Shelter Kills War Hero Dog by Mistake
Mutt saved 50 soldiers in Afghanistan
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2010 2:57 PM CST
Sgt. Christopher Duke walks Rufus, left, and Target at PetAirways on Thursday, July 29, 2010.   (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Johnny Crawford)
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(Newser) – A dog credited with saving the lives of dozens of US soldiers in Afghanistan was euthanized in an Arizona shelter by mistake, reports the Arizona Republic. Target, a stray who hung around a US military base, became a hero when she and two other dogs attacked a suicide bomber who had snuck onto the base, keeping him away from the barracks. Though the bomber detonated his charge, only five soldiers were injured because the dogs had chased him far enough away.

After the incident, Target was adopted by Sgt. Terry Young and "treated like royalty" by the troops on the base, Young said. The shepherd mix returned home with him after his tour and even won hearts on Oprah. But she slipped out of Young's yard this weekend and ended up at a shelter, where an employee mixed her up with a dog set to be put down. "I just can't believe that something like this would happen to such a good dog," says Young.