Shelter dog mistakenly euthanized even after finding an adopter: “purely killed for space”

Shelter dog mistakenly euthanized even after finding an adopter: “purely killed for space”

Dog euthanasia remains a sad reality at many overcrowded shelters, who put unadopted dogs to sleep to make space. Thankfully there are people and rescue groups who step up to save these dogs at the last hour — but sometimes it isn’t enough.

That was the tragic case recently, when one shelter dog was mistakenly euthanized, even though he was supposed to go to a new home.

Sheba, a 2-year-old pit bull mix, ended up in the care of LA Animal Services’ shelter in South Los Angeles, after being abandoned last May.

After a year with no adopters, she was scheduled to be put down by June 2.

But animal advocate and rescuer Jianna Maarten Sadda stepped in at the last second to save her life: she called the shelter and told them she would adopt Sheba.

Jianna made arrangements with the shelter to pick up Sheba on Tuesday — but when she checked in with them, she was told that Sheba was dead.

According to NBC Los Angeles, Jianna was told that Sheba was mistakenly put down due to a staff communication error. She was heartbroken that Sheba was killed, right when she was about to be free.

LA Animal Services recently enacted a new policy to combat overcrowding, in which dogs are given 72 hours to be saved by a rescue group if they show behaviors that pose a safety risk.

But Jianna says that Sheba did not pose any risk, and was killed for no reason.

“She was still such a good dog,” Jianna told NBC LA. “There was no behavioral reason to kill Sheba. She was purely killed for space.”

She shared a post in memory of Sheba, as well as another dog named Trix who was also recently put down. “So many have lost their lives and many more will in the coming weeks. They deserved better. They all did.”

“Sorry we couldn’t save you both.”

No dog deserves to be euthanized, but it’s even more tragic when a dog is put down by mistake even after finding another home.

In January, Proving Animals Are Worth Saving (PAAWS), a no-kill shelter in Indiana, stepped in to place a dog named Stanley in a foster home to save him from being euthanized, but animal control officers did not get the message in time and put him to sleep.

“I think that’s what makes it that much harder, that he was so close to being able to get out,” PAAWS treasurer Julie Frazier told WFIE.

Given that there has been at least two cases of dogs mistakenly being put to death when they already secured a home, it’s clear that kill shelters need to work on their internal communications to ensure that these tragic mistakes don’t happen again.

Rest in peace, Sheba 😢💔 It’s heartbreaking you never got the freedom you deserved. Please share this story.

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