Winchester Dogs Ready for Second Chance
Dogs seized by Riverside County Animal Services are now available for adoption or transfer to rescue organizations.
Animal Services served a seizure warrant on a man who had been living on land he did not own in an unincorporated Riverside County area in Winchester. The property, located on Simpson Road just west of Winchester Road, had been used by the man as a makeshift dog rescue – but he did not have a kennel permit to have dozens of dogs.
More than 70 dogs were kept in single kennels and some were bunched up in pen-like structures. A buildup of animal waste created a fly infestation and some dogs suffered from flystrike in their ears.
On Aug. 11, Animal Services worked in concert with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and Riverside County Code Enforcement to serve the seizure warrant. The man, John Dunlap, was ultimately arrested on suspicion of trespassing and placed on a medical hold. He was transported from the property in an ambulance. Code Enforcement officers posted notices of violation on the various structures and vehicles at the site.
Animal Services cited him for a kennel violation and seized the dogs. They have been cared for at the county’s San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus since Aug. 11. All received veterinary examinations and were checked for microchips. Roughly 50 of the 76 dogs had chips. However, many were registered to Mr. Dunlap. Some dogs were registered to rescue organizations that no longer wanted responsibility. Although Mr. Dunlap could have requested a post-seizure hearing, he failed to do so and now Animal Services is legally allowed to rehome the dogs. On the day of the seizure, he was transported to an area hospital for an evaluation.
Animal Services was forced to euthanize five of the 76; three were euthanized due to severe health conditions and two were euthanized for aggressive traits. Many of the dogs will be candidates for the department’s transfer partner organizations due to some behavior challenges. But some are suitable for adoption. Adoption fees are just $20 as part of a monthlong Clear the Shelters campaign promoted by NBC4 and Telemundo52.
Although the dogs are at the county’s San Jacinto facility, the adoption process will occur at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus. Visit: https://rcdas.org/petharbor/secured_PetHarbAdoptSearch.html
“It upset us to see so many dogs in such poor living conditions in high temperatures,” Animal Services Director Julie Bank said. “They’re now ready to start their new lives in loving homes or receive advanced behavior training with our partners. We thank all the adopters and groups in helping us with these special dogs.”