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Manager of humane society talks about accidental release of dog

It's a story that's garnered national attention.

A dog, mistaken as a coyote, was placed in the woods, sparking an intense search to find her.

Copper, a Sheba Inu, was picked up by Frankfort Police last month and taken to the Franklin County Humane Society.

That's where workers told police that the dog was a coyote, and ordered the dog to be released into a wooded area.

The dog hasn't been found.

On Tuesday, the manager of the Franklin County Humane Society spoke to 27 NEWSFIRST about what happened.

"I know there's some heartache there, and I do feel for that," Regina McDaniel, manager of the Franklin County Humane Society said.

Copper's owner accused McDaniel of misidentifying Copper as a coyote, and releasing it.

"I did not mean her, her family, her children, anyone, the animal any harm," McDaniel said.

McDaniel says the mix up happened over a holiday weekend. Animal control had been off duty when police officers brought the dog in.

There was no one available with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to help identify it that day.

"The coloring and the tail lay straight across its back," McDaniel said. "This is what we had to go by."

Because the shelter cannot house wildlife due to rabies concerns, McDaniel made the choice to release the dog.

"I couldn't jeopardize everyone else's animals that were here, or the staff," she said.

Since then, the humane society has been under harsh criticism. McDaniel says they want to move forward, and continue to take care of their animals to the best of their ability.

27 NEWSFIRST asked if there have been any policy changes since this incident. McDaniel says any changes are up to the humane society's board.

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