Roanoke pound dog euthanized while woman waited to adopt

ROANOKE COUNTY (WSLS 10) - It wasn't the doggie in the window Melissa Simmons wanted, it was a Rottweiler named Boss who she saw on Facebook that she wanted to adopt.

"I really didn't need another dog, but we didn't want anything to happen to him," said Simmons. "He almost looks like he was smiling in the one picture and just knowing that he looks so happy and sweet in there and because of his situation he would probably be killed."

Simmons said she went to see Boss at the Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection the next day.

She was told the owner of the 3-year-old  Rottweiler surrendered him to the Roanoke Pound to be put down, saying he bit a visiting grandchild on the finger. The pound was required to hold Boss for 10 days for a rabies quarantine before taking any action.

"We were told that his hold would be up on the 8th and then at that point even rescue couldn't take him until then," recalled Simmons.

Ten days later, "I called to get the status of him and what we needed to do next to try to save him and at that point I was told that he had been euthanized," said Simmons.

Pound director David Flagler, who is under fire this month for euthanizing dogs deemed dangerous, said when dogs like Boss come in, the pound doesn't want to release them back into the community, but he said the pound will consider releasing to an animal rescue if one comes forward.

He said in Boss' case, no one did.

"I can understand them deeming him aggressive, especially with the child-bite issue; however, we were fully aware of the situation and we did show interest in the dog," said Simmons.

She said she wishes there were more protocols in place to give would-be owners an opportunity to save a dog on death row.

An advisory committee is investigating euthanasia practices at the pound. It's expected to release its findings by the end of next month.