Despite objections from the woman who turned her over to Lodi’s animal control services, Bailey, a pit bull mix, was euthanized Tuesday.
According to Animal Control Officer Brena DeFazio, the supervisor who had postponed euthanizing Bailey re-evaluated the pit bull mix’s aggression test and decided to move ahead with the decision.
“I feel horrible, I feel like I killed her,” said Jackie Irrgang, the woman who found Bailey.
Irrgang found the dog wandering the streets of Stockton on July 20. After multiple attempts to find the dog’s owners, she brought Bailey to Lodi Animal Control, since the Stockton shelter is closed on Sundays.
Bailey reminded her of a big rabbit, Irrgang said, and did not show signs of aggression towards her own dog.
“She has such big ears,” Irrgang said.
Irrgang found Bailey wearing a pink harness, but without an ID tag, she said.
On Friday morning, Irrgang received a call from Animal Control informing her that Bailey had failed an aggression evaluation, and would have to be euthanized.
Irrgang said she was livid, and offered to take the dog back, but DeFazio told her that dogs that have failed the aggression test can’t be adopted or returned, and Bailey would have to be euthanized.
Irrgang called several animal rescues in the area, but all of them told her that they were full, she said.
There are roughly six aggression tests a dog must go through when brought to the Lodi Animal Shelter, and each dog is labeled as green, yellow or red. Green means the dog is ready for adoption, yellow means they need training and red means the dog is too aggressive and must be euthanized.
Bailey had failed a dog aggression test, which means she showed threatening or violent behavior toward another dog — one chosen by Animal Control for being well-mannered — when the dogs were placed in the same room on leashes.
The only way the rescues could help Bailey is if a new home was found for the pit bull mix. The dog could then be removed from the Lodi shelter, re-evaluated and trained by a rescue shelter, and sent to her new home.
Part of the animal shelter’s job is to place dogs with rescue groups if possible, DeFazio said, but the organizations she tried to contact did not return her calls.
“They said they’d get back to me and they never did,” DeFazio said.
On Tuesday, it was too late.
DeFazio previously told the News-Sentienl that this was an unfortunate situation, and that this problem isn’t uncommon when it comes to dogs sent to the pound.