QUEENS, N.Y. (PIX11) — A Queens woman is heartbroken after her beloved dog Leona was euthanized by a New York City shelter soon after it escaped from her backyard over the weekend, according to the owner’s social media posts.
“My heart is so broken. This is so cruel what they did. They took my dog’s life away when someone had good intentions and brought her to a shelter with the hopes of reuniting us. I will not go without a fight,” Ericka Leon tweeted.
Leon said Animal Care Center of New York City posted about the lost dog online but decided to euthanize the 19-year-old pup just hours later. The owner said Leona was only missing for three hours and she notified the ACC they were on their way to get her shortly after the center said it found the white canine.
“Unbelievable @NYCACC has the audacity to ignore my emails and posts but when the media /news reaches out they are quick to make a statement to defend themselves. The truth will be told and you will face the consequences,” Leon tweeted on Tuesday.
The dog was found spinning in circles and wobbly near Grand Central Parkway and Smedley Street in Queens on Sunday, according to a spokesperson for ACC. She had no identification and was not microchipped.
Leona was given a thorough examination and diagnosed with severe neurological illness before veterinarians made the decision. The dog was also blind, deaf, and suffered from heart issues, the spokesperson said.
“The doctors at ACC do not take euthanasia lightly. It is their job to direct a course that is in the best interest of the animal,” the ACC said in a statement.
Still, the owners are planning a rally on Saturday on Linden Boulevard in Brooklyn to demand justice for Leona.