A puppy named Bowie was mistakenly euthanized. L.A. County supervisors want an investigation

Bowie is a scruffy-looking terrier puppy with hazel eyes who has been waiting for weeks at the animal shelter in Baldwin Park to be rescued.

But when the four-month-old dog was euthanized on December 4, his death sparked a public outcry about how pet homes were discovered at seven shelters in the county and animals were disposed of. An investigation was requested as to whether

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week ordered the agency to investigate the death of a puppy. Members also approved a motion to reduce euthanasia for animals under the county’s custody.

motion Supervisors Hilda L. Solis and Janice Hahn said an employee with the county’s Department of Animal Control “mistakenly authorized the euthanasia of a puppy named Bowie at the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center,” a resident said. Bowie was turned over to a shelter in Baldwin Park by his owner on November 10 and euthanized on December 4, the station said.

motion isunanimously approved on Tuesdaygiving the department 30 days to develop a “full account” of the causes that led to Bowie’s death. gave 90 days

The plan should include ‘built-in annual benchmarks’ such as a detailed report on slaughtered animals, recommendations on how to reduce euthanasia rates, and a feasibility analysis of a 90% animal rescue rate. I have.

“We can and must do better to save the innocent animals in our county’s care,” Solis said in a statement.

An investigation led by the agency’s human resources department was already underway before the board’s motion and began “as soon as Bowie’s euthanasia was discovered,” said the department’s deputy director of South County operations. Frank Corvino said.

“While that investigation is not yet complete, we will investigate every step of Bowie’s stay and any errors identified will be addressed promptly and thoroughly,” Corvino said. We take euthanasia very seriously and have made this incident a top priority in our investigation and response, including any necessary corrective actions by our staff.”

According to a board motion, between July 1 and November 30, the Los Angeles County Office of Animal Control, one of the largest animal control agencies in I disposed of 30%. This compares with the City of Los Angeles, which achieved an estimated savings rate of 87% in October.

This is despite Animal Care and Control’s “socially conscious animal protection” policy, which includes finding shelter and caring for “safe and healthy” animals, according to the motion of the supervisor. It’s not.

“Bowie’s death shows that despite this policy, many animals are not well placed in viable adopters and rescuers,” the official wrote. It’s time for the county to rethink animal care strategies to maximize the number of animals that find permanent homes.”

Agency director Marsha Maeda told The Times in an email on Dec. 15 that 21 dogs, including Bowie, were killed at the Baldwin Park location on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, and 3. Seriously ill or injured.

Four were considered unsafe for adoption because of their aggressive behavior. Nine could not be placed after the agency “exhausted all possibilities”, including using social media and sending several pleas to rescue groups. Five, including Bowie, had behavior that was “extremely concerning” and could only be released to rescue organizations for rehabilitation.Many of the dogs that were euthanized died on the 24th. He has been under the control of authorities for 122 days since, Mayeda said.

Bowie remained in the shelter for 24 days and “demonstrated extreme fear and fear-filled aggression” but did not improve, said Maeda, requiring socialization and special training and was handed over to a rescue group. Bowie and four other dedicated rescue dogsagency websiteand the rescue group didn’t ask about any dogs, Maeda said.

“Nevertheless, staff had not sent these five dogs an active rescue plea before euthanizing them,” Maeda said. If a dog is at risk for euthanasia, a petition goes directly to hundreds of adoption programs within the agency’s network. You can submit up to three petitions, including her urgent 72-hour petition.

The agency has confirmed that it has never sent a petition about Bowie.

underdog heroesA Southern California rescue group that specializes in bullies said they asked about Bowie. Do you still need help?” The group’s president, Shoshi Gamliel, said he only learned of Bowie’s existence after an adoptee contacted him on Instagram.

Corvino said the station “was unaware of Underdog Heroes’ interest in rescuing Bowie, and that information was not made known until Bowie was euthanized.”

According to Bowie’s file, which Underdog also shared with The Times, the employee whose name has been redacted said at approximately 8:40 a.m. on December 4, “[registered veterinary technician] If there is any reason not to proceed as recommended, you must notify us immediately. ’” The note shows a veterinary technique confirming Bowie’s record details. The county has confirmed that the copy of the file is genuine.

Bowie was dropped off at 10:40 a.m., according to documents.

Maeda said Bowie and four other rescue dogs were dropped off by one employee “who has the authority to make that decision.”

Still, according to Gamliel, Animal Care and Control websites are often unreliable, with insufficient photos and inaccurate information about breed and age. Underdog Heroes usually learn of rescue opportunities through petitions from shelters, she said. She added that working at Baldwin Park was particularly difficult.

Corvino countered that the shelter “has been very responsive to requests from.” [active adoption partners and rescue groups] Additional time may be required after 72 hours’ notice.

“As a division, we have been looking for ways to accelerate our release to our recruiting partners,” added Corvino. He will update its updated adoption and rescue process, an online database accessible to approved organizations, and the department’s practice of sending petitions to endangered dog homes before a decision is made. pointed out.

He also said that photography is his number one priority. The agency recently used the grant to invest in additional photographic equipment. Breed and age can be determined in a number of ways, including from staff veterinarians and animal owners, Corvino said.

“Bowie was important to us,” Gamriel said. “Because he was a puppy, it was a hurtful situation because he doesn’t even have a way to justify it. Fear is no reason to euthanize a dog, especially with puppies.”

Times staff writer Noah Goldberg contributed to this report.

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