SPRING HILL — Maria Velez and her 11-year-old son, Austin, were looking forward to bringing home Buddy, their big, lovable orange tiger-stripe, when they went to Hernando County Animal Services on Friday.
But when workers tried to hand over the cat they thought was Buddy, it was obvious something was wrong.
The cat was an orange tiger-stripe, but its face was different. It was thin. It had no tail.
Then came the horrible news.
Buddy was dead, accidentally put down a day earlier when an Animal Services worker who thought she was calling Buddy's owner called the wrong person. That person didn't want the cat, which had been brought to the shelter, and gave permission to have it euthanized.
Buddy mistakenly received the lethal shot.
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