LA Animal Services volunteer speaks out after dog attack – NBC Los Angeles

Many LA Animal Services volunteers are demanding the organization do a better job to keep the animals and people safe after one of their longtime employees was brutally mauled by a dog at the Harbor Shelter in San Pedro.

The volunteers say the attack exposes an ongoing problem of being understaffed, underfunded and unable to provide the proper care for the animals.

LA Animal Services Kennel Supervisor Leslie Corea was severely injured by a dog at the Harbor Shelter last Friday. Corea has been with the shelter for 24 years. She told NBC4 she was in the kennel with Brie, a 63-pound dog, when the dog suddenly attacked.

“She went immediately for my leg and started fighting me like crazy. And I’m screaming bloody murder,” Corea recalled. “She jumped up and grabbed my chest near my left breast. I went to shut the door. And I fell, and she came the door didn’t completely shut, and she came charging at me again, grabbed onto my left leg, punctured that, and then she went back to my right leg, my thigh, my thigh is – half of it’s gone.”

Brie was placed on the “Red Alert List” on May 9 after exhibiting signs of fear, anxiety and stress. It was noted Brie was not doing well inside the shelter and was set to be euthanized on May 31, which was the same day a rescue group was scheduled to see Brie and the day she attacked Corea.

“They put dogs on the red list for any little thing. We’ve had perfectly fine dogs, dog-friendly, people-friendly and they get red listed,” said a Harbor shelter volunteer. “And then, you have these dogs who are aggressive who attacked other dogs, and they’re red listed.”

A Harbor shelter volunteer asked NBC4 to hide their identity out of fear of retaliation from LA Animal Services for talking about the conditions at the shelter. They say because there is no explanation from LA Animal Services on why these dogs are red listed, there’s no clear policy on how to handle them.

“Everybody cares about Leslie, and it shouldn’t have happened. It should not have happened. I think a lot of volunteers will think twice now before taking out dogs showing those symptoms,” said a volunteer.

An LA Animal Services employee said she was viciously mauled by a dog while at work. Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News on June 5, 2024.

They say this attack was preventable, but because the shelter is understaffed, there was no one nearby to hear Corea’s screams.

“Talked about maybe getting panic buttons or something like that,” the volunteer said. “(Or) the city give everyone a whistle, but a whistle is not going to cut it if you are being attacked by a dog.”

The volunteer says this also highlights the ongoing overcrowding crisis; dogs are not getting the adequate care they deserve and they’re in a stressful environment, which impacts their physical and mental wellbeing.

“It does affect the dogs when they are caged like that, without getting walks, or exercise or any stimulation or any human contact,” the volunteer said. “It’s not natural for them to live like that. It’s inhumane.”

Volunteers are hoping LA Animal Services will provide guidance and safety measures following this brutal attack and address the lack of resources and staffing because many fear this could happen again.

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