PEKIN — Nearly three months after a dog was accidentally euthanized at the Tazewell County Animal Control shelter in Tremont, revised policies and procedures aimed at preventing the tragedy from happening again have been proposed.

"What happened was a terrible wake-up call for us," said Ryan Sanders, the shelter director.

The revised policies and procedures were presented Thursday to the Tazewell County health services committee. The county board will vote on approval Oct. 31.

"We've recommended that the board approve the revised policies and procedures," said committee chairman Greg Sinn, R-Tremont.

"Ryan (Sanders) has done an amazing job at the shelter. His changes have made the shelter into a place that is not only known for putting animals down," Sinn said. "I know Ryan was sick about that terrible mistake with the dog and took it personally. Our committee has taken the mistake seriously."

Moses, a 6-year-old German shepherd-lab mix owned by the Wang family of Morton, was accidentally euthanized at the shelter Aug. 9 during a 10-day bite quarantine required by state law after Moses bit a maintenance worker Aug. 3

The worker came into the Wang family's backyard unannounced.

Moses was placed in quarantine after the Wangs called Tazewell County Animal Control following the biting incident. The Wangs learned about the dog's death in a call from the shelter.

Springfield-based attorney Stephen Hedinger has been hired by the Wangs to pursue legal action against Tazewell County Animal Control. A GoFundMe account was established to defray the family's legal expenses.

Tony Wang and his wife Jennifer have a son Kellan, who is a first-grader at Jefferson Elementary School in Morton. Wang said Sunday the shelter's revised policies and procedures are steps in the right direction.

"But they don't bring our beloved dog back," he said.

Wang said he doesn't feel his family's loss was acknowledged adequately at last week's health services committee meeting, and the fact that Sanders was at the meeting "means he's still employed, proving there was no discipline for his actions. It's sad our family's loss had to cause these changes that should have been in place all along."

Some of the shelter's revised policies and procedures for animal identification and euthanasia are new. Many, Sanders said, are common practices at the shelter that are now in written form.

Animal identification policies are the ones most tied to the mistake with Moses.

Under the revised policies, officers, front office staff, kennel staff, and the shelter director and certified euthanasia technicians each would have specific roles in making sure animals are properly identified.

One physical change involves sticker dots on animals' kennel cards.

There currently is only an orange dot, meaning an animal is available for adoption. Green (animal has a known owner), red (animal is on bite quarantine) and black (animal has displayed aggressive behavior) dots would be used in the new policy.

In new steps, the shelter's kennel manager would be responsible for conducting a weekly kennel inventory, and when moving an animal to another kennel or another part of the shelter, "the kennel card must go with each animal, every time. It is not acceptable to move an animal without a card, or the card without an animal," according to the proposed policy.

Sanders said the latter step would mean "each animal would essentially have its kennel card glued to them."

In a new procedure involving euthanasia, two shelter employees would be present except for an emergency situation, providing another layer of proper identification of the animal.

Sanders said all of the shelter's policies and procedures are being examined in the wake of the mistaken euthanasia of Moses and he plans to continue to present revisions to the health services committee.

"Right now, we're taking a look at the shelter's adoption guidelines," Sanders said.

Sanders has been the shelter director since 2014. He's one of the shelter's eight full-time employees. There is one part-time worker.

In statistics compiled by shelter staff for the health services committee, it was pointed out that there's been a four-time increase in adoptions and transfers from the shelter to no-kill or low-kill organizations from 79 in 2013 to 398 in 2017. There has been a drop in euthanasia of animals at the shelter from 49 percent in 2013 to 32 percent in 2017.

Also, a Tails volunteer group has been established.

Group members have set up a foster program for animals that aren't thriving in the shelter, held off-site adoptions, and have done fundraising for shelter building improvements such as a fenced dog run and remodeling of the cat room.

Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.