Colorado humane society explains why Echo the dog will be euthanized after previous owners fought to save him

The previous owners of a dog named Echo want the courts to keep a humane society from putting the dog down.
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 1:59 PM MST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2023 at 3:05 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A judge granted a reprieve for a dog scheduled to be euthanized on Valentine’s Day as the former owners fight to save the animal’s life after they turned him over to a Colorado humane society. The judge ultimately sided with the humane society on the decision to euthanize the animal.

Several people have reached out to KKTV 11 News concerning the dog, which has a history of biting.

11 News reporter Matt Kroschel spoke with the previous owners of Echo, a 170-pound Great Dane-mastiff mix, as they tried to get the dog back. Kroschel has also been in touch with the humane society. The owners relinquished Echo to the Ark-Valley Humane Society (AHVS) on Feb. 2. The humane society is located in Buena Vista. According to the humane society, the owners tried to re-home Echo for about a year before turning him over. The humane society adds the previous owners reported that Echo had previously bitten a person and bit a puppy.

“They reported that he needed to be muzzled at the veterinarian, is wary of children and triggered by their high energy, shows aggression when meeting other dogs, and has escaped a 6-foot fence by climbing over or digging under it,” a post by AVHS on their website reads. “Before deciding to relinquish Echo, the owners inquired about the possibility of euthanasia and were told by staff that while occurrences are rare, AVHS does humanely euthanize dogs with severe behavioral issues that are deemed unsafe. The owners were told that this was a possible outcome for Echo. At no point did AVHS staff indicate that in the case of euthanasia, the owners would be given the option of having him returned to them.”

AVHS is reporting that since they started caring for Echo, the dog bit two staff members without warning.

“Echo’s behavior was scary and unsettling for staff involved, as the bites were sudden and without warning during a period of handling where Echo initially appeared relaxed and friendly,” part of the AVHS post reads.

Shawn Vrooman said when they met with AVHS staff to talk about options they were told they would be able to get Echo back if the shelter could not work with him. AVHS says the contract is clear and that was never an option presented to the Vroomans.

AVHS is reporting they are a “minimal euthanasia facility” with a live release rate of more than 98 percent last year. Click here for more on what AVHS has to say about the animal.

Click here to read a veterinary behavior center’s letter of support when it comes to euthanizing Echo.

The full letter to the community on the decision to euthanize Echo can be read below: