Tracy Animal Shelter Faces Backlash after Euthanizing Dog

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TRACY -- The Tracy Animal Shelter is in hot water with some animals activists following the euthanization of a dog named Ozzie the shelter had deemed aggressive.

Rescuers say the dog could have been saved.

Animal lover Jaclynn Benson says an animal rescue group that had helped her adopt a dog had offered to save Ozzie but he was killed before they could.

"Just from meeting him, walking up to him and giving him snacks, he was a tail-wagger," Benson said. "This dog was wagging his tail all the time that's why they wanted to pull him because they knew he wasn't aggressive."

Ozzie's death sparked controversy and social media outcry.

But Tracy police who oversee the rescue say this is all an issue of incorrect or misleading information which fueled online outrage that went too far.

"We ended up getting emails and messages physically threatening our staff," Interim Police Chief Alex Neicu said. "That's not acceptable in any situation."

Neicu says he wants to set the record straight.

"He was there for 22 days. There's some conflicting information that was put out on the internet but the fact remains and it's indisputable that he was here for 22 days," he said.

But concerned animal activists argue Ozzie still shouldn't have been put down because there was plenty of room in the shelter.

Police say they followed ASPCA guidelines and stand by the shelter's decision.

"Our primary responsibility is to the community. To protect the community from an unfortunate situation where a dog leaving our shelter would end up being aggressive and injuring somebody in the community. We're bound by that responsibility," Neicu said. "We take it very seriously and that's our primary goal. Rescue groups do not have the same responsibility that we do as a government agency and therefore our goals are a little bit different."

 

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