Bakersfield Pound Oops-Kills Well Loved Pet, Lies to Owner

Screengrab from a KBAK newscast depicting Captcho's owner discussing his killing at the Bakersfield pound.
Screengrab from a KBAK newscast depicting Capatcho’s owner discussing his killing at the Bakersfield pound.

Kern Co, CA – On October 8, a dog named Capatcho was impounded by the city of Bakersfield after reportedly biting a neighbor.  The dog lacked identification and was listed as a stray upon impound at the Bakersfield Animal Care Center.  The owner, Bree Dedmon, went to the facility to identify her dog.  She was told Capatcho had to be held for a 10 day rabies quarantine period and that she’d be able to pick him up on October 19.

Ms. Dedmon returned to the pound many times during the quarantine in order to visit with her pet and the staff came to recognize her by face.  Ms. Dedmon told a local news outlet that she was “all excited” when she went to pick up Capatcho on October 19.  When she arrived at the pound, a staff member told her that Capatcho was “missing”.  When the distraught owner pressed the staffer for details, she was told he had been killed one day earlier.  Oops.

The dog was put down after the quarantine period, because an owner for Capatcho was never documented by the shelter staff.


Following the notification of death, police were called into the shelter to help staffers with Dedmon, according to one center official.

Yeah, I can imagine how someone might temporarily lose it after being informed her family member was “missing” only to find out that was a lie and in fact, the pet had been oops-killed.

“Until I got Potch, I never understood how people could be so close to their animals,” she said. “I just mainly wanted to get the word out, and for people to know that his life meant something and he meant something to his family.”

We get it Ms. Dedmon.  Pets are family.  Animal services=family services.

The pound, in typical fashion, told the news outlet that people need to keep their pets on their property and wearing ID tags in order to avoid these kinds of situations.  Which sounds like something out of The Sopranos if you think about it.  Never have an oops with your pet because if you do, there’s gonna be the kind of oops you’re gonna regret.  Oh and the pound also warned the public that quarantine costs more than $200.  Stay classy, Bakersfield.

In addition to blaming the owner for the killing, the pound says it’s taking responsibility (I think they have a different definition of that term than the rest of us) and has relocated a staff member.  Which means nothing.  Until Bakersfield commits to doing its job to shelter animals instead of killing them, nothing will change.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

19 thoughts on “Bakersfield Pound Oops-Kills Well Loved Pet, Lies to Owner

  1. Unless that staff member was relocated to the unemployment line, it’s meaningless.

    They KNEW she was visiting this dog, but it wasn’t “documented”? So the dog has to die? Um, no.

  2. It needs to be noted here that this happened at the City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center which is run by the Bakersfield SPCA. The City and County recently split and there are now two municipal shelters in Bakersfield, the other being Kern County Animal Services. This is the first time ever the City has had its own shelter; it has always contracted sheltering services with either the SPCA, then the County, and now they’re back with the SPCA.

    1. Thanks Judi for explaining this. I knew the city had recently evicted the county from the shelter but didn’t know the specifics of how things played out.

  3. Like it’s not super obvious that ideally you should keep your pet restrained and have ID tags on them. But people make mistakes, things happen, and it should also be super obvious that letting your dog wander onto somebody else’s property is a much smaller mistake than killing someone’s pet. This victim-blaming bullcrap that gets spewed every time there’s an oops-killing is so disgusting.

  4. Among all the other wrong things in this situation, noticed they recognized HER and not the dog after multiple visits- that tells you they don’t care about animals. This is not unusual at city pounds and is ridiculous because there are plenty of people who DO care about animals who need jobs.

  5. Where I live in Columbus County, NC we’ve had quite a few incidents just like this minus the quarantine. The latest episode involved the director promising a man on his death bed that the animals would be safe and networked out via rescues who work with the shelter. That didn’t happen. The remaining family members found out in the newspaper what happened; not by the shelter staff. Similar happened to me the year before. Rescue and I couldn’t meet up at the same time so the shelter was to hold them but instead killed them when the rescue went to buy more crates to get them. Another incident involved a missing cat and the family found out the cat was at the shelter. So they called to claim the cat and was told it was there. They go to the shelter to be told the cat had been STOLEN. So there was outside agency involvement now looking for a stolen cat only to find out by an eyewitness that the cat had been killed. We need across the nation shelter reform! Better policies and laws regarding the operation of shelters and pet owners. I’m in an area where owners are not very responsible but aren’t held accountable. Rescues network their butts off to save the animals and some don’t hold up on their promise of a pull date which leaves that kennel occupied and yet more animals coming in. We even instituted a mandatory spay/neuter law but no one abides by it. All the pregnant animals at the shelter. Its sad and we as the voices of the animals need to demand that change happen now.

    1. Mandatory spay-neuter has been shown to have no effect on killing – or in some cases, increase killing at shelters. Shelter reform includes ending mandatory spay-neuter. Instead of punishing owners with bad laws, we need to make low/no cost spay-neuter accessible and most importantly, we need shelter staff to do their jobs.

  6. I have a friend whos three dogs escaped her yard during a wind storm. All had tags on. She went daily looking for them and was finally told to check the website instead of coming all the way to the shelter everyday. A few days later, she sees two of her dogs pictures, both wearing their collars and tags, in the photos. She left work and went straight to the shelter only to be told, one had been adopted out and her Aussie was waiting for a rescue to pick him up that day. She was dumbfounded. This was the firs day their pictures had appeared on the web. Not only had they supposedly been at the shelter for a week but nobody had ever contacted her.

    They actually tried to tell her it was her fault for not having tags on them until she showed them the photos THEY had posted on their website clearly showing the dogs wearing their collars with rabies/city licenses and tags made at a local pet store attached. Then the idiot she was dealing with got caught in another lie when they tried to tell her that a letter had been sent to the licensed address. She asked them to explain how if they didn’t have tags on then how was sent to her home.

    They refused to contact the adopter of her cocker and inform them of the mistake and then still made her pay the fine to retrieve her other dog and told her how lucky she was that she got, their when she did because the rescue puller was on their way for her Aussie. Her third dog, was found by neighbors a few blocks away and returned to her.

    To top it off, the letter they said they mailed letting her know her dogs were in the shelter arrived the next day, dated after the day her cocker had been adopted out.

    1. If the dogs had licenses why would they not contact the owner immediately instead of keeping them in the shelter as this makes no sense! In my county, if you find an animal with a license, you can call the police dept. and they will do a search for the owner and give you the contact information. I have been able to return stray dogs to owners twice in two years and both were returned within hours of getting loose so neither had to go to the shelter but I would not want to take them there anyway. Both owners did not live in the same city that I did but in a township close by.

      1. But you have the goal of returning the dogs to their families, and this “shelter” clearly has the goal of punishing the Bad Owners whose dogs ever, under any circumstances, get off the owner’s property even briefly, even with tags.

  7. Shelters are cruel and obsolete. Most of the employees don’t care about animals and shouldn’t be allowed in these positions! They don’t care but the heartbreak their “oops” brings is indescribable! These idiots will never know or care of the broken hearts they cause!

  8. All these OOPS! Killings are getting way out of hand! Someone in a whole lot of places seem to be dropping the ball and it looks like it’s being done on PURPOSE. ASSHOLES!!! OOPS my butt… they just didn’t want to do their job. That’s what’s wrong with people these days anyway. They want the paycheck but they don’t want to do the work. They are adults and they are starting to act like this bunch of teenagers that are coming up now. Heck these kids are so dumb they can’t even make change for a dollar unless the cash register tells them how much to give you back… Seems like it’s wearing off on their PARENTS now! This pisses me off so bad I just want to shake the crap out of these idiots!! And no, now I do NOT feel better.. for venting.. I’m pissed at it and it has to be STOPPED! We need to get VERY VOCAL about these situations especially if it happens in your neck of the woods. Good Luck all you animal lovers.. if we keep on trying hopefully one day there will be NO MORE KILLING SHELTERS AT ALL! That’s the goal, isn’t it? :) Spread the word about what these people are doing. Write letters to the editor of your local papers. Just try and help these poor animals that have no voice.. they can’t say “Hey, I heard my Mom call. she’s on her way to get me. I just got lost. No need to KILL ME! ” .. Thanks friends!! We can do this if we try.. and I know you all want to try. God Bless you all ….

    1. I wholeheartedly agree with you! There are too many oops killings and there are no consequences for this behavior! It seems that animals don’t matter so they continue killing!
      There is no excuse, except that this lack of punishment encourages these lazy people to continue killing! Maybe we aren’t making enough noise! We need to unite and force punishment!

  9. I just wish that all shelters were no-kill. A senior citizen where i live had his dog picked up by the pound because he managed to break a hole in the fence where the wood had rotted. They hadn’t even held the dog for 24 hours and he was dead. When the gentleman came in they had just gassed the poor dog. It was gassing day and it would have been an ‘inconvenience’ to hold him a full week. Those desensitized idiots shouldn’t even be dealing with animals. The man was heartbroken. Ms Dedmon needs to sue the s%&t out of them, if only for the very reason that communication and animals welfare is paramount when dealing with shelter situations. She lost a dear companion. How could they possibly redeem themselves for such carelessness. They can’t.

  10. I am very sorry to hear about the loss of this loved dog. Sadly, our Nation’s animal shelters run by the Government do not hire the best and the brightest and the most compassionate either. Take the case of Target, the dog from Iraq that had saved the life of a soldier over there, Target was brought home to live with the soldier in Arizona. Sadly, Target got ouf of his yard and ended up at Pinal County animal control as a stray- the shelter’s incredibly intelligent staff had a mix-up and euthanized Target before his 3 day hold was up. The soldier showed up at the shelter to look for his dog and was told the dog who saved his life was mistakenly killed by a MORON who couldn’t get their shit together enough to know the facts. So, whatever you do, DON’T let your animals end up at ANY shelter in the US run by the government, it’s a sure death sentence !!

  11. Another horror story. I got 4 rescues I will be more cautious now. I have lost a few beloved dogs over the years.

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