LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – A Largo woman wants answers after her four-legged friend’s death.
Lakkia Hobbs claims the SPCA Tampa Bay is giving her the runaround. She blames the SPCA for her 10-year-old chihuahua’s death.
However, SPCA Tampa Bay officials say they did everything to save Prince’s life.
Prince runs away
Hobbs said she’s had Prince since he was just 8 weeks old. In late June he ran away from a Clearwater park, she said.
Not long after, he was apparently hit by a car. A representative from SPCA Tampa Bay picked him up and took him to the vet. The vet determined Prince’s injuries were too serious for attempted treatment, and the pup was euthanized on June 22.
SPCA Tampa Bay CEO Martha Boden told News Channel 8 Prince had no microchip or tags. “We didn’t have any information about the animal’s owner at that time,” Boden said.
It turns out there’s a Florida statute that says if the dog is on death’s door, the vet, among others, can decide the animal’s fate. “But in certain situations, unfortunately, an animal can be so severely injured that treatment isn’t possible,” Boden said. “And that’s what happened here.”
SPCA Tampa Bay posted a picture of Prince on its website the night the dog was euthanized. Hobbs saw it and, though we now know Prince was already dead, she said it gave her hope in that moment.
“I looked and I said, ‘Oh my God,” she recalled. “That’s my baby. You know, I started crying. I’m excited.”
Hobbs said she called and went to pick Prince up. The vet told SPCA on June 23 around 1 p.m. that Prince had been euthanized.
Dog’s owner wants answers about timing
“So now I’m upset,” she said about hearing the heartbreaking news. “I’m breaking down in the office and I’m like, ‘What do you mean he’s euthanized?’”
She thinks the process moved too quickly. “I said you authorized for my dog to be euthanized without even contacting me?” she questioned.
“My thing is my baby didn’t have a chance,” Lakkia said. She said the vet didn’t give Prince long enough to be examined.
Boden said there’s no record Hobbs ever called and the SPCA did everything it could.
Hobbs doesn’t agree with the shelter’s response.
“I feel like this a kill shelter and I want to do whatever I need to do to help stop this,” Hobbs said. “All I want is closure. That’s my baby. I had him for 10 years. I would have did whatever I needed to do to save his life.”
She said she wants closure and to make sure other dog owners don’t have to go through the painful process she went through.