A pet owner is puzzled after one of her two dogs picked up last week by animal control officers was put down at the Harris County Animal Shelter before she got there to retrieve them.

The shelter says this shouldn’t have happened, and someone made a mistake.

The shelter didn’t get into much detail about the incident, only telling KHOU 11 News in a statement a mistake was made, and employees were disciplined.

Cathy Foster, the dogs’ owner, tells KHOU 11 News the two pets were staying with her daughter, in a fenced in yard, but kept getting out.

“They were behind a fence, kept getting out, we kept fixing the fence. The last time they got out was last Monday,” Foster said.

The pets were displaced, along with Foster and her granddaughter, after their home in Montgomery County burned down in March.

The two pups were picked up by animal control officers after receiving complaints about the dogs being out.

“That’s the price I pay for them getting out,” Foster said.

The toll was a little higher than this owner expected. She didn’t have a problem with the boarding fee and made arrangements to pick up the dogs last Friday.

Then Foster found out she got to the shelter just hours too late.

“I said, ‘Don’t tell me you lost my dog,’ and he said, ‘No, ma’am, we didn’t lose your dog. Let me tell you what happened.’”

Someone at the shelter got Foster’s dog mixed up and moved this pet to the kill list. This dog was put down.

The shelter said they were sorry.

“And (they told me) I could come pick out a dog,” Foster said. “I said, ‘I don’t want another dog.’ That would be like one of my kids getting killed and saying, ‘Oh, sorry about that. Here’s you another kid.’”

For a woman still working to replace her home, Foster sure could have gone without losing a part of her family, too.

Foster wanted to share her story to alert other pet owners about what happened, especially those whose pets might get picked up and think they have a few days to retrieve them.

The shelter told KHOU 11 News they are working on retraining employees, hopefully to stop this kind of mistake from happening again in the future.