BC man heartbroken after his puppy was euthanized without consent

Jul 9 2024, 4:41 pm

A BC man is mourning the loss of his seven-month-old puppy after he claims his ex-partner was able to have it euthanized while he was out of the province.

Endless Pawsabilities, a BC dog rescue organization, shared the revelation with Daily Hive, which led to a complex investigation into what happened with the puppy, Finnegan.

Alanna Clark volunteers with the rescue and told Daily Hive that Kyle Carter adopted Finnegan from them. He recently left the country on a volunteer mission, leaving the pup with his ex. At some point, while Finnegan was in the ex’s care, Clark says the ex alleged that the pup bit her child.

Out of apparent desperation and an inability to handle the puppy, the ex contacted the BC SPCA for help, which led to a veterinarian putting the dog down.

Questions about ownership

BC SPCA van generic

A BC SPCA vehicle is seen parked in front of its Vancouver headquarters.

Finnegan, a seven-month-old Shepherd mix, was adopted by Carter from the rescue in April 2024.

The BC SPCA told Daily Hive that the animal was surrendered due to safety concerns.

“Apparently, they were co-owners,” Eileen Drever,  Senior Officer of Protection and Stakeholder Relations at the BC SPCA, told Daily Hive.

“Because the dog had bit the child, this woman couldn’t hold on to that dog any longer,” Drever said, adding that the dog was aggressive and even described it as being “nasty” and a danger to the public. The SPCA couldn’t take Finnegan into its care, as it was at full capacity.

“She couldn’t afford to take it to the vet to have it euthanized. So we arranged to meet her at the vet, and we paid for the veterinary fees to have the dog put to sleep.”

Clark believes that the ex should not have been able to have Finnegan put down because his adoption record, vet records, and microchip were registered to Carter, not her.

“What we are struggling with is how the SPCA would have verified her as the rightful owner. And why a proper behavioural assessment wasn’t done before he was put down. Certainly, dogs should be granted an adjustment period after being surrendered,” Clark initially told Daily Hive.

“The ex-girlfriend reached out to Endless Pawsabilities to ask us to take the dog back. We were happy to do so and let her know we had a foster lined up for him the following Monday (June 17). Unfortunately, the Friday before that (June 14), she took Finnegan to the SPCA to have him euthanized,” Clark said.

Clark was emotionally distraught over Finnegan’s death, especially considering how close the dog was to getting to his temporary foster before reuniting with Carter.

“We do not need to intend to undermine the important work that the SPCA does. They do so many good things. I just think, in this case, they got it wrong,” Clark said.

“Prior to being in her care, he was a lovely, cuddly and calm pup who lived in a foster home with other dogs and many children and loved all humans, including strangers,” added Clark.

In unverified claims, Clark says she was told the dog was crated for long periods of time, alleging this treatment may have contributed to Finnegan’s more aggressive behaviour.

Daily Hive has been unable to contact the woman. For privacy reasons, Daily Hive has kept her and her child’s identities anonymous.

“Finnegan was my best friend”

bc dog


For Carter, someone who already suffers from some mental health challenges, this was a devastating blow.

“Finnegan was my best friend. I suffer from bipolar [disorder], and he was my support,” Carter told Daily Hive.

“I have not been sleeping, and my mental health has downward spiralled since.”

He told Daily Hive how he felt about how his ex navigated the situation.

“She used to be a friend, someone I thought that I could trust, and while I am out of the country, she has my best friend killed for no reason.”

He also said that the BC SPCA never contacted him, the owner, about how to proceed with Finnegan, nor did they verify the claims that Finnegan was in his ex’s care for three months.

“I don’t understand how they can just take someone’s word and kill a dog for no reason whatsoever.”

Was this legal?

BC puppy euthanized


We spoke to lawyer Rebeka Breder, an animal law expert, about some of the nuances of what transpired leading up to Finnegan’s death. While this is a tragic situation for the owner, Breder doesn’t believe the SPCA committed any legal wrongdoing in this situation.

“I just don’t see that the SPCA did anything legally wrong,” Breder said.

“The reality nowadays, a very sad reality for all rescue, whether it’s SPCA or other dog rescues, is that they are so overburdened and overloaded with the number of animals under their care that it’s becoming extremely difficult to adopt dogs out with any kind of negative history,” Breder said.

According to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, regardless of whether Carter’s ex was a registered owner or not, she was likely an “authorized agent.”

“We obviously are all very big animal lovers, and I just can’t fathom there not being any sensitivity there. It was upsetting,” Clark said.

Let us know how you feel in the comments.

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