Nobody WANTS to kill animals – San Bernardino pound edition

Screengrab from Facebook of dog ID #439720 at the San Bernardino city pound.

Screengrab from Facebook of dog ID #439720 at the San Bernardino city pound.

When this dog’s photo was posted on Facebook, I shared it on the blog’s page.  When I checked back later to see what the status was, I saw a note indicating that the dog’s listing had been removed from PetHarbor and that the pound staff refuses to disclose the disposition of any animal removed from PetHarbor.  I think this is a baloney policy so I FOIA’d the dog’s records.  The lengthy document which was sent to me included the dog’s ID number and a notation that the dog was adopted.  Thank you irresponsible public, once again.

The only other document I received in response to my FOIA request was something that appears to be a cage card.

City of San Bernardino's records on dog #439720 at the pound, obtained via FOIA request.

City of San Bernardino’s records on dog #439720 at the pound, obtained via FOIA request.

Since I had specifically requested the intake form, impounding animal control officer notes, all photos, front and back of cage card, veterinary notes, behavioral assessment form, adoption records, disposition form including reason for euthanasia if applicable, and any and all other related documents for this dog, I contacted the city again, asking for the missing documents.  The e-mail response I received from the deputy city attorney reads, in part:

I have confirmed with the responding City department that there are no additional records for #A439720 beyond those already provided. The kennel card contains all the information the City has on receiving, vetting, and assessing the animal.

So there you have it.  The largely empty kennel card contains everything the city has on this dog – everything the city of San Bernardino did to try and save this dog’s life.  All records of the efforts to provide basic vet care to prevent disease, to try to find the dog’s owner, to reach out to rescues and fosters, to market the dog to the public, to provide him with exercise and socialization – all of it amounts to no effort at all, at least no record of any such efforts.  There isn’t even a record of the dog’s adoption.

How are they doing follow up calls to promote pet retention without adoption records?  Is San Bernardino vaccinating upon intake?  Trying to reunite lost pets with their owners?  Taking any action of any kind to get pets out of the place alive?  Because there are no records of it, for this dog anyway.  I would posit that if a member of the irresponsible public had not photographed this pet and posted him on social media (including the video below), the dog would have likely been killed by the city in relative anonymity.

But they’re doing the best they can.  Don’t criticize.  We all want the same thing. blah.

Video of dog ID #439720 at the San Bernadino city pound, posted to YouTube:

Dang, if it weren’t for the irresponsible public we hear so much about from pet killing facilities and their apologists, this story might have actually been even more depressing.  I am grateful the public did the city’s job for them with this dog, since they apparently weren’t going to do it themselves.  But I am sorry for all the other pets at the San Bernardino pound.  The lost and homeless pets of San Bernardino – and the taxpayers – deserve better.

Leave a comment

12 Comments

  1. mikken

     /  January 20, 2013

    Stop being such a h8tr! You have no idea HOW VERY HARD they work EVERY DAY!!!!! Until you walk in and start helping out, you have no right to sit on your ass at the computer and criticize!!!! Shut up and leave these good people alone!!!! They are doing the VERY BEST they can!!!! Just because they don’t keep your fancy “records” or take good “pictures” or “market” their animals at all doesn’t mean that they don’t care! They’re too busy killing I mean SAVING (a few) LIVES every day!!!!

    Again, when “catch, hold, kill” is the model a shelter is working from rather than “catch, hold, return/rescue/rehome”, there is no conflict for them to kill so many because saving lives simply isn’t their priority. Saving lives is incidental to their day to day business and happens only through the good grace of the “irresponsible public”. Who in turn gets slammed at every opportunity for “creating the problem in the first place”.

    The difference between the two shelter models is that one is a victim of circumstance and the other is an active member of the community providing a valuable service and leading the way in care, education, and programs. One is adversarial to their community, the other is a valued member of their community. Why so many still choose the first one, I’ll never know.

    Reply
    • Andrea Smith

       /  January 20, 2013

      Or you can even skip the “hold” part entirely! So much easier for the staff – just kill them as soon as they enter the shelter.

      Reply
    • Victoria

       /  January 21, 2013

      Nope. You were right the first time. They are too busy killing. Saving lives takes them away from killing and is done by troublesome “volunteers”, who deplete morale by pointing out that a dog has had an embedded collar that was not removed in the several days it was there – http://www.examiner.com/article/volunteer-banned-from-shelter-after-photos-of-badly-injured-dog-cause-stir . Why bother? They will kill it as soon as the stray hold is up anyway.

      What’s next? These “volunteers” will complain that puppies are being hosed down while in the kennel instead of actually cleaning the kennels and washing the puppies. – http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=307475069300047&set=a.207700809277474.50115.192562130791342&type=1&theater. I bet that if the shelter put out an ask for a volunteer to wash the puppies, they probably would have gotten it.

      Kennel attendants don’t have time to treat the animals correctly, they have approximately 37 animals to kill a day from the stats that I found on Facebook listed below (if they are indeed correct).

      2011 Statistics, City of San Bernardino Animal Shelter:
      Total animals received: 17,934
      Animals Adopted: 3,475 – 19.38 percent
      Euthanized total: 13,369 – 74.55 percent
      75% OF ANIMALS KILLED.

      With all that killing, I really don’t think they can afford to fire volunteers. But they don’t care what I think, only what depletes staff morale. Apparently, killing 40 animals a day doesn’t deplete morale, but being called out for their inaction does.

      Reply
  2. alice in lala land

     /  January 20, 2013

    gosh i cannot believe they actually have STRAY animals in SB.. their LAWS require license and spay/neuter and much much more.. doncha know that when you fine berate and make it harder and harder to won a pet.. people will step right up and .. oh wait they just won;t own pets at all.. YEA for SB Riverside County.. makink pet ownership so easy.. . oh wait… ….

    Reply
  3. Andrea Smith

     /  January 20, 2013

    Apparently they *do* want to kill animals. Because it’s so much easier than actually *doing* anything to save them. Paperwork? Waste of time. Photographing the animal so it looks its best? Way too much work. Reaching out to the “irresponsible public”? Why bother? Just kill them all – less cages to clean! Win/Win!

    Reply
  4. Jaclyn Schultz

     /  January 20, 2013

    I know of the San Bernadino shelter….and I’m from Canada. Our Horatio (a blue and white bully) was pulled from there. I also have no information on him other than discrepancies. The rescue that pulled him had to so his vaccines….I think. I can give you more information if you’d like it.

    Reply
  5. Jaclyn Schultz

     /  January 20, 2013

    I should mention, that from what I understand, their kill rate is 90% and any animal under the age of 8 weeks is automatically sentenced to death.

    Reply
  6. These days I think volunteers are the only reason the animal shelter is running. I’m surprised you got as much response as you did — San Bernardino’s in free fall. It was a poor, crime-plagued city even when times were good, and now…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/15/us/crime-rises-in-san-bernardino-after-bankruptcy.html

    Reply
  7. And what if this shelter had had a policy stating that no photographs or videos could be taken on shelter premises? Many shelters enforce such a policy. It really makes you wonder what they’re hiding. Transparency is key. Thanks for a great blog.

    Reply
  8. Craig

     /  April 23, 2013

    Jennifer is doing her best. Leave her alone.

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  April 24, 2013

      If you’re not being sarcastic Craig, I find your comment painfully ironic.

      Reply

Speak!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 916 other followers

%d bloggers like this: