LA Animal Services employee mauled by dog – NBC Los Angeles

A Los Angeles animal shelter worker who has been with LA Animal Services for more than two decades said she never wanted to go back after she was viciously attacked by a dog.

From her hospital bed, Leslie Correia told NBC4 that while she continues to recover from the beating, she has already decided she does not want to return to the animal shelter after her experience.

“I’ve been surrounded by so many amazing animals my whole life, so it’s really hard to say goodbye to that,” Correa said.

She recalled that the attack occurred a week ago at the Harbor Animal Services Los Angeles shelter in San Pedro. As a kennel supervisor, Correa went on to foster a dog named Bree.

“She immediately hit my leg and started fighting me like crazy, screaming bloody murder,” she said. “She jumped up and grabbed my chest near my left breast.”

Correa shared that when she tried to close the door and get to safety, the door did not close completely and the dog attacked her. Then the dog lunged at the woman’s thigh.

“Half my thigh is gone,” she said. “Like my upper thigh was gone from her biting and biting and biting.”

The victim, a mother and grandmother, said she was losing a 7-minute battle for her life. Salvation came in the form of a brick that was within reach.

“I picked up the brick and started hitting the dog in the head,” Correa said. “I think the dog left him two or three times.”

“The dog wanted to chase me again, so I picked up the brick and started yelling at the dog, ‘Go away.’ She said, ‘Go away.’ “I took my phone out of my pocket. I called 911.”

So far, Correa has undergone three surgeries due to the injuries she sustained in the attack. She said she had one thing in particular she wanted to share.

“The message here is that the city of Los Angeles adopted a no-kill approach too early,” Correa said. “I’ve worked in the department for 24 years and this is the worst it has ever been. There are too many people being bitten and beaten in shelters and it has to stop because we are overcrowded and not euthanizing animals that need to be euthanized in a timely manner.”

It’s not clear exactly how many employees and volunteers have been bitten or attacked by animals at Los Angeles Animal Services shelters.

It is unclear what prompted the dog to attack.

In a statement, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass’ office expressed its sympathy for the vicious attack.

“It is extremely tragic that an employee who has dedicated her life to caring for animals has been seriously injured,” the statement read. “Over the past year, Mayor Bass has visited city shelters, met with the passionate and dedicated staff and volunteers at LAAS, and witnessed the conditions in which they work and the animals who live in them. We must do everything we can to protect the staff, volunteers and animals in our care.”

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