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IndyHumane sends fundraising letter with dog they euthanized

CEO apologizes, said it was too late to retract letter
IndyHumane letter
Posted at 11:09 PM, Sep 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-26 08:25:52-04

INDIANAPOLIS — IndyHumane hoped to raise money this month by featuring Pumpkin Head the three-legged mastiff in a letter to supporters. However, the organization euthanized Pumpkin Head before the letter made it to anyone's mailbox.

"It was not something we expected and not something we intended to have happen," IndyHumane CEO Donna Casamento said while explaining what happened. "As soon as we knew about it, we realized we were too late to pull the story."

A fundraising letter sent by IndyHumane featuring a dog they euthanized.

Casamento said IndyHumane did not have time to recall the flyer after Pumpkin Head's euthanization this month.

"When we do a direct mail piece, it can take up to six months from the time we write that story to the time it hits someone's mailbox," Casamento said.

Pumpkin Head was taken in by IndyHumane last October and adopted to a family that December. However, Casamento said that family recently returned the dog after it became violent.

"We were heartbroken," Casamento said. "There were several bites in the home. It wasn't just resource guarding, his behavior continued to escalate. When he came here, we did try to reach out to rescue groups."

Casamento said no other organizations had room for Pumpkin Head, so they felt euthanization was safer than letting him back into the community.

"The best opportunity for him has passed, unfortunately. There's no other resources available for him," Casamento said. "When dogs are faced with as many challenges as Pumpkin Head had, we have to look at not only the quality of his life, but the safety of the people and the animals."

The letter and euthanization led to some frustration on social media, most notable from former IndyHumane CEO David Horth.

In a Facebook post, Horth criticized IndyHumane's decisions and said the letter was possibly "deceptive, immoral, or horrible."

Casamento said IndyHumane will send an apology to everyone who received the letter.