Los Angeles

Dog slated for adoption mistakenly euthanized an hour before scheduled pick up

The woman who was set to adopt the pit bull mix said she was told that LA Animal Services staff didn't communicate among each other that the dog was set to be adopted, leading to her death.

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A dog that was set to be adopted was mistakenly euthanized by a South Los Angeles animal shelter due to a communication error.

The woman who was slated to adopt the pooch is demanding answers following the euthanization, which happened just about an hour before she was expected to pick up what would have been her new pet.

Jianna Maarten Sadda said she called LA Animal Services’ South LA shelter to let them know she was adopting a dog named Sheba. According to Sadda, the 2-year-old pit bull mix was euthanized due to what the shelter told her was an error in communication.

“Lived half her life in the shelter, so she had been in for a whole year,” Sadda said of Sheba. “And after a year, a dog will usually go crazy after being in 'jail,' so we call it. And she was still such a good dog.”

On Tuesday morning, Sadda called the shelter to arrange the pickup time for 3 p.m. The staff ensured Maarten Sadda that Sheba would be safe but at 2 p.m., when Maarten Sadda called to check in, Sheba was dead.

“There was no behavioral reason to kill Sheba. She was purely killed for space,” Sadda said.

A day after a longtime LA Animal Services employee shared her story of being mauled by a dog, a shelter volunteer is speaking out against the shelter, saying it needs to do more to keep people safe. Tracey Leong reports for the NBC4 News on June 6, 2024.

Sadda said she was told that shelter staff did not communicate among each other that the dog was going home. The death comes on the heels of LA Animal Services’ new policy announcement, which followed the brutal mauling of a staff employee who was attacked by a dog while on the job.

During a Board of Animal Services Commissioners meeting this week, General Manager Staycee Dains announced a temporary policy to help with the overcrowding crisis that gives dogs 72 hours to be saved by an authorized rescue group if they have behaviors that pose a safety risk.

“If they continue to communicate their constant discomfort in our care, we will authorize euthanasia for them because they are demonstrating they are suffering and that is not appropriate,” Dains said.

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