Video Shows Dog Being Abused at Hesperia Pound

A video posted online shows a whimpering dog being dragged by a leash around the neck at the Hesperia pound in CA:

The video was reportedly taken by a member of the public who was looking for her lost dog at the pound when she saw what appears to be one staff member dragging a dog behind her like a bag of trash while two other city employees have a chat.  But I guess they are all talked out now because they have nothing to say to the local news:

Victor Valley News reporters reached out to the Hesperia Animal Shelter staff, the operator simply said, “The department is aware of it and investigating it”. A message was also left for Cheryl Lewis, a shelter supervisor, who is not yet available for comment on this matter.

Gosh, I wonder how long before Ms. Lewis becomes available for comment:

A past shelter employee, who asked to remain anonymous for legal reasons has identified the alleged people in the video. Victor Valley News will withhold from publishing the name of the person seen dragging the dog until the investigation is complete.  The former employee alleged the two other’s who stood by in the video are Officer Osvaldo Montes and Supervisor Cheryl Lewis. The former employee, also shared that she was let go from her position only after speaking out about some of the happenings at the shelter.

Welp.

The Hesperia pound reportedly will only allow rescuers to save animals from being killed if they sign an agreement waiving their First Amendment rights with regards to speaking up about abuse at the pound.  That has kept many from going public with their concerns.  In spite of the threats against rescuers, 60 people showed up at an emergency city hall meeting last night.

When the city council was asked about the legality of violating the Constitutional rights of rescuers, the city attorney responded, “This might not be satisfactory” and said he’d look into the matter.

The meeting went four and a half hours, with most of the speakers advocating on behalf of the shelter pets:

Stephanie Lonsdale, an animal advocate that is known in the community for speaking up for the well-being of animals mentioned that the Hesperia Animal Shelter currently has a 70% kill rate. The 70% kill rate equals 7 out of 10 animals entering the shelter being euthanized rather than reunited or adopted. “The shelters do not utilize the free sites that are available to them to place these animals,” said Lonsdale.

Of course there’s one in every bunch:

“I believe it was misjudgment, not abuse. Ideally the dog would not be there or the dog would have been socialized,” said Lisa Wilson.

Yeah, the slutty whoredog was prolly drunk and asking for it and the owners are all the suck too.

Oh and the unwashed owners, who have since irresponsibly reclaimed their pet, showed up to speak for their dog:

Of all the speakers, the most touching, bringing tears to the speaker as well as, much of the crowd was the dog’s owner, Tracie Carpenter.

“I don’t have fancy things to tell you, like a lot of the people here. I am not going to use crazy big words or rescue terminology. I am here on behalf of Mia, who is my dog.  She is not a 60 pound dog that can not be carried, she is 47 pounds. She is not unsociable, she is a beautiful girl and very lovable, she was scared, the floor was slippery,” said Carpenter with her voice cracking due to her emotions on the treatment of her dog.

“She was in the shelter for just over 24 hours and I have no idea how the rest of her stay was there. If it is going to happen to a dog that belongs to somebody, that is loved, that has a good home, that has someone to care for them, it can also happen to the ones that have no one to speak for them, the dogs that are being euthanized, the ones that are being put to sleep, the ones you don’t hear anything about, the ones who do not have anyone to come here and stand before you gentlemen to explain that they do not have any behavioral issues, it was a good dog, she is a wonderful dog.”

Any questions as to where the haters can stick their “misjudgment”?

The city council says they love animals and will take the matter seriously and blah:

The city is encouraging anyone with concerns to email socialmedia@cityofhesperia.us.

Right.  Funnel all the concerns to one faceless email account where they can sit and rot.

OR, you can contact the Hesperia city council members directly and ask that a complete and transparent investigation be conducted and all applicable criminal charges filed:

Eric Schmidt, Mayor; email eschmidt@cityofhesperia.us
Bill Holland, Mayor Pro Tem; email bholland@cityofhesperia.us.
Russell “Russ” Blewett, Council Member; email rblewett@cityofhesperia.us.
Mike Leonard, Council Member; email mleonard@cityofhesperia.us.
Paul Russ, Council Member; email pruss@cityofhesperia.us.

(Thank you Clarice for the links.)

Leave a comment

16 Comments

  1. D. Lake

     /  February 24, 2015

    You feel the need to drag a poor helpless dog around because you know it won’t and cant fight back, Come and see me you HEARTLESS BITCH.

    Reply
  2. carol toronto

     /  February 24, 2015

    They need to investigate any and all complaints and the people found culpable should be removed.

    Reply
  3. I am with you D. Lake
    too much this kind of bitches on this earth

    Reply
  4. Mikken

     /  February 24, 2015

    Abuse like this is symptomatic of a culture prevalent in far too many kill shelters. Animals become “things” and are treated with the same regard as garbage. Signs of stress or fear are ignored to the point where they stop being perceived entirely by staff. Pets who struggle against handling are “fractious” and forced into compliance ( with violence, if necessary) because garbage will obey.

    Normal people see a frightened little dog. Desensitized people see nothing worth noting. Compassionate people want to comfort and reassure the dog. Desensitized people do nothing.

    There will come a day when a shelter worker stands up and sues their county for emotional damage and psychological torture when they realize what this culture (supported by tax dollars) has done to them. Until that day, we must continue to point out the fact that a culture of abuse turns normal people into monsters.

    Reply
    • vida

       /  February 24, 2015

      You’ve said something I’ve thought for a long time far more eloquently than I ever could.

      Reply
  5. I am certain that the “agreement” about not speaking out that rescuers were forced to sign is/was not enforceable & should be ignored.

    Reply
  6. Marianna I have seen this repeatedly at Sampson. This is why these places don’t want camera’s or video’s. No, its not legal but they make the animals pay by making the rescues and rescuers pay.

    Reply
  7. Susan

     /  February 24, 2015

    Here’s the email I received in response to my 2/21 email:

    “I apologize for the delay in responding to your email. We have been contacted by hundreds of people over the last several days and staff has been responding as quickly as possible. The City acknowledges the seriousness of this situation and is working actively to ensure that proper care procedures are used in the Shelter at all times.

    “There is an open investigation into staff conduct, which is being handled by an outside, independent firm. We also held a special public meeting last night to allow members of the community to share their feelings about what happened with our Mayor and City Council Members. The owner of the dog in the video was also in attendance at last night’s meetings to share her feelings about what happened.

    “We are committed to the humane treatment of the animals in our care and are striving to restore public trust in the Shelter.

    “Thank you for reaching out and sharing your concern.

    “Rachel Molina
    Public Information Officer
    City Manager’s Office
    City of Hesperia
    9700 Seventh Avenue
    Hesperia, CA 92345
    760.947.1020”

    Reply
  8. Harnett Hawk

     /  February 24, 2015

    Upon being notified of the Maryland case holding that banning photography in the shelter violates First Amendment rights, the Harnett County NC shelter promptly added an additional sign prohibiting photography. In its first-ever agreement with rescue groups, they inserted a clause stating “I… will refrain from publicly making or posting negative comments or criticism about the Harnett County Animal Services or its employees or its operational policies on social media networks or other internet sites.” What they consider “negative comments” might by others be considered “the truth.” A rescue group representative contacted the local ACLU office. More will be revealed.

    Reply
  9. Linda

     /  February 24, 2015

    Thanks for posting the email addresses to the city council. I wrote each one of them.

    Reply
  10. Linda

     /  February 24, 2015

    Please keep us updated on this Yes Biscuit!

    Reply
  11. Clarice

     /  February 24, 2015

    Update regarding Animal Shelter video posted to social media on 2/19: The City is committed to the humane care of all the animals at the shelter. Upon learning of the video, management from City Hall went to the shelter to ensure that staff is consistently using proper care procedures.
    Due to the serious nature of the video, a special public meeting was held on Monday, February 23, 2015 to allow members of the public to share their feelings about the incident with the City Council and fellow community members. The owner of the dog also attended the meeting to share her feelings about what happened.
    Regarding the behavior in the video, there is an open investigation into staff conduct, which is being handled by an outside, independent firm. The City will do everything in its power to ensure a timely investigation. Based on the findings of this investigation, appropriate action will be taken.
    With respect to the use of volunteers at the shelter, we currently have 10 people that volunteer regularly at the shelter.
    The Hesperia Animal Shelter Facebook site is administered by the City Manager’s Office, not shelter staff. Those wishing to contact us may do so at socialmedia@cityofhesperia.us.

    Reply
  12. Lou Ann

     /  February 25, 2015

    Hurt me to watch that video. Soooo reminded me of “Mario’s” plight at the Memphis shelter. Sad.

    Reply
  13. I sure hope the staff got the word and will follow it! I can’t think of a valid reason for treating animals this way! They couldn’t pay me enogh to act this way!

    Reply
  14. ascendfrequency@yahoo.com

     /  February 25, 2015

    Please, all that are reading this, share the link below and lets get these people out of there. This is a big opportunity to shake things up and REFORM the Hesperia shelter. So many animals are counting on us to speak up. We need to share this link far and wide, it is starting to catch fire. Thank you!

    https://www.change.org/p/hesperia-animal-shelter-caught-on-tape-terminate-supervisor-cheryl-lewis-and-director-scott-priester

    Reply
  15. Lou Ann

     /  February 25, 2015

    Will post link on Facebook.

    Reply

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