Rancho Cucamonga Having Major Problems

Several emails were sent to me regarding the Rancho Cucamona shelter. Operations were taken over by the city from county supplied services in May, 2005, sometime after Winogard consulted I believe. I'd like a time-line if anyone could give it to me..

The emailer claims that the save rate before the city took over was 86%. Now it has dropped to 70%. Shelter officials are not responding to requests for public records. It also appears the shelter director may have lied about the number of animals killed.

Scary, is the finding that a large number of animals entering the shelter system are already neutered, meaning owner-turn-ins or abandoned. That means spay/neuter may be much slower to bring shelter euth rates down unless adoption rates go up significantly. That is, if 30% of the animal impounded are neutered, we are dealing with many animals already sterilized by the shelters.

The emails:

Here's an article that came out in today's paper. http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_5205421

Rancho declared itself no kill and now they are backing off of "overnight" no kill. As you can see they are still euthanizing a lot of animals. Considering that the numbers when the County had it were showing a drop now they are going up in Rancho and it will only get worse. Go on their web site and see dogs that have been there since June 2006. These dogs get walked for 20 minutes a day and the other 23 and half are spend in small kennels with the constant barking. http://www.rcpets.info/

The minutes of a city council meeting include testimony of finding dead and dying animals in their cages. They had a ringworm outbreak and failed to notify the public. Also this indicates poor shelter practices. I checked our other local shelters and none of them have ever had a ringworm outbreak. A volunteer responded to my posting on Craigs that the staff didn't take breaks or lunches because they were overworked.

I have requested public info regarding these things and have been refused in writing. I asked for an accounting of the groups taking animals out because I have received reports of a couple of hoarders working the shelter. They refused again saying they don't have any accounting or records of what groups and what they get. I mean c'mon.

Article in the Daily Bulletin this past weekend, the new director stated they put down 730 animals when they put down 1201. Go to http://www.dailybulletin.com/ and do a search for animal. The article will come up by Wendy Leung. And granted the numbers are bad. I've not seen such an poorly written report and it points to their lack of record keeping, even though they have the Chameleon system. If you know how to use it, all that info is in there.

I do know that I watched dogs in there for 3-5 months and then one day they are gone. I will call about them and be told that they were euthanized for behavior problems. I would ask how long does it take them to recognize problems or was it kennel stress? They would not answer that question. Out of the 111 dogs they had listed yesterday on their web site, http://www.rcpets.info/, 37 of them have been there as long as 7 months. What was disturbing to me was that 45 of the 111 dogs arrived at the shelter altered. The females were 29 and the males were 17. Now that means these dogs were owned at one time and the owner never showed. That also indicates that people are turning in their pets as strays or surrenders. This indicates a bad trend.

By the way, the time frame we are talking is May 06 to Dec. 06. The City of Rancho took over the shelter on May 2, 2006 from the County of San Bernardino Animal Control. The City has always owned the shelter but contracted with the County for all services, staffing and field.

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