December 28th was supposed to be a magical reunion for Monica Lopez and her Pit Bull mix Dada. Dada went missing not long before Christmas, and Lopez was grateful to hear that animal control had found him and kept him safe. They promised to return Dada when their office reopened after the holidays, so Lopez eagerly waited until then.
But things quickly took a turn for the worse. Instead of seeing her furry friend again, she was told that he had been euthanized. It was all one big mistake, but Lopez couldn’t believe her ears. Now, she wants justice for Dada.
An Unforgivable Error
Lopez said that Dada got lost on Friday, December 18th. She contacted Champaign County Animal Control in Illinois, explaining the situation and Dada’s appearance. Officers told her that they didn’t have any dogs that fit the description, so Lopez continued searching for her lost pup.
Then, on December 23rd, Lopez found out that Dada was now with animal control. She contacted them and they confirmed that he was the same dog she had been searching for. Of course, Lopez was overjoyed, but she was unable to pick him up right away. She was on her way to work and animal control would be closed for a few days for Christmas.
Thankfully, animal control offered to hold onto Dada until Monday, December 28th, which is when they reopened. On Christmas Eve, they assured Lopez that Dada was safe and warm for the holidays. So, Lopez enjoyed the holiday and rushed to pick up Dada on Monday.
But when Lopez arrived, Dada was not there to greet her. She was informed that Dada was euthanized on Christmas Eve, the same day they’d promised her he’d be warm and safe. The person in charge of euthanasia that day had missed the last minute change and put down the innocent Pit Bull by mistake. Lopez was heartbroken and furious.
Justice for Dada
Fellow dog lovers are outraged that sweet Dada died this way. He was young and so full of life. Animal control offered to pay for his cremation, but Lopez wants more to be done to ensure this never happens again. Of course, people can make mistakes, but when those mistakes take someone’s life, they can’t be forgiven quite so easily.
“Fortunately, errors of this type are rare. While the holidays and staff vacations made this circumstance unique, additional steps in animal control procedures have been put in place to prevent any similar gaps in communication in the future,” Champaign County executive Darlene Kloeppel said in response.
But as it turns out, Dada is not the only Pit Bull who was accidentally killed at Champaign County Animal Control. In 2019, a Pit Bull named Kane was also wrongfully euthanized in this way. Over a year has passed and sadly, he hasn’t received justice either.
It’s clear that dogs are overpopulated, and Pit Bulls always seem to take the fall for it. While no dog should have to be euthanized to save space, there should at least be a better way to manage this process so no more dogs die the way Dada and Kane did. These sweet Pit Bulls had families waiting for them, but they never got to have that exciting reunion. Dog lovers are helping spread awareness on social media by posting with “#justicefordada”.