Owner of Fairfield dog mistakenly shot calls incident 'inexcusable and incomprehensible'

The owner of a Fairfield dog mistakenly put down after an animal control officer thought it was a coyote says that his dog was in good health.

News 12 Staff

Nov 25, 2020, 11:15 PM

Updated 1,296 days ago


The owner of a Fairfield dog mistakenly put down after an animal control officer thought it was a coyote says that his dog was in good health.
Kitsu went missing on Nov. 13. The 13-year-old dog was found a half an hour later, and animal control was called.
Owner Jesse Summers says Kitsu was not in distress or suffering from prolonged exposure to the elements as the town claimed.
He says she was simply wet and shaken. Once taken back to a municipal facility, the owner says she was shot.
The full statement sent to News 12 from Summers says:
“On the night of November 11 our beloved dog, Kitsu, a 13 year old shiba inu went missing shortly after being let outside on a gated deck. We immediately began frantically searching all nearby surroundings, then proceeded into the wooded area behind our home. Unbeknown to us, within a half hour of missing, Kitsu was located beneath a parked car by a resident at the end of the street in the opposing direction of our initial search. She was kindly brought onto a covered porch where she was leashed and cared for. Animal control was subsequently contacted and upon arrival erroneously concluded that a leashed senior dog was in fact a baby coyote. She was not “in extreme distress” or “suffering from prolonged exposure to the elements”, simply wet and understandably shaken while calmly standing at the officer’s feet. After assuring Kitsu’s rescuers that she would be cared for by a rehab center, she was taken back to the municipal facility where she was executed by a Fairfield police officer shortly thereafter. Kitsu was not humanely euthanized, not seen by vet, or even checked for her microchip. She was shot, put in a trash bag and discarded into a dumpster. Our search continued for 7 hours into the morning without luck, not knowing that Kitsu’s life had already been taken by the very people entrusted with her care.
The following morning, our community came to life answering the call of the online missing dog postings with an outpouring of support by personally searching and passing along the information. For this, I cannot thank everyone involved enough. It wasn’t long before what we thought to be a miracle had happened. Kitsu had been identified by her rescuers and we were notified that she was at animal control. Elated by this news, we called to let them know that they had our dog. The officer who answered already knew my name and briefly stated that he would have to call me back before hanging up. Not wanting to wait a moment longer, we gathered her harness and headed to the facility to be reunited with our pet. Upon arrival, without empathy or compassion we were informed in front of our 9 and 7 year old daughters that Kitsu had been put down and that we would be unable to recover her remains for closure, as she had be thrown in the dumpster which had already had been taken that day. This devasting news shook everyone to their core and sent our daughters into hysteria.
Kitsu was my best friend, I raised her since she was 9 weeks old and she’s been there for me through thick and thin for over a third of my life. By my side through 2 states, 5 moves, a marriage, and the birth of 2 children…always my shadow, the last face I saw when I shut my eyes and the first when I woke in the morning. In the past year she was diagnosed with the onset of dementia and I knew it was my turn to return the favor to my old gal, spending many nights awake at her side comforting her when she was experiencing confusion. She was my world and came before everything.
In this unpresented year, her companionship meant even more, especially to my daughters who were coping with the loneliness of remote learning. Kitsu became their best buddy with mutual affection. Chasing one another around the house, going for walks, sharing beds and goodnight kisses were always top priority. As they were preparing to celebrate her half birthday on November 24, both would often ask me how long she would live, innocently expressing how they wanted her to be here forever. I would always respond, knowing that she was approaching the final years of her life, that we should be grateful for all of the time that we’ve had with her and the love that she’s given us. All that we can do is love her back for as long as she is here. That is what all animals are owed.
This inexcusable and incomprehensible act that had so many opportunities to be avoided has forever left a hole in all of our hearts. We will never forget all of the love our little shiba gave us. She simply deserved better. The town of Fairfield should be better. We are now left only with the persistent hope and belief that in Kitsu’s name and her passing, a genuine change can be brought to the town’s municipalities with a greater consideration to an animal’s life whether it be wild or domesticated.”

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