New York Family Mourns Their 19-Year-Old Dog Euthanized by Animal Shelter 3 Hours After Escaping From Home

Leona, a 19-year-old French Poodle mix, escaped from her home. She was brought to an animal shelter and put down three hours later.

A family in Queens, New York, is mourning the loss of their beloved pet who ended up being euthanized just hours after she escaped from their backyard. 

Leona, a 19-year-old French Poodle mix, escaped from her home and was found wandering the neighborhood by a stranger who brought her to a local animal shelter. Leona was not wearing a dog collar because she had just had a bath, her family says.

The dog was brought to Animal Care and Control NYC, where her picture was taken and posted on their website’s lost and found page.

Siblings Ericka and Juan Leon saw the post and immediately contacted the shelter, but it was already too late.

Leona was put down just three hours after she was found.

“I was hysterical,” says Ericka.

The shelter says Leona was suffering from debilitating conditions including heart disease, blindness and dental issues and said she looked emaciated.

Ericka said Leona had happy days ahead of her and tells Inside Edition the family should have had the chance to make the decision to put her down.

The siblings raised the dog since she was a puppy. “Our fondest memories was her being around us and our family and our friends jumping around, having a good time,” Erika says.

“They saw my dog for a couple of hours, three hours, we’ve seen her for 19 years,” Erika says.

The shelter says when they can’t locate a dog’s owner, by law they are required to act in what they believe is the animal’s best interest.

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