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Nov 15, 2010 11:58 PM

Soldier speaks out about his dog that was mistakenly euthanized

PHOENIX- Target was more than a furry stray that Sgt. Terry Young found in Afghanistan, to him she was family. Monday he found out Target had been mistakenly euthanized.

"When it comes to euthanizing an animal, there are some clear-cut procedures to follow," Ruth Stalter, the County Animal Control Director, said in a statement. "Based on my preliminary investigation, our employee did not follow those procedures."

Back in February, Target, a Sheppard mix quite possible saved Sgt. Young's life. He says Target frightened a suicide bomber inside a military base in Afghanistan and potentially saved dozens of soldiers' lives. Six months later she was flown to Arizona to start a new live with Sgt. Young and his family.

Last Friday night, Target went missing. A neighbor found the yard gate open. Target ended up at Pinal County Animal Care and Control. Young went to pick her up Monday morning but found instead, that she had been euthanized.

"If someone kills one of your children, does an apology make it better," said Young, "that dog and I went through so much over there; she was part of our family."

An unidentified employee at the Pinal County facility was placed on administrative leave after euthanizing the dog by mistake, County Animal Care and Control officials said.

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