Healdsburg police are investigating the euthanization of a dog at the Healdsburg Animal Shelter after questions were raised online by a dog enthusiast.
Two-year-old Posey, a border collie mix, was put to death four days before Christmas. A rescue group had expressed willingness to take the dog and have a certified trainer work to cure her of dangerous and aggressive behavior toward other dogs.
An article by animal welfare advocate Jen deHaan, who blogs as "dogthusiast," questioned the euthanization despite the shelter's "no kill" policy, prompting city officials Wednesday to ask police to investigate the case.
"My concern when I read the article was it claims a violation of the city ordinance," Mayor Susan Jones said of the city code stipulating "no treatable animal shall be euthanized."
The city contracts with the independently-run shelter for animal services.
DeHaan wrote that Posey was "saveable" and Santa Rosa-based All Aboard Animal Search and Rescue was willing to take her.
"If what she's saying is true, from the city side we need to respond in terms of any violations of ordinances," Jones said, adding "we recognize there are two sides to every story."
Animal Services Manager Judi Adams defended the shelter's decision to kill the dog, saying Posey was dangerous and unpredictable toward other animals.
"There was no indication she would ever be suitable for adoption," Adams said. "We had her here for three months to try to rehabilitate."
During that time, she said, Posey jumped over a fence to attack another dog and, despite work by volunteers and animal behaviorists, showed little improvement and continued with her "lunging, snarling and growling."
"She was showing extreme kennel stress" despite daily walks and exercise, she said.
Adams said a five-member euthanasia committee made the decision to put the dog to death. The committee is comprised of Adams, a veterinarian, a vet tech, an animal behaviorist and a senior staff member.