On the heels of the story of the heart stick horrors at McCracken County Humane Society in Kentucky, now comes the story about the nightmare at the Devore Animal Shelter in San Bernardino, CA.
The reports about the lack of warm blankets for the animals at DAS have come from the Facebook post at the group, Operation Blankets of Love, as reported to the CNN iReport web site. Source.
This 501c3 non-profit group’s mission is to gather donations of various comfort items and then take them to shelters to help with the innocent animals who are housed there. It gives these precious animals some semblance of warmth and comfort during a very frightening and stressful time, whether by natural disasters or from simply being dumped at a shelter.
After learning that the animals at the Devore Animal Shelter were living without even so much as a blanket, with animals being reported to have literally frozen to floors during the 2010/2011 winter months, OBL attempted to bring these desperately-needed blankets to the shelter. What they were faced with would outrage any human who had an ounce of compassion for a helpless animal.
In the meeting with the head of the shelter, Doug Smith, they were told that he doesn’t allow blankets in the kennels. (The only animals witnessed to have blankets were mothers with their babies.) Why? Because the animals could eat the blankets and more importantly, the blankets could clog the drains when the kennels are hosed down. When the interviewer commented about the negativity of this attitude, Smith was reportedly quoted to have stated:
“The more negative comments I get the better. I like getting them because then more people will come to adopt them.”
When did the neglect of the very basics in comfort and kindness become the tools to get more adoptions? These animals are clearly suffering. In one of the pictures shown here, tiny dogs are huddled next to each other in an attempt to keep warm.
This isn’t the first time that Devore has come into the spotlight regarding harsh treatment and abuse of the animals housed there. In 2005, there were reports of abuse at the shelter. Source. On November 12th of this year, a protest was held outside of the high-kill shelter, in an attempt to bring about reform because of its 75% kill rate, and the reports of neglect and abuse. Source.
The members of the Facebook cause, Reform Devore Animal Shelter, and the Facebook Community, Stop Devore Animal Cruelty, have been tirelessly fighting to raise awareness of what’s going on behind closed doors at this facility, and to help get the animals’ plight the attention it needs in order to bring about change.
There is a petition linked below, which has been created to ask for changes in the methods employed at DAS. The things being asked for in this petition are the very basics of what should be standard procedures at any shelter. It’s overwhelmingly sad that things have reached a critical point to need yet another petition for change. (See the prior petition regarding this facility here.)
Please consider adding your signature to this petition. These innocent animals deserve to have a chance at being adopted into a loving home. Beyond that, they deserve to be warm and cared for during the time they are forced to live in this shelter. Advocates are their only voice, and we must speak up to help get this much-needed change.
Click here to sign the petition.
Click here for the Reform Devore Animal Shelter Facebook page.
Click here for the Stop Devore Animal Cruelty Facebook page.
Click here for the Friends of Devore Shelter Dogs website.
Click here for details of the Hayden Law, which all California shelters should be following.
Click here for the reported abuses from 2005.
Click here for more prior information about alleged abuses at this facility.
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