Monday, July 2, 2012

(San Bernardino) Grand Jury can't find animal cruelty at Devore Shelter

Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 06/29/2012 06:55:06 PM PDT

The San Bernardino County Grand Jury reported on Friday it was unable to verify complaints of animal cruelty at the Devore Animal Shelter, and offered no recommendations for improvement.

The Grand Jury found the Devore shelter to be clean and the animals well-cared for with regular veterinary care. The kennels there, according to the report, are well-ventilated, and food and water readily available to the animals.

Animal rights activists have complained for at least the two years of high euthanasia rates, cramped and uncomfortable quarters and a lack of capacity at the shelter, which opened in the 1980s and has about 90 kennels.

Denise Larkin, an animal rights activist from Fallbrook in San Diego County, is among those who have complained about conditions at the Devore shelter. Larkin, who regularly rescues animals from the shelter, called conditions at the facility deplorable, despite what the Grand Jury found.

"These people are masters of cover-up," Larkin said. "That place is a hell-hole and it's a holocaust over there every day because dogs get put down daily."

But the Grand Jury couldn't find anything to bolster that claim.

Amongs its findings shelter findings, according to the Grand Jury report:

Devore maintains sub-floor heating in all kennels at the facility, keeping the animals warm. Resting platforms are installed in each kennel and blankets are available for ill or older dogs, according to the report.

Cats are housed separately in a clean-smelling room near the reception desk of the Administration Building, the report states.

Animals are groomed, walked, provided playgrounds for exercise, and trained to mitigate behavioral problems, according to the report.

During the investigation, members of the Grand Jury visited the Devore shelter posing as members of the public who were interested in possible adoption. The Grand Jury investigated three additional non-county run animal shelters in San Bernardino County to compare facility conditions and animal care.

The Grand Jury also investigated shelters in Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Rancho Cucamonga. All of the shelters were found to be "comparable and humane in their care of the animals," according to the report.

Brian Cronin, San Bernardino County Chief of Animal Care and Control, said the Devore shelter operates within the consistent standards of other shelters in the county.

"It's not uncommon for any special interest group to want to advance their group's agenda to achieve their objectives," Cronin said. "Our county is currently the recipient of some of the (animal shelter) criticism that has been advanced with our neighbors.

The key is that the Grand Jury has identified that our shelter operates in a similar fashion to other organizations and entities."

The entire San Bernardino animal shelter system, which includes two other shelters in Big Bear and Apple Valley, has an annual euthenasia rate of about 45 percent.

County supervisors are expected to consider the formation of an animal control committee or commission for its shelter system in the near future. The board will be receiving a report as to whether an animal control commission should be considered, Cronin said.

The Grand Jury focused on several matters throughout the county, from investigating mobile home space rents in Rancho Cucamonga to the city of San Bernardino's neighborhood stabilization program. The panel's findings and recommendations included:

Improving disaster preparedness for county agencies and municipalities.

About $15,000 in federal funds are available to each city, though municipalities decline the money because of "cumbersome" federal requirements for accounting and reporting spending, according to the Grand Jury report.

The Grand Jury recommended that cities and towns not currently using the federal money are encouraged to consider use of the county's Community Emergency Response Team trailers to enhance disaster response. CERT trailers contain 200 cots and emergency supplies needed for mass care of impacted residents.

Hiring a qualified full-time emergency manager to help prepare county readiness for a disaster.

Renovating, repairing and cleaning the Sheriff's Coroner Scientific Investigation Division facility.

A more spacious enclosed facility for vehicle investigations, the distribution of new breathalyzers, the replacement of out-of-service equipment, and new procedures for purging and archiving case files.

That the current Board of Supervisors' salary is comparable to other counties of similar population, size and budgets; it also found that under a proposed ordinance that would reduce board salary to part-time status, supervisors' salaries would still be comparable to similar counties.

Reach Neil via email, call him at 909-483-9356, or find him on Twitter @InlandGov.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This upseted me so bad!!! above all, the state of California, known for being pro animals rights does this, I expect it from states that look as pets as nothing more then a dog chained up outside, but not from here, Way to go CA, nice new low,

"Devore maintains sub-floor heating in all kennels at the facility, keeping the animals warm. Resting platforms are installed in each kennel and blankets are available for ill or older dogs" - this is a LIE! I have personally rescue dogs from this hell hole, one senior dog was so covered in huge ticks, as the dog was coming from the shelter the ticks were falling off them from done feeding off him, I mean I pulled off over 60, no blankets are allowed in the shelter, no one is allowed to volunteer , 9 out of 10 dogs there are deemed "aggressive" when they are clearly NOT. I would be scared "aggressive" also if I had some AC officer beating me into a cage....