Monday, January 26, 2009

Devore Animal Shelter OUTED!

Recently on Craigslist, I was made aware of an animal shelter of horrors. Devore Animal Shelter of San Bernardino is yet another classic example of why so many people are hesitant to adopt.

A dog named Brownie was recently picked up as a stray and placed in Devore Animal Shelter, where he was found to have a microchip. The owners were alerted, but they couldn't afford to pay the $150 it costed to recover him. Instead of giving Brownie back, or even giving his owners a fair shot, they placed him for adoption. Despite the owners pleads, they refused to give Brownie back and instead euthanized him. I don't even pay $150 in two months to feed four dogs, so what gives DAS the right to charge that much? Ah, yes. Greed.

DAS was also found to have over $300,000 worth of security to ensure the safety of the animals. Instead, they decided to use it on something else, what I haven't found yet, but continued their lax security policies resulting in many animals being stolen from the shelter without so much as a second glance.

From, there is a disheartening article...

"October 10, 2005 - Devore Animal Shelter
See Pictures Bottom of Page

October 10, 2005 at 12:32 p.m. I received a telephone message from a distressed female voice. She said she worked at the Devore Animal Shelter in San Bernardino and she had to talk to someone. She said the conditions there were "really bad". She read the petition on this website and read the law and said it is not being followed there. She said the animals aren't being treated right and she didn't know who to tell and she wanted advice what to do about it. She was concerned about retribution if anyone knew she was calling.

The same day at 3:45 p.m. I answered the phone and the same woman called back. She identified herself as Kathy Harper and said she was so upset about what she had just seen and now she didn't care anyone if her identity was revealed. She said there had just been a "Rodney King" style beating of a little dachshund-mix by a towering 6' 5" "officer". He was later identified as James Hensley, 'animal control officer' for San Bernardino County Animal Control Services.

She said the uniformed Hensley came in that day in what she characterized as "a horrible mood. It was obvious something was bothering him."

She described how she heard Hensley yelling and cursing while a dog was screaming. "The dogs in nearby cages were going crazy and were very upset". She said the noise was so deafening she couldn't ignore it.

Eric Foor filled in the details. He's a local San Bernardino baseball hero now playing for the Chicago Cubs. He was at Devore working off community service hours when he witnessed the beating. He was equally dismayed over the conditions at Devore and was eager to have someone to talk to.

"He [Hensley] was putting the dog in the cage. The dog was hesitating to go in the cage but a lot of them do that. They're scared. Then he went inside of the cage with the dog. He kicked him 5 or 6 times pretty hard. The dog was yelping. He was talking to the dog the whole time, cursing. Then he pulled a stick from his a baton but they call it something else."

Then Foor describes the blows. "He reached back way over his head each time and came down really hard. The dog was crying. He hit him about 10 times or so. He didn't have to. It was just a little dog." He saw the 17 pound dog cowering in the corner. He said he never saw the dog make any contact with Hensley.

Foor said, "I wiped off the dog afterward. There was a lot of blood, especially on the dog's head."

Harper describes the moments after the beating. "There was blood everywhere. There was blood on every wall of the cage and on the floor. There was blood on the outside and inside of the bars. Some of it was really thick. I took pictures."

She continued. "He [Hensely] came out of the cage. He walked about 15 feet, picked up something from the floor and then walked back to the cage and started cursing at the dog again. I couldn't see what he was doing but I heard him. About 10 minutes later he went up to the cage and was cussing at the dog. The dog was just laying there.

Foor added, "It was weird. He was talking to the dog. The dog wasn't moving or doing anything."

After I received the call from Harper I immediately drove to the Devore pound. I walked to cage 88 where I was told the dog was beaten. There he was. A little black dog, eyes open and breathing but laying motionless as if petrified and in shock. All of the other dogs were frenetic and exhibiting stress. I noted splatters and splotches of what appeared to be blood on each grey wall, on bars each side of the cage, on the ceiling and on the cage floor. I saw blood on the dog's head, neck, shoulders and back.

I immediately called the sheriff to make an animal cruelty complaint....

"Officer" Hensely has continued to be employed at this same job every day since. Apparently NO action was ever taken against him whatsoever. Reportedly he has refused to talk to the Sheriff and give his account of what happened. As a 'field officer' he is alone with animals all day long.

QUERY: Should someone who could be an animal abuser be employed as an "animal control officer"? Wouldn't a more just result -based on Devore worker statements- be the immediate firing of James Hensley, that he be brought to trial and if convicted, be prohibited from working with animals for life and receive the maximum mandatory jail time that the law allows? Shouldn't convicted abusers also receive mandatory long-term counseling so they don't victimize others throughout their lifetime?

And shouldn't Hensley's 'buddies', County employees and other animal enforcement 'officers' who attempt to cover up the real facts and give false information also be fired and brought to trial?"

You can visit The Devore Beating for more information and pictures. And as for a trial, not ONE of the select body decided to step up and fight for this dog. All attempts to get them to notice the petition failed because they simply ignored it. I guess these guys have more pressing matters to decide... Like which nice, new, big house to buy or which shiny new boat they'd like to own. While they wipe their asses with their hundred dollar bills, the rest of us continue to see that there are more important things that need to be addressed. It's just sickening to see the lack of empathy in the people who have the abilty to slam the gavel and decide a fate.

I've been fairly busy as of late, so I do apologize for the lack of posts. But I graduate soon, and oh yes, there will be more entries. :]


GoLightly said...

OMFG, Legends.

Boy, THAT ruined my already bad day.

I hate people.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Great post Legends! I have a few opinions on this one. Now, here go my two opinions:

One - DAS should not have euthanized the dog. I don't agree with Kill shelters - especially if they know the owners are out there. It doesn't matter what the fee is - they should NOT have euthanized this dog. They should set up a payment plan if the person can't pay (Canine Control can set it up so that the fees are added to your annual property taxes if you can't pay for them immediately - they CAN make it work for you if they so choose). From the sounds of it, the conditions at DAS are less than adequate for the dogs.

Two - I don't have an issue with the fee. Every township has a fee for dogs running at large. I've seen the fees as high as $600. The owners should NOT have allowed their dog to be running around as a stray - it is dangerous not only to the dog but to the community.

Let's assume that the dog has no agression issues and won't attack people, dogs, cats or other animals. What if that dog ran in front of a car which swerved to avoid it but collided with a school bus full of kids?

Sounds like this DAS place is another one of "those" rescues.

LegendsLiveOn said...

I have never had to recover any of my pets from the shelter, but my friends up the street did. I'm not sure how much they had to pay for the dogs (2), but I don't think it was nearly $150.

I have always been able to contain my animals, with the exception of my rat who gets to run around upstairs. :P

OldMorgans said...

Well, Devore is in San Bernardino Co.--home of crooked County officials, home of an inept Child Protective Services, and who knows what else as I can't keep up w/all the problems in that county. Just a mess.
Until the people of that county rise up in protest, it will just keep on. Look what happened in LA County a few years ago w/their animal control. Finally replaced the Director, or whatever he was, of that department. I don't know if things really got better after that or not.
The local shelter here in Hemet is private w/a contract w/the county. It has a bad reputation. I did adopt 2 cats from there & had them at a vet's & a groomer the next day. Passed the vet check & the groomer had to give a lion cut to one because his hair was hopelessly matted. Both had been at the shelter for 2 months. I have no answers as to the local shelter. Wish I did.

My Vancouver said...

That's disgusting. All of it.

But if you want to see insane adoption prices, Google the BCSPCA. That's the Vancouver Canada branch. you will pass out.

Patricia said...

This so horrible.It is hard to believe that things like this happen in a civilized country today.That man should have been judged just as you said.

Rebecca said...

Ugh. The stuff about the beatings requires no words.

Like someone else though, I don't disagree with high fees to get an animal back. I know occasionally someone's dog will get loose and it isn't their fault, but how often is that compared to the people who just don't bother to lock 'em up? This adorable shepherd mix used to come visit us every day and every day my dad would drive her home when he saw her. The owners simply didn't care. Their backyard bordered a pond and they never bothered to put up a fence, so she would just swim across the pond whenever she felt like leaving. My dad actually offered to put up a fence along the water himself, with some extra fencing he had on hand for hurricanes and they said no. Don't know what happened to the girl, she just stopped showing up one day and we haven't seen her in their backyard either. :( Wish I'd stolen her when I had the chance. I doubt the owner would have noticed.

Recently I was in our local shelter getting the rabies tag for my foster dog and witnessed an interesting incident. This complete sack of crap came into the shelter looking for his dog (male pit bull mix). He finds out that his dog is indeed at the shelter, and is up for adoption as he has been there for over 2 weeks. The sack of crap freaks out, and claims that he has been calling the shelter daily to find out if they have found the dog. Well, this shelter will NOT tell you if they have found the dog, you MUST come in and look for yourself. They get too many animals in every day to tell someone if a lost dog is there over the phone. That has been their policy for a long, long time, and they will tell you as much if you call about it.

Anyway, originally the shelter staff was going to waive the adoption fee and just let him take his dog home for nothing. Then he found out that they had neutered the dog when they had put it up for adoption. He FREAKED. I mean, literally, I thought his head was going to explode. I have never seen somebody so obsessed with their dog's balls. I really wanted to just pull him aside and educate him that his dog really, truly, honestly doesn't care that he doesn't have dangly bits anymore, only you do, Mister! He cursed, he screamed (not just talking with a raised voice, he was screaming and yelling at people 5 feet away from him), he threatened, he called the staff names, he called his dog names, etc. At one point, he sounded like he was about ready to just leave his dog in the shelter simply because he wasn't intact anymore. One of the shelter staff fetched two of the uniformed and armed animal control officers at one point, because he sounded like he was going to get physical with the little old lady behind the counter. When they came in and stood on either side of him he finally caved and said he would just take his dog home now, thankyouverymuchbleepers and bleepity bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep.

Needless to say, they did NOT end up waiving the fee. I felt awful for the shelter staff after being so abused, and even worse for the poor pup. Almost forgot! The dog was heartworm positive. They only allowed him to adopt him back after making him sign a contract to seek treatment within 30 days (and one of the A.C. officers present promised to visit him in 30 days to make sure it was done). People suck.

LegendsLiveOn said...

People do suck, agreed. But in Brownie's case, the owners stated they could not afford to pay the $150 offhand. It really sickens me that they would actually put the dog down, but then again, I don't know if the people were trying to scrape together the cash to get him back while he was in the shelter - it couldn't take THAT long to come up with $150, especially when it comes to bailing out a "family member". That would be priority numero uno - I just might have to skip on going to Starbucks for a while.

I can't stand people who think their dogs are worthless without their dangly bits. If it's really that much of an issue, they could get Neuticles - implants placed in the scrotal sack after the dog is neutered, so it looks like he still has his parts.

Succubus said...

I read you blog and I talked to a friend that knows a lot about these kinds of issues. This behavior needs to be reported to San Bernardino County Grand Jury send pics whatever you may have and they will investigate it without involving your name. It sounds stupid but unless you tell them and give pictures they won't know its going on and can't do anything about it. I am pretty sure this shelter is in some serious trouble already so it will not go over well. Let me know if you need help, im not far from Devore and I am tired of Animal Control not having to play by the rules. Also have you seen the new case in Riverside? Puppymill allowed to operate...thought that would be of interest to you its on YouTube type in Riverside Puppymill

Good Blogs,

KayƩ said...

OMFG. Poor Brownie.
Do these people have no souls?!

Anonymous said...

So, yes, doggie jail can be expensive anywhere, but instead of waiting until the dog was euthanized, why not ask a friend to adopt the dog and give it back to them? If the dog was altered, as they should all be, the adoption fee would have only been around $25. We all need to look at creative ways to get help. Sometimes it requires finding the "grey" area.

Michelle said...

Is there anyone who can contact the person who witnessed the beating of this dog in it's cage by Mr. James Hensley? We are currntly trying to run a full investigation but need these eye witnesses to come forward. Please have them contact me at Thanks! Michelle

izzybean said...

OMG I have heard some horror stories how these dogs were left to freeze and in awful conditions, I had no idea it was so bad, you might get something like this in some hick little town, but this is a big area, there should be laws. I don't understand, is there anything that can be done/ i was looking for a dog to adopt, since the one I wanted at the Gaines shelter in San Diego was wrongfully killed. by a crazed guard that would have beaten the dog if I were not there. There was no reason for her to put him down, I wanted him. he was very adoptable and only a year old. I guess these people did not pass the psych tests to become cops.

daniela said...

OFFICER DOUG SMITH TURNING AWAY BLANKETS OF LOVE: November 23, 2011 - From Operation Blankets of love: "My observation from Devore. Not one cage had a blanket or any comfort item except mother dogs and her pups. They were miserable and so uncomfortable laying or sitting there.
Met with the head of shelter Doug Smith for 35 minutes and got a tour of the shelter. He does not allow blankets in any of the cells including the cats that were on newspaper. His reasoning was the dogs "could ingest the blanket" and the other excuse was "the blankets could get caught in the drains and cause problems of backed up feces." He also commented," the more negative comments I get the better, I like getting them because then more people will come in to adopt them" I said, The animals should suffer so you can get negative publicity? How about doing something positive to get the dogs and cats adopted? He did not like my answer. He said that the new platforms they have are soft and comfortable. He showed me one and it is as hard as a piece of cement. I hurt my hand tapping it it was so hard. While I was there I even showed him our clip on NBC LA Today Show how comfort with a blanket or soft item for dogs and cats can make the difference of them being adopted. They become relaxed, feel safe and secure, happier and it reminds the potential adopter of their home environment. Those are getting adopted which saves lives. It still did not change his mind and kept repeating he is not doing anything wrong at his shelter. He just does not believe in having comfort for these poor babies.He does not believe in having volunteers not one at the shelter. I could not believe it. How strange is that? These are the highlights. We must get the message out there to make sure these animals get comfort so abused, neglected, abandoned, and pups,senior dogs do not have to sit, lie, or sleep on a hard cement floor. And cats on newspaper which is on top of a wired cage which is not comfortable either."

Does anyone have contacts to get this story out on the new on TV or print.
Please help us help them NOW!!"



kharper3 said...

I witnessed beating in Devore. I witnessed so much shit EVERY DAY when I left I had to pull over and cry hysterically. I will talk to any one that wants to talk. Kathy 619-337-4175

kharper3 said...

I would , no I will helpand speak to any person that calls. I choose work release instead house arrest. I fully was prepared to get in bigger trouble when I took pictures and told. I witnessed so much BS! They asked if I liked animals. I love animals. I would love start dog rescue. That is what I have to do so When my time comes maybe I can have some peace in my heart. Corruption starts city council all way up. Every Gov agency is to protect thesystem against we the people. Please I want this todo some good. They let Michael Vick get a family dog. He used the family dog that kids had to train his pit's. Pit Bulls are awesome dogs. Owners are to blame. I seen PitBull with 6 puppies killed. They didnt call rescues likethey should had. I want to tell all I can remember. Computer program runs death list. empty cages. they let another person, like myself, stick the needle in one dog just because I opened mouth. Work releASE IS SAME AS JAIL. tell me thats legal. Breakins, inside jobs. I hate keyboards but the more I talk about this, the better I will feel. please call. Instead of voicemail plz txt number name and Devore. I call voicemail maybe once a year. Kathy 619-337-4175

Lostlittlegirl said...

Just read another heartbreaking story about another dog put to sleep unnecessarily. Pls tell me why isn't this shelter closed yet? It's been 4 um years and that means 4 more years of murder!!

Dawn Taylor said...

Witnesses call 323 529 4885

Dawn Taylor said...

Anyone with video will receive cash rewards

Talljim01 said...