Dog Owner Seeks Answers After Pet Was Put Down

BAY COUNTY, Fla. - A dog owner is outraged after his pet was put down by Bay County Animal Control, and now he wants answers.

Duke, an 11-month-old Labrador Retriever mix, was euthanized seven days after he was placed in an animal shelter.

He broke free from his owner, Ryan Holcomb's home on August 29th.

"I wasn't expecting them to put him down," said Holcomb. 

According to Bay County records, a resident found Duke near Patronis Elementary School and the dog was then taken to Breeze Animal Hospital.

Records show Duke was already micro-chipped, and the hospital tried contacting Holcomb to no avail.

According to Bay County, the hospital called animal control, who also tried to make contact with Holcomb at his home and by phone two days after Duke was turned in, but no response.

Holcomb said he changed phones during the time and didn't have any voice messages.

"You buy a new phone you link everything up, and your voicemails come through still through your g-mail, and I had no voicemails."

Bay County states on August 31st, they left a note on Holcomb's mailbox.

But Holcomb says he didn't know Duke was with animal control for the first three to four days.

He also said that during the time he worked an overnight to early morning shift.

"I didn't get no notice and then one day I'm leaving for work and I seen this paper taped across my mailbox."

Bay County issued this statement: 

"The Bay County Manager's Office and County Attorney's Office conducted an in-depth review of this case and determined that Animal Control followed county policy, as outlined in Section 4-91 of Bay County Code and made multiple attempts to return the animal to its owner."

"I don't know how to explain it. That was my boy. That was my best friend," said Holcomb.

Bay County also says the hold time for dogs at the shelter varies based on current shelter levels, temperament and other factors.

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