The Board of Supervisors is demanding changes at the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control after a 3-month old puppy was mistakenly euthanized.
The death of Bowie the puppy at the Baldwin Park Animal Center earlier this month has sparked outrage.
“All of the circumstances surrounding Bowie’s euthanasia is being looked at very carefully,” said Maria Rosales, manager of the Animal Care Center, adding that shelter officials “deeply regret” the puppy’s death. “The department takes its life-saving mission very seriously. It’s not taken lightly at all.”
On Tuesday, supervisors unanimously approved a motion to reduce the rate of euthanized animals in the care of Animal Care and Control.
During the meeting, Supervisor Hilda Solis, who co-wrote the motion, called the incident “heartbreaking.”
“We’ve found more and more cases where this has happened before,” she said. “Many people in the community have reached out to my office and they want to see a change.”
The motion calls for a “full accounting” of what led to Bowie being put down and a plan to prevent similar incidents.
Officials are to report back to the Board of Supervisors in 90 days with a five-year plan to decrease the number and percentage of animals that are euthanized.
Between July and November of this year, nearly 4,000 animals in the county’s care were euthanized out of roughly 12,000, officials highlighted. By comparison, the city of Los Angeles has about a 87% saving rate at local shelters.
Underdog Heroes Rescue said they were committed to saving Bowie, but when they followed up with the shelter, they were told the dog had been put down.
The rescue’s president, Shoshi Gamliel, told KTLA that she’s not sure how this happened, and that there was nothing wrong with Bowie.
“Evidently, they go through an entire process to even decide which dogs are approved to be euthanized,” she indicated.