Woman takes 2 dogs away from rescue worker over neutering debate

The 2-year-old terrier and 8-month-old Australian shepherd were in the process of adoption. But before they can find their forever homes, the dogs are set to be neutered.

To get that process out of the way, Shannon von Roemer, a veteran rescuer, gave the dogs to one of the new volunteers at her organization. The volunteer, Julia Ilieschu, never made it to the clinic – and instead – responded to von Roemer’s panicked texts with messages questioning the rescuer's treatment of animals.

"I know I got to you and you will always think about this. Stop neutering healthy dogs. Go cut your husband (anatomical reference here) off and tell me how he feels," one of Ilieschu's messages to von Roemer reads.

Ilieschu, the volunteer in question, confirmed to us over the phone that she has the dogs, insisting they are being taken care of. She referred us to an attorney, who told us Ilieschu is not her client.

We asked Ilieschu about a 2022 case filed by Bella and Sunshine Rescue Inc.. where she was accused of keeping a Doberman Pincher, refusing to return him. von Roemer told me over the phone that Ilieschu eventually had to return the animal, but that she is very concerned the woman would target other animal rescues.

For von Roemer, this is particularly difficult. She had to close a mortar rescue shop after a 2019 video surfaced of an employee handling a dog in a questionable manner. 

von Roemer wasn’t there and at the time, she told the media that the action was intolerable and that appropriate actions were taken. There was an investigation by Animal Control concentrating on that employee, but von Roemer closed the shop, operating barkandbitches.com from a location where she had more control.

Anyone with information on the dogs or the woman is asked to call LAPD.