Family’s Missing Dog Euthanized Only Hours After Arrival at Shelter
Photo Credit: Chalabala / Getty Images
While it’s every dog owner’s worst nightmare, most of us have lost track of our pets for a short period of time. Dogs are talented at knowing when it’s just the right moment to slip out the door and take off. Thankfully, most of us find our pets quickly if they escape. One family was relieved to hear their dog had been turned into the shelter – only to come to the horrifying realization that their family pet had been euthanized. Now, a local animal control center is trying to find out how this tragic mistake was allowed to happen.
Family Didn’t Get to Say Goodbye to Euthanized Dog
Leona, a 19-year-old Poodle mix, was a beloved member of the Leon family. Leona escaped, and was discovered less than two blocks from her home at 11 a.m. — but by 1:10 p.m., she had been euthanized. Despite this, she had been posted on the Animal Care Centers of New York City (ACC) “Lost and Found” page.
“I am absolutely appalled and outraged that ACC took it upon itself to kill the Leon family’s beloved dog, Leona, without cause,” said Council Member James Gennaro, according to QNS. “By ACC’s own admission, Leona exhibited no signs of abuse or trauma. It was excruciatingly obvious this dog was loved and had a home, which is why ACC listed Leona on its own ‘Lost and Found’ webpage in the first place. Furthermore, the age-related infirmity that ACC contends that Leona exhibited – which the Leon family denies – does not even matter. Leona deserved to spend the rest of her days with her family. Instead, Leona was executed by ACC.”
According to NYC ACC’s policies, they must wait 72 hours for a pet to be reclaimed before deciding upon euthanizing the pet.
Symptomatic of a Larger Problem
While this tragic loss is certainly devastating to those who loved Leona, it’s not the first time a family pet has been euthanized by animal control centers. Some believe that the problem isn’t human error, it’s overloaded shelters.
“We were well aware of her conditions and the responsibilities of taking care of a dog with those conditions at that age,” Leona’s owner told QNS. “I want no-kill shelters to be funded because their intentions are finding dogs a home and helping dogs. If shelters like ACC are going to exist, they need to make sure they follow their own protocols. All of this could’ve been prevented. People deserve their chance to find their dogs. My dog was my family member. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my dog the way that I deserved.”
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