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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In Case You Forgot....

Maybe I should spend my energy reminding people what happens to your animals in the care of the authorities that are supposed to be educated in animal husbandry. Maybe Riverside County Animal Services should send the kennel techs to school as well as the field officers, I am thinking that the extra training would teach them that dogs should not be taken from owners to come home looking like this. Thanks for the reminder anonymous poster. If I could award you a gold star I would but, sadly you did not leave your email address...

2007-2008 Grand Jury Report Animal Friends of the Valleys (LEAF)

Animal Friends of the Valley Animal Shelter
Animal Friends of the Valley Animal Shelter (AFVAS) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation located at 29001 Bastron Avenue, off Strickland Road, in a rural area near Lake Elsinore. The AFVAS contracts with the cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Canyon Lake, and Lake Elsinore to pick-up unwanted and stray animals in the southwest region of Riverside County.
AFVAS opened a shelter in 1988 formerly known as Lake Elsinore Animal Friends. In the 1990s the AFVAS began searching for a permanent home. In 2005, the four contracted cities agreed to enter into a joint financing authority that would issue bonds for a new shelter to be built at the corner of Mission Trail and Corydon Street in the City of Wildomar. In 2007, all four cities and the Riverside County Board of Supervisors agreed to finance a 39-year bond plus a 5% contingency, allowing the County to cover any missed payments by the cities. The total Bond is $17 million. Issues concerning parking, environment, approvals from the consulting architect, and the Riverside County Board of Supervisors have delayed the start of the building.
AFVAS currently utilizes trailers to house administration, security, and personnel. The night security guard uses his own trailer and has placed it outside adjacent to the chain link fence that encircles the facility.
Large dogs are kept outdoors in chain link kennels, while small dogs are kept in a separate area in smaller kennels. Another building houses cats. There is a brick building for euthanizing animals, as required. Prior to February 28, 2008, a separate trailer was used to house puppies and kittens.
On the above date, at approximately 5:00 a.m., a fire started in the trailer that housed twenty-four puppies and fifteen kittens. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire before it could spread to an adjoining trailer. However, all 39 puppies and kittens perished. The Riverside County Fire Department Report, Incident #001-8924, indicated the origin of the fire was an “Unspecified short-circuit arc,” in the trailer wall.
1. In March 2008, two dogs died from Parvovirus (Parvo) at the shelter.
A common disease fatal to dogs is Parvo, “a genus of viruses that replicates autonomously in suitable cells.” Parvo manifests itself in canines in the form of vomiting and diarrhea that dehydrates the animal. Death almost always follows. Humans, walking throughout the shelter, can have this virus adhere to their footwear and unknowingly spread the virus. The Parvo virus can exist on floors, cages, and clothing for months and can be carried outside the shelter unless disinfected. The AFVAS does not warn visitors of this potential hazard to animals. The state appointed Executive Director, a Humane Officer, stated that a “disinfectant box” should be used. However, it is not being used.
2. The metal roof above the kennels supports a misting system that provides water mist to keep the larger dogs cool during warm weather. This misting system is attached to the electrical flex conduit that provides electricity to the fluorescent tube fixtures. The fixtures are not designed for outdoor use, and many fluorescent tubes were missing. The misting system has corroded the light fixtures and can possibly cause an electrical short and fire.
3. During a tour of AFVAS, it was observed that large dogs were restricted from normal movement such as being able to lie down, turn around, and sit normally. The cause of the restriction is a large sleeping box inside the kennel. One dog was sitting on top of his sleeping box because of the lack of room to move.
4. It has been reported that when it rains the AFVAS becomes flooded. Because of poor drainage, it is necessary to sand bag areas and use pumps to drain the water accumulations. The AFVAS grounds become muddy and are dangerous to work in and difficult to safely park a vehicle.
• Riverside County Department of Building and Safety, Environmental Compliance Division, recently has been issued a state storm water permit. This permit requires storm water pollution compliance inspections to be conducted at all commercial facilities, including kennels. These inspections began in 2007, and will continue in 2008. No inspection of the AFVAS has been performed as of the date of this report.
5. AFVAS does not have smoke detectors and/or fire alarm systems installed and operating in their trailers.
6. The entrance to the AFVAS does not have address numbers visible from the street or the parking lot. The address does not register in computer programs, such as Mapquest.
Riverside County Board of Supervisors
Animals Friends of the Valley
Riverside County Fire Department
Riverside County Transportation and Land Management Agency
Riverside County Building and Safety,
Environmental Compliance Division
1. Inform personnel and visitors of the hazard of the Parvo virus by posting signs. Provide a box or platform to disinfect shoes as employees and the public enter and exit the facility. This box must contain disinfectants and germicides such as RX-75 or RX-44 PLUS, both of which have been shown to be effective against Parvo.
2. Provide a well-lighted and safe facility using approved outdoor waterproof light fixtures.
3. Provide room for larger dogs by removing the sleeping box and putting down a pad and blanket as weather permits.
4. Riverside County Department of Building and Safety, Environmental Compliance Division, must, without delay, perform an initial inspection of AFVAS to determine if they are in compliance with all state and local storm water quality requirements. AFVAS management must identify potential and actual sources of pollutants at the AFVAS and insure they do not contaminate nearby waterways that might receive drainage. Correct and redirect drainage to eliminate flooding during the rainy period.
5. Install smoke detectors and a fire alarm system in all structures at AFVAS.
6. AFVAS must post an identifying and clearly visible address sign at the street entrance.
Report Issued: 06/18/08
Report Public: 06/20/08
Response Due: 09/16/08

Response from LEAF http://www.riverside.courts.ca.gov/grandjury/08resp_animalfriendsvalleyanimalshelter.pdf

2001-2002 Grand Jury Report Desert Hot Springs Shelter

Desert Hot Springs Animal Shelter
The City of Desert Hot Springs constructed a 1,266 sq. ft. animal shelter in 1988 at
a cost of $30,000. The facility included 10 kennels and a feline room. In mid
2001, a new fiberglass fabric covered shelter was constructed adjacent to the main
entrance at a cost of approximately $6,300. It has a misting system for cooling
purposes, drainage facilities, four prefabricated dog houses, and a plastic wading
pool for the dogs.
Responsibility for this facility was first assigned to the City’s Community Safety
Division. In July 1999, the city’s financial status resulted in extensive city-wide
layoffs. The animal shelter was then placed under the control of the chief of police.
In January 2001, control of the animal shelter was transferred to the city manager.
The annual operating budget in 1988 was $36,000. By 1999, the shelter’s annual
budget had grown to $141,317. In January 2001, it was increased to $165,000.
The 2001-2002 budget is $194,850 with $150,239 devoted to salaries and benefits
of the shelter’s staff.
The staffing has remained at 2 full-time employees since the facility opened.
Salaries and benefits of these employees compare favorably with similar facilities.
1. Animals are often abandonded by Desert Hot Springs’ seasonal population.
This results in a considerable fluctuation in the number of animals kept in
the shelter.
2. Training programs and the monitoring of work performance, including
written policy and procedures, are nonexistent.
3. There are no volunteer programs in place.
4. No one is scheduled to care for or feed the animals on weekends or
5. The shelter’s computer system is inoperative. This requires all activities
to be logged manually.
6. Personnel records of past and present employees, maintained in the
shelter’s office, are incomplete.
7. No water is carried in the animal control vehicle for the animals.
8. The original outdoor enclosure contains up to 14 dogs. It is covered with
a torn tarpaulin, exposing the animals to the elements year round.
9. The outdoor enclosure’s misting system, used to cool the animals, is
10. There is a strong odor coming from the animal enclosures.
11. The interior ceiling heater has exposed wiring.
12. There is no street number or identifying sign on the outside of the animal
13. There is no notification system to inform owners of impounded animals.
14. The animal shelter has not taken advantage of funds by applying for
available grants.
15. Animal food is not properly stored or organized.
16. The proposed Coachella Valley area-wide animal shelter project is not
presently available.
Desert Hot Springs City Council
Desert Hot Springs City Manager
Mayor of Desert Hot Springs
1. Provide a training program for the shelter staff and volunteers.
2. Repair or replace the computer system.
3. Seek out volunteers with computer skills to assist in daily operations.
4. Provide fresh water in the animal control vehicle for animals.
5. Repair or replace the tarpaulin covering the original outdoor pen.
6. Update and maintain personnel records.
7. Develop policies for notifying owners of captured licensed animals.
8. Apply for available grants to be used for ongoing education of the public
in animal care.
9. Use volunteers, or current employees to staff the shelter and to feed and
care for the animals on the weekends and holidays.
10. Install identifying signs at the entrance of the shelter.
11. Partner with other area animal shelters to handle the seasonal overflow of
12. Investigate the feasibility of utilizing the proposed Coachella Valley areawide
animal shelter project, if it becomes available.

Here is the reponse http://www.riverside.courts.ca.gov/grandjury/02respdhsas.pdf

2002-2003 Grand Jury Report Department of Animal Services

Department of Animal Services
The mission and responsibility of the Department of Animal Services (DAS) is to “protect and serve the people and animals of Riverside County through programs that provide for public education, humane sheltering, responsible pet ownership, and progressive law enforcement.”
The DAS was a division within the Health Services agency until 1999, when it became a department. The department employs 104 personnel serving throughout the county and has an annual budget of over $5 million funded by the county general fund and fees for such services as licenses and pet adoption. A large percentage of Riverside County homes have at least one domestic animal as a pet (usually a cat or dog). The Riverside County Integrated Project shows that the County’s population will increase at a steady rate over the next 20 years. As the County’s human population increases, so may the population of domestic animals, greatly increasing the workload and responsibility of the DAS.
The DAS has six basic programs:
1. A field operation program in which animal control officers (ACO) regularly deal with animal bites, injured, sick, and stray animals as well as protecting animals from abuse and neglect by their owners. DAS employees may assist the California Department of Fish and Game in controlling dangerous animals such as bears or mountain lions.
2. A shelter program in which the DAS manages animal shelters in Riverside and Blythe. There are two additional shelters under contract for dogs and cats located in San Jacinto and Lake Elsinore, and a temporary shelter for large animals (such as cattle and horses) in Nuevo.
3. A program for licensing dogs and inoculating them for rabies.
4. A spay-neuter clinic for preventing the rapid growth of the population of unwanted dogs and cats.
5. A DAS educational program to inform children in the public schools about the responsibilities of caring and feeding of animals, as well as the dangers associated with stray animals.
6. A volunteer program in which individuals work in the shelters and in the educational programs, assisting the department’s professional staff.
1. In late 2002, more than 70 horses were seized from one location because of allegations that the animals were suffering severe neglect. The horses were turned over to DAS for care at a temporary animal shelter in Nuevo. The unexpected and unbudgeted cost to DAS is estimated to be $100,000 before the horses may be available for adoption or moved in a legal manner.
2. The DAS must cope with situations involving groups of large animals (such as horses or cattle) on an average of four to five times per month. This includes cattle that stray onto a highway or horses that are malnourished and suffering from neglect. Training is sporadic as incidents occur.
3. The DAS owns four stock trailers that can transport large animals. Parts of this equipment (such as loading ramps) have not always been in safe operating condition.
4. According to the Director of the Center for Equine Health at U.C. Davis, “West Nile Virus is expected to be a threat throughout the state this summer.” The virus may be lethal to horses and is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The cost for vaccinating a horse for West Nile Virus is between $75 - $100 for the set of two shots.
5. The DAS states that informing students (K-12) about the responsibility of caring for animals often aids in reducing problems of animal abuse and over population.
6. Each year taxpayer money is spent to cope with pet over-population problems. Increased public awareness for the spay-neutering of pets will result in fewer unwanted animals and eliminate the need to euthanize.
Board of Supervisors
Department of Animal Services
1. Provide permanent training to the schedule for Animal Control Officers (ACO) in the handling of multi-animal incidents involving large animals (such as cattle and horses) and ensure that stock trailers are always maintained in proper operating condition.
2. Inform the horse owners in Riverside County of the serious dangers of West Nile Virus, provide information on the need for vaccinating, and be prepared to participate in control or eradication programs with other county and state agencies. Information should be provided on the DAS website and/or newspaper articles.
3. Vaccinate all horses and mules under the control and care of the DAS for West Nile Virus.

Here is the response http://www.riverside.courts.ca.gov/grandjury/05respcountycounsel.pdf

Grand Jury Report 2003-2004 Indio Shelter

Here are the pics http://www.riverside.courts.ca.gov/grandjury/animal1.doc

Riverside County Animal Control Services Department Indio Animal Control Shelter
The Riverside County Department of Animal Services (DAS) provides animal services in three communities (Riverside, Indio and Blythe) and unincorporated areas of Riverside County. The mission of DAS is to “serve the people and animals of Riverside County through programs that provide for public education, humane sheltering, responsible pet ownership and progressive law enforcement. DAS promises to provide these services with respect, concern and compassion for all”.
The Director of DAS is responsible for the overall operation of the Riverside, Indio and Blythe Animal Shelters and reports to the Director, Riverside County Community Health Agency.
The Indio Animal Shelter is the focus of this report. The Supervising Animal Control Officer supervises the day-to-day operations of the Indio and Blythe Animal Shelters and reports to the Director, Riverside County Department of Animal Services. The Indio Animal Shelter observe the following business hours open to the public:
Shelter Services
10:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday
10:00 am – 7:00 pm Wednesday
Field Services
8:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Friday
A compendium of animal services provided at the Indio Animal Shelter is below:
• Dog License Fees, Leash Law Violations
• Hearings
• Vaccinations and Microchip Service
• Animal Turn-In
• Quarantine of Animals
• Upkeep of Impounded Animals
• Stray, Injured & Dead Animal Complaints
• Kennel License Requests
• Cruelty Cases
• Emergency Response & Investigations
• Dog License Fees, Leash Law Violations
• Potentially Dangerous, Dangerous & Vicious Dog Hearings
• Animal Relinquishment
• Emergency Response After Hours
The Indio Animal Shelter has the following number of kennels and animal capacity:
Kennels/Cages # of Animals
1. During the period January through May 2004, Riverside County officials received approximately 100 citizens’ complaints regarding the Indio Shelter concerning the treatment of animals and the negative attitude of employees toward the public and rescue organization representatives.
2. Only 22 of the 2,720 animals impounded in FY 2002-2003 at the Indio Animal Control Shelter were transported to a veterinarian for treatment of their injuries or illness.
3. The disposition of impounded animals from the Indio Animal Control Shelter representing seven (7) months in the FY 2003-2004 are reflected below:
Held over
And Impounded
FY 2001-2002
FY 2002-2003
FY 2003-2004
(7/1/03 – 2/29/04)
Return to Owner
*Note: Fiscal Year starts July 1st through June 30th.
4. According to current policy dogs are held (5) days post-impound before the public or rescue organizations can adopt.
5. Currently, the Indio Animal Control Shelter has working relationships with only the following three (3) rescue organizations and a private citizen:
• Save-a-Pet
• Yucaipa Animal Placement Service
• Orphan Pet Oasis
• Private Citizen
6. Evidence shows that the Director of Riverside County Animal Control Services Department rarely visited the Indio Animal Control Shelter and was not well informed regarding the operations of the Indio Animal Shelter.
7. The management for the Animal Control Shelter in Indio failed to utilize an independent and unbiased citizen complaint process to address the public’s issues and concerns.
8. During a visit at the Indio Animal Control Shelter, the Grand Jury observed the following conditions:
a. Most of the 30 dog kennels were dirty with strong unpleasant odor of feces and/or vomit on the floor. (Photographs 1 and 2).
b. Soft canned food for very young, elderly or sick animals was unavailable.
c. Towels, blanket or paper to create a more comfortable environment for puppies, kittens, and older or sick animals was unavailable.
d. Upper fencing on some kennels that would prevent larger dogs from jumping into another kennel was missing. (Photograph 3)
e. Drain holes (6-8” in diameter) in the kennel floors were uncovered. (Photographs 4 and 5)
f. Freezer containing euthanized animals was unlocked and accessible to anyone on the property.
g. An outdoor run for overflow had no protective covering to reduce exposure from the sun.
h. The condition of the building showed a need for repairs and has not been repainted since 1974.
i. Cooling misters that surround the outside animal quarantine area were inoperative.
j. Administrative and animal records were observed to be scattered on the floor and spilling out of file boxes in a metal shed that also contained bags of dog and cat food. (Photograph 6)
k. Two (2) of the animal control vehicles do not have the circulating roof swamp coolers on them.
l. Upon reviewing the Riverside County Policy and Procedure Manual there are no procedures for implementation of spay/neuter programs.
9. Prior to the euthanasia of animals, the Indio Kennel Attendants do not obtain the name and phone number of private citizens and rescue organizations who have placed a “Hold” on an animal for adoption and therefore, are not in compliance with the Indio Animal Shelter’s Policy Number 326. This policy states, “If there are any holds on an animal (even if they are expired), an attempt will be made, via phone to the person or persons to confirm they are not interested in the animal.”
10. Many animals impounded at the Indio Animal Shelter are not receiving needed veterinary care. This practice is in violation of California Civil Code Section 1834.4(a) and (b) which states, “impounded animals must receive appropriate veterinary care” and also violates Section 559d (a) and (b) of the California Penal Code, which require that “no adoptable or treatable animal be killed”.
11. In accordance with Riverside County Animal Service Policy Number 335, all animals deemed suitable for adoption are administered Bordatella vaccination as well as the 5 in 1 injection. Although this information is recorded on the Animal Cage Card, the rescue organization’s representatives and private citizens are not notified of the vaccinations when adopting the animals.
12. The Supervising Animal Control Officer at the Indio Animal Shelter was unable to provide documentation or clearly articulate the qualifications, behavioral standards, problem solving skills and human relations skills for the Animal Control Officers Position.
13. In April 2003, a person present at the Indio Animal Shelter, documented the following acts of cruelty to animals:
a. “Kennel attendants kicking and punching dogs like they were punching bags that were in the process of being euthanized.
b. Newborn kittens (a week old) were not fed and were allowed to starve to death.
c. Kennel attendants using their animal control sticks to drag cats to the edge of the cage for the purpose of euthanasia.
d. Kennel attendants hitting cats with their animal control stick to calm them prior to moving to another cage or euthanasia.”
Riverside County Board of Supervisors
Riverside County Animal Services Department
Riverside County Community Health Agency
1. Riverside County Animal Control Department develop and revise kennel operating policies and procedures that specifically apply to the Indio Shelter addressing the following areas:
a. Field Service responsibilities and practices.
b. Administrative and Office Record System.
c. Vehicle maintenance and operation.
d. Care of injured and/or sick animals.
e. Euthanasia.
2. The Indio Animal Control Management install shelves in the metal shed to store administrative records that are currently on the floor in the metal storage shed and in a bathroom.
3. Management at the Indio Animal Shelter provide soft foods for young, elderly and/or sick animals and store all animal food properly in the food storage locker.
4. Indio Animal Control Services Supervisor establish an effective work schedule that focuses on managing the operations at the Indio facility.
5. Replace all missing drain covers to prevent injury to small dogs.
6. Formal disciplinary action be taken against employees who fail to take injured, sick or suffering animals to the veterinarian or abuse or neglect impounded animals.
7. Indio Animal Control Service Supervisor and staff attend appropriate training classes that emphasize public relations and effective communications with rescue organizations.
8. Create a schedule of operating hours (staying within budget) at the Indio Animal Shelter to accommodate the working public for increased access to reclaim lost pets and promote adoptions.
9. Develop an effective program to increase pet adoptions, returning lost pets back to their owners, reduce euthanasia by:
􀂃 Implementation of an aggressive spay/neuter program.
􀂃 Distribute educational materials to the public regarding pet adoption and the need for spay/neuter.
􀂃 Aggressive networking with rescues organizations that could incorporate offsite adoptions.
􀂃 Maintain and update “website” to promote adoptions.
10. Indio Animal Control Shelter establish contracts and expand working relationships with rescue organizations to increase the number of pet adoptions.
11. The Director of Animal Control provide a staff member, with experience in public relations, to serve as the Indio Animal Service Liaison to establish coordination with rescue organizations and pet adoptions.
12. In FY 2004-2005 the Indio Animal Shelter establish and promote a pet adoption program with the goal to reduce by at least twenty-five percent (25%) the number of animals euthanized.
13. Revise the current complaint process through implementing a three-part (3) Citizen’s Animal Service Complaint Form with a tracking number and copies furnished to:
1. Complainant.
2. Director of Animal Control Services.
3. Director of Community Health Agency.
14. The Director of Community Health Agency submit a quarterly report to the Board of Supervisors, which includes a copy of the complaint and corrective action taken.

Here is the response http://www.riverside.courts.ca.gov/grandjury/04respanimalshelter.pdf

Here is the City of Riverside's response http://www.riverside.courts.ca.gov/grandjury/04respanimalsheltercityrvsd.pdf

Section 1983 to the Rescue *Reposted*

Section 1983 to the Rescue
The No Kill Advocacy Center has become increasingly aware that some officials who oversee shelters are threatening volunteers and rescuers that if they speak publicly about conditions at the shelter, they will be banned from volunteering or rescuing animals. But in actually banning or threatening to ban volunteers and rescuers, these officials nationwide are not only holding the animals hostage by threatening to kill them as punishment, they are also violating the civil rights of volunteers.
In 2008, Los Angeles rescuers teamed up with the No Kill Advocacy Center to file a lawsuit which alleged that the civil rights of volunteers and rescuers were being violated as retaliation for going public with their observations of inhumane conditions and neglectful treatment at the shelter. The court agreed.

In applying a federal civil rights statute to this area, the court gave animal activists a powerful weapon to reform the nation’s broken animal shelter system. Volunteers and rescuers no longer have to choose between remaining silent about abuses or risk losing their ability to help some animals by volunteering or rescuing them from death row.
Attorney Sheldon Eisenberg, who brought the ground-breaking lawsuit, argues that “Section 1983,” which was enacted as part of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 “can now help extend the protection of laws to those individuals committed to safeguarding the welfare and rights of the animals entrusted to our care.”
Read the article by clicking here.
About the Author

Sheldon Eisenberg is a principal founding partner of the Los Angeles law firm of Eisenberg, Raizman, Thurston, and Wong LLP. For over 25 years, companies from all sectors of the Southern California economy have entrusted their most significant litigation problems to Mr. Eisenberg—from cutting edge technology and telecommunications companies to financial institutions and real estate developers, from Hollywood studios and other entertainment companies to software developers and publishers, and from literary and talent agencies to advertisers and national public relations firms.

He recently represented animal rescuers and animal protection organizations, including the No Kill Advocacy Center, to protect volunteer whistleblowers who document abuses from being fired, defend an animal's right to prompt and necessary veterinary care while in the shelter, and require that shelters offer animals to rescue groups or for adoption, rather than kill them. The case Nguyen vs. County of Los Angeles settled in plaintiffs’ favor.

Mr. Eisenberg will be leading a workshop on Litigating No Kill at the national No Kill Conference 2009 in Washington D.C.
To find out more, go to www.nokillconference.org.

Aguanga Dog Slaying

After seeing the news stories being edited to omit the fact that dogs were killed on this property I finally was able to find the original story. The question still remains....Why did these animals need to be killed agian? And who killed them? Also Euthanasia means "a good death" I would hardly called being shot to death a good/peaceful death. I am not saying by any means that the seizure was right or wrong I am simply talking about dogs that were killed and not placed up for adoption...animal control has a code that says if animals are sick or injured they MUST be vetted and offered for adoption. It is thier code...so I guess only they can manipulate it to suit thier needs as they see fit.

08:11 AM PST on Monday, January 26, 2009

The Press-Enterprise

More than 100 feral cats and dogs living in putrid conditions had to be euthanized after authorities found them with the remains of 200 other animals placed in trash bags on the grounds of a rural Temecula residence.

While nine puppies and one dog were rescued from the Liefer Road residence, authorities had to remove the bodies of 318 cats and dogs from the property, said Willa Bagwell, executive director of Animal Friends of the Valleys. The organization provides animal control services for Temecula.

"They were just wild animals. They had never been touched," she said. "I've never seen this many animals and animals this feral."

Temecula police Friday arrested Elisao Gilbert Jimenez, 66, on suspicion of animal cruelty after being called to the residence about a vicious dog, said Riverside County sheriff's spokesman Javier Rodriguez.

Jimenez lived alone, deputies said. He let the animals breed and roam freely without taking any of them to a local shelter because he feared they would be destroyed, Bagwell said.

"He didn't know what to do with them," she said.

Jimenez put animals that had died into bags instead of burying them because he didn't own the property, Bagwell said.

"He was very calm," Bagwell said of Jimenez. "He was like, OK, it's over."

The residence is located in northern Temecula off a dirt road with a sprawling, grassy front yard surrounded by wire fences. A tall gate with a thick chain and bulky lock secured the grounds.

A red barn and a large mobile home are atop a slope about a quarter-mile from the dirt road.

When animal control officers initially arrived, packs of dogs attacked each other, and the officers saw other horrifying acts, Bagwell said Saturday.

About 70 dogs circled officers and threatened to attack, leaving authorities with no choice but to euthanize the animals, she said.

The mobile home had been turned over to the animals, Bagwell said. Officers even discovered animals hiding in cupboards.

"The smell, I can't tell you how bad the smell was," Bagwell said.

Outside, there were more than 100 plastic trash bags filled with animal feces and animal corpses, Bagwell said.

Neighbors were shocked by the discovery. Harold Newstrom, 82, who lives about a quarter mile down the road from the property on the 39000 block of Liefer Road said he drives past the Jimenez residence every day and never heard, smelled or saw anything.

"Where did they keep them all?" Newstrom asked. "I've never seen a dog there. I've never seen any animal there."

Margaret Sturgeon, 82, said she sometimes talked briefly to Jimenez at his front gate or at the postal boxes where they both picked up mail. He seemed normal, she said.

"He said he had three dogs," said Sturgeon. "He never acted as if anything was wrong."

Last summer, Jimenez put up notices on telephone poles about a lost cat that he said later returned home, she said.

In addition to Bagwell's team and police, city officials showed up in what turned out to be a 12-hour endeavor, she said.

Bagwell said her staff planned to spend time Saturday bathing and caring for the 10 dogs they were able to rescue.

The nine puppies are about 8 weeks old and the dog has a sweet disposition, she added.

Staff writer David Olson contributed to this report.

Reach Tammy J. McCoy at 951-375-3729 or tmccoy@PE.com

Just A Note

I received a comment that said if I spent as much energy with my horses as I did this blog I might still have them. I found this remark interesting ... I can only imagine that the author of the post (who chose to remain anonymous) was someone from animal control or the like. All I have to say to you is it was very easy for you to get on the stand and lie, it was easy for you to falsify documents and get others to go along with your story, but when the truth comes out which I am most certain that it will, where will you be? I hope everyone involved that chose to lie and deceive gets what they deserve and not only looses their job but is finally held accountable for all of the wrong they have caused. If this poster was not from animal control then I would suggest that they get their facts straight it will make it a little less embarrassing later on. It seems silly until it happens to you...then it is very real. And by the way....I spend maybe 5 minutes a week on this blog - I spent many hours with my horses everyday until this happened. I'm glad you took the time and energy to read my stupid little blog, obviously. So THANK YOU!

Help For Stu

Even if you aren't an animal person or you are not a fan of bully breeds....whatever... a serious injustice is being committed by county agencies everyday and the public continues to turn a blind eye until it happens to them. This has got to stop! As a victim of a county agency myself I can say they are NOT looking out for the best interest of the animals- many are not even animal lovers they are rather the execution squad to them a promotion does mean greater pay but the joy of euthanizing animals. Please support Stu in his time of need his hearing was last night but I am hoping it is not too late for him. http://www.myspace.com/save_stu

Here is the story that was sent to me in an email-

Jeff De La Rosa has been trying to get his dog Stu back for the last 4 years! Stu has not seen the light of day in 4 years, he needs to to be able to be released to a sanctuary.... I know it's short notice, but if anyone can attend tonite at 6 pm to support him that would be great, he may not get to speak until 7 pm, so no worries if anyone is late. Thanks and pass it along! also here's the link:


City Attorney (the old one) offers "Stu" Life without Parole.

Last April 14, 2009, Animal Services Commissioner, Archie Quincey introduced the following motion:

"At the next meeting (4/27) , I would like to make a motion that the Board direct the City Attorney to withdraw opposition to Jeff's de la Rosa's appeal in the Court of Appeals; and to direct the City Attorney to request that the Court of Appeals return the case to the Superior Court; and direct the Superior Court to issue a Writ of Mandate which shall order this Board to set-aside the decision declaring the dog, Stu as dangerous. I make this motion because the hearings in our Department were unfair and violated Due Process. This has gone on long enough."

Well, following that, the Board held a "closed session" on April 27, 2009. That's when they throw everyone out and talk to their "attorney." In this case, the City Attorney is Todd Leung, who lost to me in Court on my other dog, Maeve--same reason-Due Process was violated in that they refused to summon my requested witnesses and thereby did not afford me a fair hearing before depriving me of my "property." That's the 14th Amendment at work. After 3 years, Maeve is exonerated and according to Boks and Linda Barth, "the case is closed." Great, but what about Stu?

Stu Supporter, Marie Atake with Stu
(The only Commissioner to ever meet him. Atake quit the Board of Commissioners
partially because of the unfair treatment in Stu's case and impound)

Stu's hearing was held back to back with Maeve's (see http://myspace.com/save_stu forthe full story) by the same Hearing Examiner, George Mossman. Mossman also refused to summon the same witnesses for Stu's hearing, but that doesn't show in the record before the Court, because he didn't actually speak those words at Stu's hearing..only at Maeve's. Such is the rule of evidence. My first lawyer did not catch that the record for Stu was defective; neither did the second lawyer; and had they done that, they could have corrected the record in the Superior Court and Stu would most likely be home by now, having been deprived of a fair hearing before being sentenced to death.

For the last several months, I (and other Stu supporters) have been lobbying the Board of Commissioners to settle this matter before the final hearing in the Court of Appeals on June 18, 2009. With a defective record, I could lose the case and Stu would then be killed based on Stuckey's last word before he left with the door swinging. Boks picked up where he left off and made Stu out to be a vicious terrorist of a dog and tried to make this into L.A.'s own Whipple case, which it is not, by any means.

Experts and trainers (including New Leash on Life's and K9s ONLY's Bobby Dorafshar and Richard Polksy, Ph.D. http://dogexpert.com ) have examined and evaluated Stu. He is "not dangerous", they say.

In 5 years of being with me , he never hurt another animal or a human, until he was left with my former girlfriend/assistant when my mother was on her death bed in Ohio. Tatiana did something to cause a fight to break out in which Stu was injured-his ear was torn. Ignoring my instructions to let him out of the locked small office to chill out , she went in and closed the door behind her, and then cornered Stu. Then, she attempted to slide a harness over his torn ear, when he already was wearing a collar. He apparently bit her, though we are taking her word for this...it's probable that he did. He bit her twice on the same arm and retreated to a corner, so said she on her first explanation to me. However, once her mother convinced her to sue me for $6 MILLION (she settled for $300K), her "dog-bite" lawyer instructed her to weave a dramatic and tearful tale for Animal Control which included her being "dragged" back and forth across the floor by a, supposedly, death-seeking Stu. "I knew he would kill me." "I was screaming...I had to crawl out of the room after playing dead."

Well, not even that story persuaded the Hearing Examiner. He found Stu to be "NOT DANGEROUS" and reasoned that Stu had been provoked. But Captain Helen Brakemeir stuck her big thumb in the pie and before the report from the Hearing Examiner could even get to the GM, she wrote what is now known as The Brakemeir Memo, in which she disagrees with Mossman and lobbies for Stu to be killed because it was a "mauling" and he is "dangerous." Stuckey, who had just been asked to resign, rubber stamped the letter written by Brakemeir.

Now, four years later, it seems that someone in the Mayor's office (or perhaps Debbie Knaan, because I exposed her for having ex parte communications with appellant parties and witnesses while she was already selected to be a "quasi judge") still has it in for me and will not allow the Board to do what the Board seems to want to do--put an end to this nightmare and send S
tu home.

The City Attorney's offer is this (in an email...not even a letter):

They won't kill Stu as settlement of the case (and my lawsuit against the City), but he cannot come home. He must go to a "sanctuary" or "approved kennel." Basically, he will spend the rest of his life, like the last 4 years, confined. He does not deserve that and has not deserved any of this. If you agree, then please come to the Commission meeting on Tuesday May 26, 2009 and tell the Board they are wrong to listen to the City Attorney. Especially since the City Attorney has just lost his job!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
6:00 P.M.
Exposition Park
Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional Branch Library
3900 South Western Avenue.
Los Angeles, CA 90062
click for Google map


Monday, May 18, 2009

CBS Report: Caught On Tape

I personally feel this is just the tip of the iceberg http://cbs2.com/tv/animal.shelter.abuse.2.1009429.html and it should be taken more seriously than just referring to them as "a few bad apples" the whole reason the began prosecuting animal abusers was because it is felt that if you can be cruel to an animal one would one day turn the abuse to people......so I ask you what are these maniacs doing working for the county, certainly with those that can not express hurt or concern (the animals), when it is possible the best place for many of these "Animal Control Officers" would be a padded cell?