While it is usually the worst nightmare for every dog owner, most of us have lost track of our pets for a short period. Dogs are capable of knowing when the right moment is to slip out the door and take off.
A family was relieved to hear about their dog being turned into the shelter – just coming to the horrifying realization that it had been euthanized. A local animal control center is finding out about this tragic mistake that allowed it to happen.
The family couldn’t Say Goodbye to Euthanized Dog
A 19-year-old Poodle mix, named Leona was a member of the Leon family. She escaped and was discovered around two blocks away from the home at 11 a.m. — and by 1:10 p.m., she had been euthanized. Regardless of this, she had been posted on a “Lost and Found” page of the Animal Care Centers of New York City (ACC).
“I am absolutely appalled and outraged that ACC took it upon itself to kill the Leon family’s beloved dog, Leona, without cause,” Council Member James Gennaro stated. “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 the policies of NYC ACC, they must wait for 72 hours for a pet to be reclaimed before choosing to euthanize the pet.
Symptomatic of a Larger Problem
While this loss is clearly devastating for the family of Leona, it’s not the foremost chance that a 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 said. “I want no-kill shelters to be funded because their intentions are finding dogs 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.”