife was crying,” he said. “I told her that I would by a fence to put around our property, and she said that was great.”
Lancaster said that he then called to let the staff at the shelter know he was coming back to pick up his dog.
That’s when he got the bad news.
“They had already killed her,” he said. “She had been there less than an hour.”
The Mississippi Animal Rescue League makes no secret of the fact that it is not a “no kill” shelter. The organization’s website states, “On average we take in 50-60 animals a day with even higher numbers in the summer, often as many as 100. As an open admissions shelter, we have difficult daily decisions to make regarding space and capacity that ‘no kill’ shelters do not have to make, as they turn away animals when they are full.”
As a former director of animal control for Yazoo City, Lancaster said he is well aware that every animal can’t be saved.
“When Yazoo City picks up animals out of the street they are killed as soon as they get off the truck (at the Mississippi Animal Rescue League),” Lancaster said.
But Lancaster said he never dreamed that such a nice and healthy dog would be killed so quickly with no effort made to find it a loving home.
“I just want people to know what happened so they won’t make the same mistake that I did,” Lancaster said. “I never dreamed that they would have killed this dog so quickly. Even though they did it, I still feel responsible. Don’t let this happen to you. If I would have known they would put my dog to sleep I would have walked back to Jackson. I can’t bring my dog back. All I can do is tell others about it so that it won’t happen to them.”