Young Appaloosa Transported, Cared for by Vet
SATURDAY, SEPT. 8, 2018 – A suspected drunken driver slammed into the back of a horse trailer traveling on Interstate 10 early Saturday morning (Sept. 8) in the Cabazon area.
The crash happened at about 2:30 a.m. near the Main Street exit in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 10. A woman suspected of driving under the influence crashed into the trailer at a speed of about 80 mph to 90 mph, according to information provided to Riverside County Animal Services’ responding officer.
Its impact was so violent that one of two horses inside the trailer got loose from its halter and spilled out the mangled back doors. The crash caused severe injuries to that horse.
“It is my understanding that the suspected drunken driver hit the trailer with enough force that the horse slipped out of its halter,” said Animal Services Sgt. Lesley Huennekens, the responding officer. “That was the power of the impact. Imagine a slingshot with an 800-pound animal.”
She said the horse, a young, male Appaloosa named Oliver, was forced forward and then backwards so fast that it fell out the back. For a few minutes, the horse was running loose on I-10, but the transport driver was able to wrangle it. The California Highway Patrol responded with three units.
“All of its injuries were likely caused by the falling out of the mangled doors,” Sgt. Huennekens said. “Its sheer luck that this horse survived.”
Animal Services Recommends a Crate Next Time
SEPT. 7, 2018 – A woman showed up at the county’s shelter in Jurupa Valley with a group of dogs following her in a Pied Piper-like style.
Riverside County Animal Services employees and one veteran volunteer scrambled to scoop up the pooches. All told, she brought a baker’s dozen to the shelter. Some didn’t follow her, though, and darted underneath a car in the parking lot.
Shelter surveillance footage captured the moments she arrived and the somewhat tense moments as the employees tried to coax the puppies into the shelter’s admission area.
“We’d like to use this oddball story to say, No. 1, you can avoid a 13-puppy situation in the first place if you spay or neuter your pet,” Animal Services Director Robert Miller said. “Secondly, don’t bring loose dogs to our shelters. We’ll come out to your car if you don’t have a crate or the necessary restraints.”
The Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley is located adjacent to Van Buren Boulevard – one of the county’s busiest thoroughfares. “We would have hated to see one of these pups run out to the street and get hit by a car,” Miller said.
Once all the puppies were collected and properly impounded, Animal Services’ veterinary team members conducted examinations and then the four-legged friends were transported to the available kennel areas. Some of the pups, all 11-week-old, pit bull mixes, have already been adopted.
Several are still available – just in time for the Inland Empire Super Adoption event this weekend.
The event is a partnership with Best Friends Animal Society and other organizations. It runs at the shelter (6851 Van Buren Blvd., Jurupa Valley), 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 8 & 9). Adoption fees are just $20 for all pets – and that still includes the animal’s spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and a microchip.
Hundreds of Pets Available for $20 Saturday and Sunday
SEPT. 4, 2018 – Riverside County’s shelter in Jurupa Valley will play host this weekend to a Super Adoptionevent with lowered fees for its homeless pets.
The event is a new partnership with Best Friends Animal Society and a handful of other adoption and rescue organizations. The fees for all cats and dogs will be $20, which will include the pet’s spay or neutersurgery, vaccinations and a microchip.
“The Super Adoption is such a fun, festive way for the whole family to meet adoptable dogs and cats,” said Jose Ocano,Pacific Region Director for Best Friends Animal Society. “From playful youngsters to sweet seniors and anything in between, the perfect pet will be waiting for you here.”
The Super Adoption runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and will continue on Sunday with similar hours. The shelter is located at 6851 Van Buren Blvd., Jurupa Valley, 92509. More than 200 pets will be available for adoption.
In addition to available pets cared for by Riverside County Animal Services, other groups will be creating pop-up adoption stations inside the shelter’s quad area. Confirmed groups include Foster Army AnimalRescue and The Paw Mission.
Also, the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center will be participating during the Saturday action. This nonprofit, long-running shelter has been assisting Riverside County for many years by rescuing shelter animals and providing them care at its Riverside location.
Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization with a mission to end euthanasia of shelter pets by 2025, has already partnered with Riverside County Animal Services with a Coachella Valley-based effort to spay and neuter stray, community cats. The program started in 2017 after Animal Services Director Robert Miller approved the unique relationship.
Employees from Best Friends have been embedded in the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms to work closely with animal control officers and other shelter staffers with getting more community cats altered, all in the effort to reduce the volume of abandoned cats entering area shelters.
The successes of that program has resulted in Best Friends’ officials to reach out with additional programs, such as this weekend’s Super Adoption.
Deputy Director Frank Corvino said, “Our continuing partnership with Best Friends has been extremely successful in helping save the lives of numerous animals in our east county. We are excited to continue our lifesaving efforts with the Super Adoptions this weekend. “
13 Years Later, Sam the Catahoula Remains by Her Side
AUG. 29, 2018 – Thirteen years ago on this day, Hurricane Katrina slammed the Gulf Coast and left communities destroyed. The devastation resulted in more than 1,800 deaths and caused an estimated $125 billion in damage.
In its aftermath, tens of thousands of pets were displaced. (The ASPCA estimated 250,000 pets died or were displaced.) Nationally recognized animal welfare organizations swooped in to help, as did a team from Riverside County Animal Services.
So many people evacuated their homes and a good number never came back. That resulted in animal control agencies and national groups with an abundance of homeless pets. All the dogs and cats saved needed re-homing, second chances. Pets were flown all across the country, landing in Southern California shelters, including Riverside County’sshelters.
A male, 1-year-old dog with cracked, glass eyes and a red-leopard coat was one of those dogs. The Catahoula mix certainly needed extra love. Inside his kennel, the pooch ripped and tore at his bedding. His stress level was high, but understandably so, considering he had been shipped thousands of miles from his owner and once comfortable home.
Riverside County registered veterinary technician Lori Stamp-Brown said she couldn’t help but feel sorry for the dog.She decided to foster him, only for a short period, just to give him a more pleasant setting. As time passed, however, Ms. Stamp-Brown could not resist the dog’s charm.
There was an extended holding period all U.S. animal shelters abided by for the Hurricane Katrina-displaced pets. The long holding period was established to give rightful owners a chance to redeem their pet. In fact, some pets inRiverside County’s care actually made happy-reunion trips back to their owners. But no one ever claimed the dog with the sweet face. She made him her permanent pet and named him Samuel and, sometimes, Sammy Boy.
“He may be one of the oldest, surviving members from Hurricane Katrina’s wrath,” said Stamp-Brown, who takes Sammy Boy to work every day. “Of course, there’s no way of knowing for sure, but at age 14, he’s definitely getting up there.”
She said Sammy Boy loves his morning walks, sleeping on the couch and playing with his younger, four-legged sister, Shiloh. And, did we mention that he loves long naps? Yes, he’s a big napper.
“If Samuel could talk, we are sure he would have a tale to tell from his time in Louisiana,” Stamp-Brown said. “He is loved beyond measure. We are honored to be his pet parents. And, since he’s now 14 years old, every day is a gift.”
Stolen Backhoe Found Near Stolen Great Dane
AUG. 27, 2018 – There are ways investigators can reunite construction companies with their stolen heavy equipment. And there are ways animal agencies can reunite pet owners with stolen pooches. That exact scenario occurred Friday, thanks to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and Riverside County Animal Services working in tandem.
Sheriff’s investigators located a stolen John Deere backhoe, an $80,000 vehicle, on a property in Jurupa Valley. Read the sheriff’s news release here: http://www.riversidesheriff.org/press/jvs18-0824.asp
Not too far from the heavy equipment, deputies noticed a dog chained to a concrete block. Knowing something didn’t seem right, the deputies contacted Animal Services.
Animal control officers Dane Ericson and Christopher Peck retrieved the dog, a 3-year-old Great Dane and checked her for a microchip. There was a beep on his chip scanner, indicating a hit for the chip. Officer Peck used the chip information to contact the presumed owner of the dog.
“The owner told us the dog had been stolen two years earlier,” Officer Peck said. “She said her daughter never forgot about the family pet and had been praying, tossing coins into fountains and wishing upon every shooting star that their pet would one day return home.”
That wish came true on Saturday at the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley, not too far from where Adam Hagan and Makayla Farin used to live. The couple, now Lake Elsinore residents, expressed relief when Sadie seemed to recognize them both right away.
“As soon as I walked back there, she looked at us through the cage and jumped up on it and was just wagging all over the place,” Adam Hagan said.
On Saturday, during the heartfelt reunion, the couple did not tell their daughter, Charlie Hagan, about the good news. Not until they made her close her eyes, and strung a Happy Birthday sign over Sadie. It was Charlie’s fifth birthday on Saturday and the couple wanted to surprise her.
Hundreds of Pets Available for $4.52 Saturday, Aug. 18
AUG. 16, 2018 – Riverside County Animal Services’ three largest shelters are offering a special adoption fee on Saturday as part of the national campaign called Clear the Shelters.
Clear the Shelters is sponsored by NBC and Telemundo and other corporations. The annual event intends to raise awareness about pet overpopulation – and promotes adopting animals.
Riverside County’s three participating shelters (located in Jurupa Valley, San Jacinto and Thousand Palms) are offering pets for just $4.52, a tradition started to honor Los Angeles’ affiliates for NBC (Channel 4) and Telemundo (Channel 52).
Of course, adopters can “spay it forward,” if desired, and round the adoption fee up to $5, or even more. Rounding-up donations will go toward the county’s continuing low-cost and grant-funded spay and neuter programs.
“We have just recovered from two significant emergency events, the Cranston Fire and the Holy Fire, and now we’re looking forward to something that brings smiles to us all,” Deputy Director Frank Corvino said. “We spent long hours during those wildfires responding to properties with pets, caring for evacuees’ pets, and reuniting four-legged friends with their owners. On Saturday, we’re hopeful we’ll see hundreds of our pets adopted and given a second chance.”
The addresses and the Clear the Shelters hours of operation for each shelter are:
The Coachella Valley Animal Campus is located at 72-050 Pet Land Place, Thousand Palms, 92276: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus is located at 581 S. Grand Ave., San Jacinto, 92582: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter is located at 6851 Van Buren Blvd., Jurupa Valley, 92509: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
One additional note: Arriving early to adopt a specific dog does not equate to adoption of that pet. If two people are interested in the same pet at approximately the same time, and both qualify as adopters, a special drawing will be held. This will give both would-be adopters the same chance to adopt that pet.
“In short, we would like adopters to know that lining up for hours prior to the shelter opening is not necessary,”Corvino said. “High temperatures are forecast throughout the Inland Empire for Saturday and we want to make sure our visitors do not suffer too much exposure. It’s a great event, but we want our patrons to be safe.”
Service Suspends on Morning of Aug. 15
AUG. 14, 2018 – Riverside County Animal Services will continue the Holy Fire pet transports through Wednesday morning (Aug. 15).
More than 180 pets received care by Animal Services’ employees during a mandatory evacuation period of a fire that has, so far, burned roughly 23,000 acres in Orange and Riverside counties.
A suspected arsonist started the fire on Aug. 6 in the Holy Jim Canyon area of Orange County. One day later authorities started issuing voluntary evacuation notices for many neighborhoods in Temescal Canyon and Lake Elsinore. Those notices eventually resulted in mandatory evacuation warnings.
Pet owners received assistance from Animal Friends of the Valleys at the Southwest Communities shelter in Wildomar and the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus in San Jacinto. Board and care fees were waived for Holy Fire evacuees. The two organizations combined to help roughly 400 pets during the peak moments of the incident.
Recognizing the distance between evacuees’ homes and the county’s San Jacinto location was a good haul, Animal Services Director Robert Miller offered pet owners the option to have their pets transported back to the original drop-off location at Temescal Canyon High by county officers and other staffers.
Now that mandatory evacuations have been lifted for most areas, Animal Services will suspend the transport service on Wednesday at approximately 10 a.m. The department is caring for about 40 pets and employees continue to contact pet owners today. The employees are asking pet owners whether they would like the animal transported or if the owner prefers to redeem their pets themselves.
“We heard some positive comments from pet owners during this incident about our transport service,”Miller said. “That made all the effort worth it. We had hoped it would provide pet owners some peace of mind and some convenience during a high-stress event. And we’re feeling confident that we achieved those goals.”
RIVERSIDE -- More than 200 pets from families living in the Holy Fire evacuation areas are currently being cared for by both Riverside County Animal Services and Animal Friends of the Valleys.
Riverside County Animal Services impounded a total of 94 animals (66 dogs and 27 cats) at the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus in San Jacinto. Assistance started on Wednesday and continued today.
The Southwest Communities Shelter in Wildomar, operated by Animal Friends of the Valleys, assisted pet owners early and late Wednesday by taking in 148 pets (89 dogs, 46 cats and 13 others).
Animal Friends of the Valleys is at capacity and Riverside County Animal Services’ employees are still accepting animals at Temescal Canyon High and directly at the San Jacinto shelter (581 S. Grand Ave.). This shelter cared for more than 160 animals that were owned by evacuees during the recent Cranston Fire. Most of those pets are now reunited with their owners, so the shelter has plenty of room for Holy Fire evacuees’ pets.
Neither organization is charging board and care fees for the evacuated families.
Although evacuation orders remain for some pockets in the Holy Fire zone, Riverside County Animal Services’ officials are already working on a plan that will make matters easier for pet owners once they’re allowed back in their homes.
The plan includes transporting the evacuees’ pets directly back to them at the drop-off location at Temescal Canyon High, Animal Services Director Robert Miller said.
“We’re planning to use our animal control trucks as a Lyft or Uber service for people’s pets,” Miller said. “These residents have been through a lot. And we don’t think forcing them to drive a two-hour, round-trip journey to reunite with their pets is something that we’re comfortable with. Bringing the pets back to them seems to be a much better solution to better assist pet owners getting back to some state of normalcy.”
More information about this plan will be posted on Animal Services’ web site and social media platforms, Miller said.
“We also think it will alleviate any confusion, too,” Miller said. “We know some pet owners took their animals to the shelter in Wildomar. So we want to jump on it right away, call the owners, and let them know we’re coming with your four-legged family members. It’s the least we can do in a time of crisis.”
Riverside County Animal Services' number is 951-358-7387. Pet owners should know that this number kicks into an after-hours, emergency service after 5 p.m. on weekdays and during most weekend hours.