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Target, the dog who survived Afghan war and melted hearts on Oprah, mistakenly put down at Arizona animal shelter

November 16, 2010

Target, another victim of global speciesism …

Sadly and angeringly, a global society that apathetically kills sixty billion animals annually  should expect children to be victimized as well, regardless of lack of intent or unobserved protocols. Kill shelters co-exist, side-by-side, with slaughterhouses, breeders, circuses, vivisectors, and furriers.  The world for our companion children is built by the same architects of such … SR


Update  November 20:  Sacking after war-hero dog put down


From The Daily Mail

Target the dog lived through explosions in war-torn Afghanistan, saved the lives of U.S. soldiers and was featured on Oprah – but she couldn’t survive a brief stay at an Arizona animal shelter.

An employee at the Pinal County facility was today on administrative leave after euthanizing the shepherd mix by mistake.

‘When it comes to euthanizing an animal, there are some clear-cut procedures to follow,’ said Ruth Stalter, director of the Animal Care And Control centre.

‘Based on my preliminary investigation, our employee did not follow those procedures.

Sgt. Terry Young, the owner of the dog, told The Arizona Republic, ‘I just can’t believe that something like this would happen to such a good dog.’

Target and two other dogs, Rufus and Sasha, were mutts who befriended soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, who began to feed them and treated the canines as pets on the military base.

One night in February a suicide bomber came to the base in the middle of the night, wearing 25 pounds of explosives and intent on killing Americans.

Hero dog from Afghanistan mistakenly killed in animal shelter

Vodpod videos no longer available.

September 2010 file: Hero dog saves US troops in Afghanistan

Vodpod videos no longer available.



The three dogs frightened, barked at and bit the bomber, scaring him and waking the sleeping soldiers in the process. Deterred, the terrorist detonated himself outside instead of coming in.

The lives of 50 soldiers were potentially spared because of the dogs’ actions.

Sasha was killed, but Target and Rufus lived. Medics treated the injured dogs like soldiers and the two were saved.

Only five soldiers were injured in the bombing and all recovered.

Sgt. Young said the dogs was treated like royalty from then on at the base at Dand Patan, near the Pakistan border.

With the help of aid groups, Sgt. Young brought Target to the San Tan Valley area south-east of Phoenix in August, when he returned home from his tour of duty. Rufus went to live with another soldier in Georgia.

Target was featured on Oprah in September in a show about amazing animals.

On Friday of last week the dog escaped from the family’s backyard. Sgt. Young then put out notices and contacted TV stations that did reports on the missing dog.

A neighbour found Target wandering later that day and put her in his backyard and called the shelter. The dog did not have a microchip or tag.

On Friday night, Sgt. Young found Target’s picture on a website used by Pinal County’s dog catchers to help owners track lost pets. He thought the shelter was closed for the night and weekend.

He showed up at the shelter in Casa Grande to claim his dog on Monday, only to find out she was dead.

County officials say the employee mistakenly took the dog out of (her) pen Monday morning and euthanized (her).

‘My four-year-old son just can’t understand what is going on with Target and keeps asking me to get the poison out of her and bring her home. They don’t want her to go be with God yet,’ a teary Sgt. Young told the local CBS TV station.

The Arizona Republic said Sgt. Young and his family will get (Target’s) cremated remains.





See Also …



target there just are not words to say
how sad we are, that your life
was taken away
that you, another innocent victim
of shelter skelter
……what happened to the
definition of shelter
a hero who saved the life of man
had hers robbed,
by their careless hands

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

29 Comments leave one →
  1. Gordana Vranekovic permalink
    November 16, 2010 12:45 pm

    How f….. stupid are you guys???????????????

    Like

  2. November 16, 2010 1:10 pm

    I saw this story this morning–so, so sad!

    Like

  3. November 16, 2010 1:22 pm

    the human factor strikes again :((((((((( as usal.

    Like

  4. karen lyons kalmenson permalink
    November 16, 2010 1:44 pm

    target there just are not words to say
    how sad we are, that your life
    was taken away
    that you, another innocent victim
    of shelter skelter
    ……what happened to the
    definition of shelter
    a hero who saved the life of man
    had hers robbed,
    by their careless hands

    Like

  5. Michele permalink
    November 16, 2010 1:54 pm

    If anything becomes of this … TAG AND MICROCHIP your pet. Absolutely anything could happen to a stray dog. This is horrible, and I’m sure the worker did not wake up in the morning and say “wow, I think I’ll kill the wrong dog today”. I am sure that that person is in huge sorrow too. If the dog had had an ID on (as dogs can NOT talk) the neighbor would’ve called the tag number and not the shelter. A stray dog without an ID is 100% from beginning to end a dog failed in the system.

    Like

    • Marianne permalink
      November 17, 2010 9:26 am

      Michele I agree with you . Get a tag or something. I was crying when I saw this news.

      Like

  6. ada permalink
    November 16, 2010 3:26 pm

    Dum american fuckwhits as normal

    Like

    • November 16, 2010 4:26 pm

      You’ve said it all in five words…i’ve rambled on a fair bit but had just finished watching the cruelty in all their Animal Shelters (where only the volunteers seem to show any compassion for the poor, trusting dogs and cats who are mostly doomed to die by outdated gassing or heartstick)…then there’s all the hunting where everyone thinks they’re still pioneers but they can’t shoot straight and usually injure and torture all the poor creatures….the list goes on and on… What a country, each State inflicting it’s own cruelty to animals, be it domestic or wildlife, and where any Animal Welfare seems to be totally ignored….what a load of arrogant arses….I think I’d better go for a coffee before my head explodes!!

      Like

    • Michelle permalink
      November 17, 2010 9:49 am

      Ada, dont go to the american thing. Really.Its tacky. We all know Globally these things happen. They shouldnt because no one should be able to take a life of another and yet they do. I am sure wherever you live as well there are forms of animal abuse and such. It is a GLOBAL, REPEAT …GLOBAL issue.

      Like

      • Michelle permalink
        November 17, 2010 9:51 am

        Ada AND Susan, dont go to the “american” thing. Really.Its tacky. We all know Globally these things happen. They shouldnt because no one should be able to take a life of another and yet they do. I am sure wherever you live as well there are forms of animal abuse and such. It is a GLOBAL, REPEAT …GLOBAL issue.

        Like

  7. November 16, 2010 4:10 pm

    The US really are pathetic regarding much of their so-called Animal Welfare…a country that is supposed to be full of compassion and understanding, and looked on by many other countries throughout the world, fails dismally with the number of innocent dogs and cats that are cruelly killed after a pathetic 4 to 6 days in barbaric Shelters, where they are killed by outdated gassing or heartstick, when most civilized countries keep their stray animals much longer (usually passing them on to Animal Rescues and Sanctuaries), BUT when any animals do have to be put to sleep, it’s by lethal injections only, which is less frightening or cruel for these innocent creatures. However, this latest story regarding Target, the lovely loyal dog from Afghanistan REALLY does show just how badly these Shelters are run, and if this gross mismanagement doesn’t make the US get off their backsides and look into the state of ALL areas of their awful Animal Welfare (especially the cruelty in these uncaring Shelters where cats and dogs get hardly a chance of being re homed in a pathetic 4 to 6 days…Shelters usually closed on weekends anyway), then ALL decent animal lovers in the US should protest, big time (and the fool who killed Target should get fired, and also go to Court for Animal Cruelty and whatever else the idiot can be charged with…….what a thick and thoughtless moron!!!!)…liven up US, your reputation is in tatters!!!!!!!

    Like

  8. Judy Gardner permalink
    November 16, 2010 5:47 pm

    Dear Susan Hanson,
    God Bless you and your passion & beautiful comments! No use for me to add another word, to your eloquently stated case against this OUTRAGE to animals in the U.S. My heart breaks for this story of Target, the loyal Hero-Dog, who saved lives overseas… only to be killed here in some disgusting shelter, by uncaring, barbaric fools!

    To Target’s owner, I want to apologize to you for the heartbreak & cruelty you & your family have endured, by our outdated system & inept handlers at this “shelter!” We are so very, very sorry for your loss. There are no words to express just how sorry! Bless you all & you have people all over the country mourning this loss too! Target was a symbol of loyalty & courage & she deserves a hero’s burial!

    Like

  9. November 17, 2010 3:45 am

    This is a terrible tragedy caused by uncaring people who shouldn’t be working with animals, but hopefully this beautiful, loyal dog will not have died in vain IF the US Government now realizes how backward this counry is in its’ Animal Welfare…this is NOT an isolated case and a lot of people who run these Kill Shelters are not as kind and compassionate as we would like them to be, in fact files have gone missing many times, and people who have tried continually to save these innocent dogs have not been able to get through to the Shelter and the dogs have been killed in the meantime. Arizona is NOT a good Shelter at the best of times and the Staff at many Shelters seem to prefer (if not enjoy), these innocent dogs and cats be killed, rather than find new homes, and there have been many occasions (when gassing is used), that the dogs and cats have taken much longer to die, having been seen writhing in agony for many minutes. Now this is in the US (a supposedly very civilized and compassionate country), and in the 21st century too, where such barbaric behaviour should no longer be used or accepted, and this shambolic and downright couldn’t care less attitude that caused poor Target to lose her precious life, should now be the start of ALL these horrible Kill Shelters being thoroughly investigated and finally changed for the better. It’s of extreme urgency that every single one of these vile Kill Shelters across America need checking out immediately, compassionate Staff only employed, and a longer than 4 to 6 days hold put into place (or dogs should be transported to the nearest Animal Rescues, for further time to be reclaimed or found new homes). It’s up to the people now to voice their opinion….don’t let the death of this heroic dog be in vain….we should start a Targets Law and get these horrible, cruel Kill Shelters ended forever and more compassionate Rescues put in their place.

    Like

    • Michelle permalink
      November 17, 2010 10:01 am

      And Susan,
      Have you ever been to an Arizona animal shelter?
      Well, I can tell you they are ALL different from one another. I volunteer at AAWL (arizona animal walfare league) And I dont appreciate these malicious lies being thrown around. You all sit there on your soapbox and judge all of the shelter as if they are one. So far from the truth. Some of the shelters are shit. I agree but not all. In fact, there are some pretty amazing ones in AZ. Unfortunately, Poor Target didnt get sent to that one. He went to County. 😦 In AZ they do not do gassing..In hardly any of the states they do gassing. They shouldnt exist and they are slowly changing. Not as fast as I would like but some states are slower than others.

      Look at your own countries before judging our too. The UK believes in the genocide of vertain breeds.Is that any better? I didnt think so. Globally we have animal rights issues and we should work together not seperating ourselves and condemning others.

      Like

      • Gumboz1953 permalink
        November 17, 2010 1:36 pm

        Louisiana does gassing. The Kaplan facility (near Abbeville) is a hellhole, where it’s very difficult to even find out which animals are there.

        I live in Maryland. The criticisms against the United States are accurate. I don’t care if other countries “do it too.” We always put ourselves out as so much better than they are — we should either start acting like it, or just accept that we’re a morally bankrupt country who can throw itself all over the world but can’t take care of suffering at home.

        Like

  10. November 17, 2010 3:46 am

    This is a terrible tragedy caused by uncaring people who shouldn’t be working with animals, but hopefully this beautiful, loyal dog will not have died in vain IF the US Government now realizes how backward this counry is in its’ Animal Welfare…this is NOT an isolated case and a lot of people who run these Kill Shelters are not as kind and compassionate as we would like them to be, in fact files have gone missing many times, and people who have tried continually to save these innocent dogs have not been able to get through to the Shelter and the dogs have been killed in the meantime. Arizona is NOT a good Shelter at the best of times and the Staff at many Shelters seem to prefer (if not enjoy), these innocent dogs and cats be killed, rather than find new homes, and there have been many occasions (when gassing is used), that the dogs and cats have taken much longer to die, having been seen writhing in agony for many minutes. Now this is in the US (a supposedly very civilized and compassionate country), and in the 21st century too, where such barbaric behaviour should no longer be used or accepted, and this shambolic and downright couldn’t care less attitude that caused poor Target to lose her precious life, should now be the start of ALL these horrible Kill Shelters being thoroughly investigated and finally changed for the better. It’s of extreme urgency that every single one of these vile Kill Shelters across America need checking out immediately, compassionate Staff only employed, and a longer than 4 to 6 days hold put into place (or dogs should be transported to the nearest Animal Rescues, for further time to be reclaimed or found new homes). It’s up to the people now to voice their opinion….don’t let the death of this heroic dog be in vain….we should start a Targets Law and get these horrible, cruel Kill Shelters ended forever and more compassionate Rescues put in their place.

    Like

  11. brent collins permalink
    November 17, 2010 5:37 am

    So let me get this straight. They owner has no chip in the dog, the dog gets out on Friday, the dog is put down on Monday and people are pissed at the shelter? I’m not buying the shelter is closed over the weekend. Who feeds and waters the animals? The owner was equally at fault as well as the shelter. What if the dog got loose and was hit by a car instead of being put down by the shelter. You going to blame the driver? Separate the war story and the “hero” stuff. Look at the facts….the owner was irresponsible and that is what killed his pet.

    Like

    • Iosef permalink
      November 17, 2010 1:46 pm

      Ahh so a dog who gets free, more than likey because she was an escape artist, loses her collar,(which she did have) get’s picked up by a neighbor who i’m sure already knew who Target belonged to, then taken to a shelter. Most shelters are closed on weekends, not that there aren’t people there, but most shelters don’t take outside calls or unlock their doors for people to come get their pets.

      The fucker who decided to not follow procedures that are in place to PREVENT things like this should eat a bullet. Also why should we take the words War Hero out of this? You can go bugger off you fucking cunt.

      Like

      • brent collins permalink
        November 18, 2010 10:44 am

        Class comment. As a dog lover I understand the responsibility of the owner. My dogs have never escaped in 17 years and that includes terriers which are prone to digging. So the neighbor knew the owner and still took to shelter? There is much more to this story, but in the end it’s the owners fault for not keeping the dog within his property lines….PERIOD.

        Like

  12. Alison Banks permalink
    November 17, 2010 12:58 pm

    there is no action, no words no anything that can undo this and bring her back 😦 This poor man (and his family) is traumatized yet again 😦 where are the checks and balances to make sure this sort of thing does not happen THIS IS A OUTRAGE!!!

    Like

  13. November 18, 2010 9:34 am

    This is a heartbreaking story in everyway,but for my family…the fact that Target is the spitting image and twin of our 3 year old rescue dog Zoey makes it even more sad!! I saw a piece on the news here in Chicago about this poor dog,and recorded it for my wife and daughter to see…amazing that 2 dogs worlds apart can be identical is mind-blowing!!!! My heart goes out to the soliders that have lost their best friend and savior from harm……

    Like

  14. November 18, 2010 1:23 pm

    It’s an unfitting end to a dog who gave so much as mankind’s best friend and to our country. We hope that Target is having the time of her life over the rainbow bridge — she is certainly deserving of every moment of it.

    dog owners everywhere please microchip your dogs! It’s not a foolproof solution to the “fool” who put Target down but hopefully it can help to prevent more of these tragic mistakes.

    If anyone would like to see Target on Oprah, you can find it via our trackback:
    http://www.pups-seeking-homes.com/blog/home/entry/war_hero_dog_accidently_euthanized

    Bless you Target,
    Deeanna

    http://www.puppies-seeking-homes.com
    http://www.puppies-seeking-homes.com/blog

    Like

  15. November 18, 2010 6:21 pm

    UNBELIEVEABLE, IS THIS HOW IT’S DONE, THE ARIZONA ANIMAL SHELTER FINDS A DOG THAT’S OUT ON THE STREET UNATTENED, POSSIBLE ESCAPED FROM SOMEONE’S BACKYARD AND THEN THE ANIMAL SHELTER BRINGS THE DOG BACK TO THE SHELTER AND EUTHANIZES THE DOG. HOW FREAK”IN STUPID CAN PEOPLE BE. DO YOU THING TO A WEE BIT OF RESEARCH TO FIND OUT IF THE DOG HAS A LOVING HOME OR DO WE JUST HAVE DEMENTED EMPLOYEES THAT SHOULD NOT BE IN THE WORK FORCE BECAUSE THEY CAN’T USE THEIR ONE PLUS ONE, EQUALS TWO BECAUSE THAT’S TO DIFFICULT AND ARE SUCH LOSERS AND HATERS OF ANIMALS AND SHOULDN’T BE IN THE POSITION THEY ARE IN AND THEY EUTHANIZE A LOVING HERO OF A DOG.
    MY LORD, MY HEART BROKE AND I CRIED FROM SUCH STUPIDITY. THIS PERSON WHO DID THIS, IS AN ABSOLUTE MORON, BRAINLESS LOSER, IDIOT. I HOPE YOU FEEL THE REPERCUSIONS FOR THE REST OF YOUR YEARS IDIOT AND PERHAPS SOMEWHERE IN YOUR PATHETIC LIFE YOU’LL GET YOUR S*^T TOGETHER!!!!!!!!! THINK MORON, THINK BEFORE YOU ACT IN SUCH A HATEFUL, DISGUSTING MANNER!!!!!!!!!!! YOUR PATHETIC…. AND SOMEWHERE DOWN THE ROAD YOU WILL GET YOURS IN RETURN, IT ALWAYS HAPPENS THAT YOU IDIOTS GET IT BACK SOMEWHERE DOWN THE ROAD……..

    Like

  16. Shtew permalink
    November 18, 2010 8:57 pm

    Most unfortunate and very sad indeed.
    The shelters these days are so very overcrowded with unwanted and abandoned animals, working very hard to keep up with it all…the margin for error ever decreasing.
    Granted, the employee screwed up…but this could’ve been prevented with a microchip and/or tag.

    Like

  17. Joanie W. permalink
    November 19, 2010 5:49 pm

    I wish that every state would ban shelters from euthanazia. Why do we even call them “shelters”? We should just call it “death row for animals”. Lets end euthanazia to these poor pets who are lost and trying to get home or for those in need of love and a home!

    I feel for the owners of Target and my heart goes out that this dog had to die this way. It doesn’t matter that she did not have a tag on…it did appear that she did have a collar with her name on it. The owner tried to get her back in a fair amount of time. Euthanazing her was outrageous and cruel!

    I hope the person that put Target down losses his or her job and never works with animals again. Any other person working at any other kind of company or organization would lose their job if they made a mistake of this magnitude!

    Like

  18. Ann permalink
    November 20, 2010 8:52 am

    That shelter worker was just fired?? She should have been sued! If I was the family of Target I will sue her for animal abuse due to negligence. Target saved lives and a stup*d shelter worker just killed her. Don’t they have a shelter manager who decides on everything? Don’t they have a list of the dogs that just came in recently? How stooooopid is that shelter!!!

    Like

    • Tracey permalink
      December 6, 2010 8:50 pm

      Why? Because they work/volunteer at a kill shelter. They made a mistake. The soldier is at fault. This dog saved his life. Other people went through an enormous amount of time to arrange bringing Target to him. He could not repay all this with a five dollar tag that had the dog’s name and a phone number.

      Like

  19. Tracey permalink
    December 6, 2010 8:48 pm

    I don’t blame the shelter worker. It was an accident. I blame the soldier. This dog saved his life and he couldn’t take the time and five dollars to print him a tag at PetCo, PetSmart, etc?

    Like

  20. Vercetti permalink
    January 7, 2011 12:11 am

    That MOTHER FUCKER killed the dog ????????????????????????

    This goes to show that the dog made it in Afghanistan but couldn’t make it here. . .Clearly WE (the USA) are more dangerous to animals than a WAR ZONE. . .

    This dog made it in the middle of a WAR ZONE, , but couldn’t manage to stay alive for 3 days on the streets of the United States ??????????? Tags/microchip or NOT, , I don’t give a FUCK. . the dog was KILLED within 3 days of being found.

    We are such a fucked up country. . . .

    I cannot BELIEVE that dog was put down, , and has broken my heart on so many different levels.

    That mother fucker who put the dog down, or ANY mother fucker out there who puts dogs down just because they haven’t found them a home yet should be fucking DESTROYED. . .

    That place should be SHUT DOWN. . I wish I lived somewhere near that shelter because I would have made a little trip and had a few words with the people working there.

    Like

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