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Elizabeth woman devastated after shelter euthanizes her dogs without permission

State law requires surrendered pets be kept for a week before being euthanized.
State law requires surrendered pets be kept for a week before being euthanized.
Facebook/Justice for Daphne and Rocko

Jennifer Arteta left her two dogs in the care of her father in Elizabeth, N.J. to travel out of the country to visit her sick grandfather. When she returned, her father told her the dogs had run away, but that wasn't true, and thus the true tragedy began.

According to News12NewJersey, on June 5, Arteta's two dogs, Daphne and Rocko were surrendered to the Elizabeth Animal Shelter and euthanized within a half hour with the shelter citing the dogs were "sick and unadoptable." How and why all of this happened remains a mystery and Arteta wants answers.

When Arteta returned home on June 7, and her dogs allegedly had run away, the woman whose life revolved around Daphne, a two-year-old Labrador and pit bull mix, and one-year-old Rocko, a pit bull, the woman made up flyers and called around to all of the area shelters. When someone told her to get in touch with the Elizabeth Animal Shelter, Arteta went there to look for her dogs. Personnel at the shelter denied ever seeing the dogs, but as Arteta walked through the kennels, she spotted one of her dog's green and black skull collar and matching leash hanging on a cage. When she told the employee the leash and collar belonged to one of her dogs, Arteta was met with denials.

After fruitless visits to Elizabeth City Hall and the Department of Health, the impound supervisor from the Elizabeth Animal Shelter finally met with Arteta to tell her it was Arteta's father who surrendered the dogs. All he was required to do was to show the shelter his driver's license, and from that moment, the dogs were sentenced to death.

State regulations require shelters to hold surrendered animals one week unless the animals are suffering at which time a veterinarian has to have examined the animals and given that professional opinion. Arteta said her dogs were very healthy. Arteta states:

"I was the only person to care for those dogs, vaccinate, neuter/spay, register to the city and the paperwork states I AM the rightful owner. The City of Elizabeth failed to follow the State Department of Health animal impound regulations, which is enforced in every county regardless!!!!! Just a proper enforcement or follow up of these laws at the pound would have saved the lives of these innocent, docile creatures that everyone loved and related to so much."

Arteta has set up a Facebook page titled Justice for Daphne and Rocko hoping that the voices of those who cannot speak can finally be heard. Arteta doesn't want to see this happen to anyone else, and wants answers as to why the proper protocol was not followed.

"They were so helpless and they were probably really scared and didn't know what was going on And that's why I'm just so upset because I wasn't ready, you know, I wasn't here to save them. I was so far away," stated Arteta.

Arteta states her father has no explanation why he surrendered her dogs. She says he refuses to talk about it. There have been no responses or comments from the Elizabeth Animal Shelter or city officials.

Rest in peace Daphne and Rocko.

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