The death of a 3-month-old puppy named Bowie mistakenly euthanized at a California animal shelter has Los Angeles officials demanding answers.
Bowie was put down at the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center earlier this month, KCBS reported. On Tuesday, Dec. 20, county supervisors called for an investigation, citing community outrage.
“It’s really heartbreaking to hear that this had occurred, and we found more and more cases where this has happened before,” Supervisor Hilda Solis said, according to the station.
Maria Rosales, manager of the center, assured supervisors that “all of the circumstances” of Bowie’s death are being closely examined, KTLA reported. She said shelter officials “deeply regret” the puppy’s death.
“The department takes its life-saving mission very seriously,” Rosales said. “It’s not taken lightly at all.”
Supervisors demanded answers on Bowie’s death within 30 days, KCBS reported. They also ordered a 5-year plan within 90 days to reduce the number of animals euthanized at county shelters.
Los Angeles County’s six shelters have been “under fire for months” with volunteers and rescue groups charging that animals are being neglected, the Los Angeles Times reported. Shelter officials have said they don’t have enough staff.
“We continue to get emails from the public telling us about animals that are being rejected,” said Commissioner Jose Sandoval at a Dec. 13 Board of Animal Services Commissioners meeting, according to the Los Angeles Times. Residents told the panel they were advised to abandon strays because shelters had no room.
County shelters saw a double-digit jump in the number of dogs and cats housed in October over the same period last year, the Los Angeles Times reported.