Central CA SPCA Oops-Kills Family Dog

Scar, as shown on the KMPH website.

On September 24, the Del Rio family’s dog – a Pitbull called Scar – escaped the yard wearing his collar and ID tag. A Pitbull hating neighbor took the 11 month old puppy to the Central California SPCA and told them he’d been bitten by Scar. Owner Helen Del Rio went to the pound to get her dog back but instead she got one story after another from the staff: Scar bit the neighbor, he bit a cat, he killed a dog. Finally, they told her they’d investigate what really happened.

As you may have guessed, the investigation determined the neighbor was lying. And there was no cat bite or dog killing either. So the pound called Ms. Del Rio on October 11 to come down and pick up Scar:

“Grabbed his leash, ready to take our dog home. We get there and they can’t find him. They call the supervisor out, the supervisor’s going from building to building,” Helen said. “Then Officer Boyce comes in and calls me over and says he’s been euthanized; just like that. He didn’t even say sorry, he was just like, basically with an expression on his face like, it happens.”

Ms. Del Rio later received a letter from the pound apologizing – not for killing Scar – but for “our failure in insuring the return of your family pet to you.”  The letter also promised more training for staff (where have we heard that before?) and a free pet (ditto).

Ms. Del Rio is heartbroken and can’t stop thinking about Scar being walked to the kill room at the pound:

“I kept thinking that what was he thinking when they were going to take him for a walk?”

The Central CA SPCA would not respond to the TV station’s request for comment but people who left comments on the online article state that this is not an isolated incident at the pound.

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17 Comments

  1. Lou Ann

     /  October 26, 2012

    Absolutely heartbreaking!!

    Reply
  2. Is it just me or was anyone else most troubled by the offer of an organization that allegedly exists to “shelter” animals, of a free pet instead of having any compassion, understanding or acknowledgment that our pets are not replaceable things?

    Reply
  3. mikken

     /  October 26, 2012

    Friendly dog wearing collar and ID tag and no one with a needle in their hand says, “Wait a minute, maybe this isn’t what I should be doing?”

    Evil.

    Reply
  4. Eucritta

     /  October 26, 2012

    And yet another incident in which a neighbor caught and surrendered a pet, giving false information, in the belief – the correct belief – that the facility would kill him.

    So – these people are using our disfunctional shelter system for criminal purposes, to kill their neighbor’s pets with minimal risk – I’ve yet to read of a case where there were any serious consequences – and the facilities are allowing it. Why?

    Reply
  5. Mary jones

     /  October 26, 2012

    Guess I am not the only person & cats who have been victims of MURDER by the SPCA you should try Jefferson Parish SPCA for the same kind of treatment & a cat hating Jehovah’s Witness neighbor it has been 10 years & my family has NEVER healed from this horror.

    Reply
    • It’s not necessary to identify the religious beliefs of the neighbor. Cat haters can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes. I’m sorry for your loss.

      Reply
  6. Karen

     /  October 26, 2012

    The neighbours wouldn’t be healing from it if they were my neighbours.

    Reply
  7. Just plain lazy by the shelter workers.

    Reply
    • Karen

       /  October 26, 2012

      Not just lazy, Dot. Nasty. What sort of ‘human being’ would rather kill a dog than send him home? Would this have happened had Scar been any other kind of dog?

      Reply
  8. Kathleen

     /  October 26, 2012

    Unfortunately, at this SPCA pound the breed would have made only a slight difference. Purebred dogs are routinely killed there, even Beagles, Bassets, Boxers, Shih tzus, Shar peis, Poodles, you name it.

    It would take at least two or three people overlooking the dogs quarantine status for a tragedy like this to happen. But with a kill rate of 80%, the routine is to move animals through the system and to the kill room.

    Thank you, and other national advocates for shining the light on this tragedy. We are working hard to change sheltering in Central California (Fresno).

    Reply
  9. Tonight I learned not to read Yesbiscuit on my phone, while in public. I felt so bad for this family and their dog, I started to cry. This really has to stop.

    Reply
    • Karen

       /  October 26, 2012

      No, Laura, that’s not what you need to learn. What you need to do instead is to hand your phone to the person sitting next to you on the bus, in the queue, at your work station and let them see what has brought you to tears.
      This is not something we can shrink from if we really expect it to stop. Don’t be embarrassed by your tears, be embarrassed if you fail to show the world why you are crying.
      Share, share, share.

      Reply
  10. Wonder if this ruling can be used by owner’s in the case of “oops” killings ?
    http://aldf.org/article.php?id=2199

    Reply
  11. Karen Josephson

     /  October 27, 2012

    omg – how much – how many – how often – can this continue… How? Because citizens are not publically outraged! Bright lights have to be shone on this facility and others!

    Reply
  12. Jessica C

     /  November 2, 2012

    This is awful. I dont know who is worse, the people in the shelter, or the neighbor who purposefully brought the dog in.

    Reply

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