Allegations of Wrongdoing at the San Bernardino Pound in CA

Dog #454967 at the San Bernardino pound as pictured on PetHarbor.
Dog #454967 at the San Bernardino pound as pictured on PetHarbor.

Animal advocates have reportedly been complaining for months to San Bernardino city officials about the killing of animals at the pound.  The allegations include animals being killed before the legally mandated hold period has expired and the killing of pets whom rescue groups wanted to save.

Police Capt. Raymond King, who oversees the shelter because of a departmental consolidation that came just after the city filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2012, said he reads each of the emails and looks into specific charges and areas for improvement.

But he said he sees no evidence of the legal violations suggested in the emails.

I am skeptical of this claim given my experience requesting complete records for one dog at the San Bernardino pound which revealed the city kept almost no records on the pet.  How can any claims be investigated in a meaningful way if the record keeping is as poor as it was in that dog’s case?

By state law, strays are kept for four business days unless they meet one of a few special considerations such as extreme aggression or illness.


“If the animal is not sick or anything and we have room, we’ll keep it as long as we can — even if it’s been six, seven, eight days,” King said. “There’s one dog that had been in there for a couple weeks, because we could hold onto that dog.”

Gee, wow.  We could be killing even more pets than we already are but sometimes we keep them extra DAYS.  Where are our cupcakes?

One local advocate is reportedly planning to sue the city over the killing of animals before their holding periods have expired.  And an area veterinarian was highly critical of a proposal to expand the shelter:

“They want to be able to take in many more animals, which translates directly into many more $ in their pocket,” wrote Amanda Gillen, a veterinarian from Santa Clarita who says she has treated some animals from San Bernardino that showed signs of poor care. “Not because there’s more need, not because they can adequately care for the numbers they have, not because their adoption rates are so high, and their programs so great, that they can get more animals adopted. Simply because more animals in = more $$$ in the pockets of those running the show.”

On the opposite side, there is a shelter pet advocate named Sharon Gaitan-Blechinger of the group HEAL who defends the killing by blaming the public:

The problems lie with a problem that hasn’t been addressed for 40 years — honestly, it’s the community. The majority of them are irresponsible. They don’t spay and neuter their animals, and so you have a huge number of dogs going through there and not enough people to adopt them.”

Dang, that community sucks.  Totally.  What a bunch of losers.  Tell us more about these pathetic gits please:

“As usual, HEAL will get the community involved. That’s how we get our money.”

Oh.  I see.  So these people are like irresponsible twits who open their checkbooks freely when called upon to help pets being killed by the shelter.  Compassionate dirtbags, if you will.

The truth is out there.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

7 thoughts on “Allegations of Wrongdoing at the San Bernardino Pound in CA

  1. GEEZ, I don’t know how you can complain about this place when they have kept a dog for a couple of weeks. I mean, they could have killed that dog a whole lot sooner (they seem to have a lot of excuses for killing) and didn’t. And, of course, the community is at fault. SIGH, if only they would . . . become responsible. Amazing that good veterinarians are even able to maintain a practice.
    Hate to even think about what happens to cats in that killing facility.
    I just can’t get my brain around the “reasoning” I hear from the killers and their minions. THEY. JUST. DO. NOT. UNDERSTAND

  2. The photo tells me two things –

    1) there is a problem with how animals are handled at this place. Placing a skinny dog in a wire floored trap and without any sort of foot protection in place is extremely concerning. Was the dog moved in this cage? Did anyone work to ensure that none of his toes were caught under the wire when he was set down on the table? Did anyone think, “Hey, that has to be really uncomfortable under the best of circumstances, but this dog is clearly stressed and underweight, possibly ill, he should have a bit of extra care taken to minimize discomfort”?

    2) the staff at this facility do not place any intrinsic value on the lives for which they are responsible. To take a photo like this and put it online as if it were “normal” or “not alarming” is a massive red flag. If you saw this photo on someone’s Facebook page as a snapshot of their pet dog, you would NOT friend that person because that person is clearly of the sort that is not mentally balanced. You might also be inclined to ask the police around to do a wellness check on the dog, being so concerned for him living under such circumstances.

    I can think of one circumstance where a dog in a cat trap with no flooring protection is acceptable – and that is during a life threatening emergency such as a house fire where the dog had to be placed in the cage because it was the only thing to hand and the only way to safely transport the dog from a dire situation. Just like stuffing cats into a pillow case to transport them immediately away from danger – it’s not something you would do to take them to the vet, for example, it’s a “better than death, highly temporary, just get us the hell out of here” move.

    The photo says it all and makes me think that the people complaining are all in the right and Capt. King is either extremely lazy, uncaring, or both and animals are suffering and dying because of him.

  3. This is the tip of the iceberg at this shelter. I could write pages & pages of how awful this shelter and its management is, how poorly the animals are cared for, how they have spite killed animals who were placed on hold for rescue and how they broke the Hayden law countless times, how the outdoor animal cages had animals frozen stuck to the floors in winter with frostbite and refused care. They refuse to provide bedding to the animals because they say they will fall down the drains when cleaning the cages with hoses but if that’s the case a small dog can also go down the drain which has happened once I have been told. They dont vaccinate upon intake I hear. Advocates have lobbied city council to no avail. It all falls on deaf ears. I have also looked into a sort of class action type lawsuit. Can you send my name, email to the advocate who is thinking to do this also so I may contact them? To me this is one of the worst shelters in the nation and ranks up there with Memphis and NYCACC. Ugh.

  4. I am so very sorry & I KNOW EXACTLY what you are talking about! We here in Fremont County, Colorado~specifically Canon City are having animals murdered the same or next day they come in! Being done by VOLUNTEERS! they are using the inhumane practice of “Heartstick” &b so many other violations it is the most hideous & saddest thing I’ve seen along with many others! I am so very sorry for you & your troubles! We have a page on Facebook called “Stop The Humane Society of Fremont County”.
    I will not take up more of your time with this because this is about your horrid situation but I do appreciate your reading this! I am a fan of “Yes Biscuit”! & appreciate all of the notices I get in my e-mail! All of my best wishes go to you, &b my thoughts are with those who are most important, the innocent animals! Debby Ledbetter

Leave a Reply