NLR family surrenders pit bull mix, believed to be put down, then found alive


NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A North Little Rock family feels their options were not explained when their pit bull was taken by animal control. 

Due to Breed Specific Legislation in North Little Rock, pit bulls are not allowed. 

There are two options owners have to legally remove the dogs.

One is to completely surrender the dog to the city so they can send it to another rescue outside the city and try to get it adopted. 

The other option is to pay to have the dog fixed, tattooed, vaccinated and then sign an affidavit swearing the dog will be re-homed outside the city limits. 

The Ancel’s say those options were not clearly expressed to them after their part lab part pit bull dog Iris was reported to animal control. 

They have issued a ticket for Iris being a banned breed. 

When the family signed her over to the city so she could be adopted somewhere outside North Little Rock, they didn’t realize that euthanizing her was an option. 

“We work immediately trying to get that dog adopted out. If it’s been determined that it’s an aggressive dog, the rescue organizations won’t take it,” Nathan Hamilton, the Director of Communication for the city said. 

Iris was determined to be aggressive. 

“Had this dog been vicious, my 7-month-old would not be anywhere near her,” Natalie Ancel, the dog’s owner said. 

Ancel says the option to pay to get her back and re-homed was never mentioned. 

“Had I known signing this piece of paper that we thought was a release was going to kill my dog,  I would have given you 300 dollars on the spot,” she said. 

Instead, when she went to visit Iris 16 hours later, she was told it was too late. 

“You put down my dog?” Ancel asked shocked by how quickly the determination and extermination happened. 

But a day later, heartbreak turned into a lucky break. 

 “An employee had filled out the paperwork saying he had put the dog down when he, in fact, had not done so yet,” Hamilton said.  

“I was like ‘y’all she’s alive!'” Ancel said describing the picture she sent to her family and friends. 

The shelter is owning up to the mistake, dropping the ticket and paying for Iris’ surgery. 

But the Ancel’s want to make sure this confusion doesn’t happen to another family. 

The employee who filed the paperwork saying Iris had been euthanized was reprimanded and given more training, according to the city. 

Iris is expected to be fixed Thursday and already has a new home waiting for her outside of the city. 

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