Authorities were investigating after a dog was left in a Chicago Animal Care and Control vehicle for "several days" following an adoption event, a source told NBC Chicago.
"Missy" reportedly was with several other dogs at a Chicago Wolves hockey game but was "having problems" and had to be removed, the source said.
While the other dogs were adopted, Missy apparently was never removed from the van. When a volunteer found her Thursday night in a van parked in a city lot about a mile away from the CACC building, on the 2700 block of Western Avenue, she was "barely alive," the source said.
"As soon as we learned of this incident yesterday we immediately had our veterinarian give the dog a complete medical examination, which found no health issues," said CACC spokesman Brad Powers.
Missy was examined and doing well Friday as officials launched an investigation into how the incident -- a first ever -- happened.
Powers said staffers at Chicago Animal Care and Control, as well as the Chicago Police Department, were investigating the incident and said "disciplinary action is certainly possible."
The Chicago Wolves website indicates the last "adopt-a-dog" event was held Saturday, April 18.
"We take this seriously because it is completely unacceptable and not in keeping with the level of care we expect our employees to provide," said Powers. "While preliminarily this appears to be an accident, nothing like this has ever happened before and we are committed to ensuring it never happens again."
Wolves chairman Don Levin said the incident was "disappointing" and that the organization feels "horrible about it."
"We’ve had almost 1,300 dogs adopted at our games over the last several years and this is the first time anything like this has occurred," he said. "While the Wolves do not have any control over the personnel ACC employs at our games, we will request that the person who is responsible for this unconscionable, life-threatening mistake is never involved with any Wolves activities in the future."
A Chicago police spokesperson told NBC Chicago that criminal charges were unlikely but that the investigation was ongoing.