Employee Attacked by Dog Waiting ‘Rescue’

07 Jun, 2024 Liz Carey


Los Angeles, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – A Los Angeles animal shelter worker was attacked by a dog at work said she never wants to return to work.  

Leslie Corea, a kennel supervisor at Harbor Animal Shelter, was badly mauled by a dog at the San Pedro shelter on May 29. Corea said she was getting the dog out of its kennel to show it to a rescue group and it “flipped out” and attacked her.  

“She went immediately for my leg and started fighting me like crazy. And I'm screaming bloody murder," Corea told NBC Los Angeles. "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 its gone." 

So far, Corea has undergone three surgeries at Harbor UCLA-Medical Center, officials said.  

L.A. Animal Services spokeswoman Megan Ignacio confirmed the attack.  

“L.A. Animal Services staff and volunteers are devastated by the injuries to our co-worker and friend. L.A. Animal Services has already launched an investigation into this incident,” Ignacio said in a statement. 

One volunteer, speaking on the condition of anonymity to NBC Los Angeles for fear of losing their job, said Brie, the 68-pound dog who attacked Corea, had been placed on the “Red Alert List” on May 9, had exhibited signs of fear, anxiety and stress. Brie was set to be euthanized on May 31.  

“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," the volunteer said. "And then, you have these dogs who are aggressive who attacked other dogs, and they’re red listed." 

The volunteer said there is no clear explanation from L.A. Animal Service on how to handle red listed dogs.  

“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,” the volunteer said. The volunteer said the attack was preventable. The shelter is understaffed and there was no one nearby to hear Corea’s screams, they said.  

“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 said the attack puts a spotlight on the ongoing overcrowding crisis at the shelter.  

“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." 

Volunteer are hopeful that LA Animal Services will give volunteers and staff more guidance and safety measures, and address the lack of resources and staffing at the shelter to ensure another attack doesn’t happen.  

In an email to the public on the day of the attack, the city’s animal shelter are in crisis because of a lack of space and an influx of animals. Without mentioning the attack, the email encouraged the public to adopt and foster more dogs.  

Animal Services Department General Manager Staycee Dains said in the email that “the crisis has put staff, volunteers and animals in harm’s way and we will continue to prioritize making this system safer for all involved.” 

According to the email, the department has the capacity for about 800 dogs at a time, but that the shelter has more than 1,500 dogs and nearly 50 dogs enter the shelters each day. According to the department, conditions are leading to more euthanizations. More than 100 dogs were killed in April, a 44 percent increase over the same time last year, the email said.  

“These are animals that, if given the right home or rescue, could be rewarding companions, but who may need specific expertise to thrive, or who need a patient, caring, and invested home to take them right away,” Ignacio said in an email last month. 

And on May 30, City Councilmember Eunesses Hernadez, who chairs a committee overseeing animal issues, expressed frustration over budget issues when it comes to the animal shelter. Hernandez said in a statement she was devastated over the incident.  

“The state of the city’s animal shelters remains completely unacceptable,” Hernandez said. “It is urgent that we take immediate steps to address the crisis in our shelters to protect the safety and wellbeing of both the animals in our care and their caretakers.” 

  • AI arising out of california case management case management focus claims compensability compliance courts covid do you know the rule exclusive remedy florida FMLA glossary check Healthcare health care iowa leadership medical medicare minnesota NCCI new jersey new york ohio opioids osha pennsylvania Safety state info technology tennessee texas violence virginia WDYT west virginia what do you think women's history month workers' comp 101 workers' recovery workers' compensation contact information Workplace Safety Workplace Violence

  • Read Also

    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

    Read More

    Request a Demo

    To request a free demo of one of our products, please fill in this form. Our sales team will get back to you shortly.