Isle of Wight Co. Animal Services under investigation after dog mistakenly put up for adoption while owner hospitalized

ISLE OF WIGHT, Co., Va. – A dog has been reunited with his family after a scary situation.

The Sheriff’s Office said on May 23 animal control officers with the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Offices Animal Services Unit responded to a home in the 14000 block of Carroll’s Bridge Road in Smithfield to help medics who were at the home for a medical emergency.

A lab mix named Duke was taken from the home and placed in the Isle of Wight animal shelter because his owners were both hospitalized.

While in the custody of the shelter a series of miscommunications occurred between staff and subsequently Duke was sent to a lab rescue organization for adoption without the owner having knowledge of this, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Once the issue was brought to the attention of the Sheriff’s Office every effort was made to return Duke back to Isle of Wight County and to his owner, who was discharged from the hospital.

On June 20 while being transported from the lab rescue back to the Isle of Wight County Animal Shelter, the Animal Control Officer placed Duke in her vehicle in a secure compartment.

When they got back to the shelter Duke was experiencing a medical emergency due to the extreme heat.

The Sheriff’s Office said shelter staff provided emergency care to the dog and he was immediately taken to the Peninsula Vet Hospital. After a lengthy stay at the vet hospital, Duke was returned to his owner.

As a result of this incident, Sheriff Clarke has ordered a full review of the Animal Services Division as well as an internal investigation into the circumstances involving the custody, care and transport of Duke.