LODI- Two family pets that escaped from a Lodi backyard were allegedly dumped by a deputy by a field without food or water on a scorching hot day. One of those dogs was just returned home safely. The other one is still out there somewhere.
Bella, the beloved pet pit bull, is happy to be home again with her family. She and another pet---Nika, the German Shepherd, escaped Sunday.
Neighbors called the sheriff's department because they didn't know who the animals belonged to. A deputy took the dogs to two different animal shelters which wouldn't accept the dogs because they were full according to dog owner, Tricia Haggard. She learned from neighbors that the deputy then took dogs and released them by a canal. It was more than 100 degrees that day.
"He said he didn't know what else to do with them," said Haggard."I'm just kind of horrified that the dogs were let loose and no effort was made to find a micro-chip. Bella is micro-chipped."
Someone spotted Haggard's pit bull at a business miles away and got in touch with Haggard Wednesday. The story was printed in the local paper and Haggard posted signs in the area.
Haggard said the Sheriff's Department and Animal Control came out and apologized profusely for what happened
"I feel like they've been doing a lot to try and find the animals," said Haggard.
However, she's still angry.
"It's definitely frustrating. I was really upset. I'm still upset because I'm still missing my german shepherd," said Haggard.
Nika, the black and tan dog, has a tumor on her head and is scheduled to have surgery to have it removed on July 8th. Haggard hopes that her pet will be returned safely by then.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department says what the deputy allegedly did is not standard procedure. The department has launched an internal investigation into the matter.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org