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 nokillnow.com, 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 belt...like 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. :]