Friday, June 8, 2012


This particular email is circulating around and I think it is a prime example of the damage being done by the lies and accusations by the activists. Now, I can't speak to say that this email is actually on the level, an innocent inquiry, or it could be just another put on by the activists. What you should note is how inaccurate this writer's information is. This information is being distributed by the activists. It's such a shame that they continue to promote this bashing to the detriment of the Devore shelter animals. They are making those animals pay a price. If you want to help shelter animals, you tell the public how wonderful the shelter is, no matter what the situation. Painting a picture of a "hell hole" is not going to bring a family in to adopt, it sends them away. Now that family may end up with a rescue, thus a "hidden agenda" by the activists because they claim to be rescues, or that family may end up buying from a breeder or even buying from a pet store with puppy mill pets. Why can't they see how to help, rather than how to harm?

Worth the read and worth sharing. Things will never change at the Devore Animal Shelterunless more people are made aware of what goes on there and more people put pressure on to make change. Remember - it's YOUR tax dollars supporting this facility and their policies. 
Through her research, this woman determined that Devore has almost 75% higher euthanasia rate than aany of the surrounding shelters. This is a REAL problem that CAN change! (ACCORDING TO THE STATE REPORT, ANNUAL REPORT OF LOCAL RABIES CONTROL ACTIVITIES, DEVORE IS NUMBER 4 IN THE COUNTY FOR LIVE RELEASES. ACCORDING TO THE SAME REPORT THE CITY OF SAN BERNARDINO IS THE ONE WITH THE 75% EUTHANIZATION RATE. ) 
Subject: : The New Devore: The End of Devouring
From: Courtney Burnette 
To: bject: 

Good Morning Mr. Smith,
My name is Courtney Burnette. I recently became a resident of California; upon arrival in many reputable rescue organizations I have always heard the constant mutterings of “Devore”.
 (SHE WASN'T LISTENING TO REPUTABLE RESCUES AT ALL. DEVORE HAS 90 APPROVED RESCUES THAT WORK WITH THEM, SHE WAS LISTENING TO THE ACTIVISTS. HERE'S YOUR ACTIVISTS, COURTNEY, AND IT COVERS THOSE REPUTABLE RESCUES YOU SPEAK OF. I was hesitant at first; could these awful rumors really be true? (THEY AREN'T AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IN YOUR BEST INTEREST TO HAVE GONE A LITTLE FURTHER WITH YOUR RESEARCH. decided to research the facility in comparison with other facilities operating within a twenty-five mile radius, and I was shocked. The number of euthanized or PTS animals in your facility is almost 75% higher (72.3% to be exact) than any other facility within a ten, twenty, twenty-five mile radius. (I HAVE TO CHALLENGE YOU TO SHOW THAT "RESEARCH" FINDING. DEVORE IS 4TH IN THE COUNTY FOR LIVE RELEASE AND THAT IS PROVEN. NOW YOU PROVE YOUR STATEMENT. I learned further the facility rejects volunteers-volunteerism, an immeasurable for resource for socializing, pet-drives, and facility maintenance, as well as basic levels of comfort (toys, bed-mats, blankets). (AGAIN THIS IS JUST NOT TRUE. THE SHELTER UTILIZES WORK RELEASE VOLUNTEERS AND WELCOMES VOLUNTEERS FOR THE 48 OUTSIDE ADOPTION EVENTS THEY DO A YEAR.) This left me speechless, this leaves me heartbroken to see animals lying on cold cement for whatever amount of time “deemed” appropriate. (THERE IS NO "COLD" CEMENT. THE FLOORS OF DEVORE ARE HEATED AND IF NECESSARY THE DOGS CAN BE INSIDE WITH ADDITIONAL HEAT.) I decided to visit Devore Animal Shelter, in San Bernardino, CA. I needed to know if these were exaggerations, or fabrications of the shelter’s conditions.

I entered the facility; Immediately noticing the depressive atmosphere of the facility, the disenfranchised staff, and austere demeanor of the clinic. The “exaggerations” were solid facts: I did not see toys, blankets, or bed-mats in any kennel. I did not see a clear-cut socializing process for rehabilitating “frightened” animals. The characteristics displayed from the dogs were not aggressive behavioral problems, rather fear induced behaviorisms. As I pressed a staff member for the process of diagnosing behavioral problems, I received the reply of a vague “exhibiting aggressive patterns”; I asked politely “What kind of behavioral patterns are deemed unadoptable?” The staff member could not articulate the “unadoptable behaviors”.

Mr. Smith at this point, you must feel I speaking in a very technical manner; I can speak in such specific terms, because I was a part of the socializing process in three separate clinics over the last ten years. I have worked with the Humane Society of America in Montgomery Alabama, Panama City Florida, and Albany, Georgia. I am therefore speaking from an educated-authoritative place. I would also like to add I have never encountered a facility that behaved in a defensive, secretive, and suspicious manner about their socializing process. Shelters usually are extremely happy to discuss the socializing process in detail; this is usually to reassure potential adoptees that the facility has taken every precaution, step, and measure to identify the strengths/weakness of an animal. I have spoken with a few different trainers, animal behaviorist specialists, and former shelter colleagues it was a unanimous agreement that basic comforts stimulate “real personality traits and flaws”; by stripping these animals of toys, blankets, socialization etc from the animal you are first creating behavioral problems and mislabeling the animal due to your own actions. (I CHECKED YOUR FACEBOOK.)

Mr. Smith while I am not personally attacking you or motives, I have never met you or know you, I am acknowledging the severe handicaps in your methods/management; Instead of utilizing the ingenuity and creative methods rescue organizations you have publicly belittled them for their apparent concern. Instead of creating a proactive volunteering-volunteerism resource that can improve community relations and adoption rates (The statistical data proving the effective use of volunteers in shelters is staggering! For every one active-volunteer the adopt rate raises 2.5%) you have turned this resource away. Instead of providing these animals, with limited window time, with a little tender, loving, care you have decided they do not need these “luxuries/comforts”. Mr. Smith you’re apparent war with the animal activist community is impeding your work or clouding your judgment. I ask you to reconsider your current practices that clearly do not work and fundamentally harm more lives than it has saved. I think you can see these rescue organizations will not stop protesting or insisting on needed change; In fact I think the protesting will become more vehement. (AND CONSIDERING THAT DEVORE IS BEING SUPPORTED ENOUGH TO HAVE ENDED UP AT NUMBER 8TH IN THE RECENT RACHAEL RAY CHALLENGE, I WOULD HAVE TO TELL YOU, LITTLE MISS KNOW IT ALL, THAT YOU ARE SO VERY WRONG. 

You need to ask yourself, if your motives are truly of the compassionate kind, why not change? Why not true a new way that could prevent the vast onslaught of euthanized animals? Why not show the world that “Devore Animal Shelter” could be a shelter worth funding and relying upon, because right now Devore appears just to be a death row cell in an assembly of apathy. (YOU NEED TO CHECK YOUR MOTIVES, MS. BURNETTE. ARE YOU AWARE THAT DEVORE/SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY HAS A NATIONAL AWARD WINNING SPAY/NEUTER PROGRAM THAT HAS BEEN COPIED? IT HASN'T RECEIVED A CUT SINCE INCEPTION EVEN WITH THE TERRIBLE ECONOMY? SAN BERNARDINO CARES AND SOMEONE LIKE YOU, VISITING ONE TIME SO YOU SAY, WANTS TO CONDEMN. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAME.)

Courtney Burnette

I will request for a response to this inquiry by Ms. Burnette and post it here. Stay tuned for that response because I can bet that it won't be posted by the activists. They don't want people to see a logical, reasonable answer. 


  1. I beg to differ with your comment: "I entered the facility; Immediately noticing the depressive atmosphere of the facility, the disenfranchised staff, and austere demeanor of the clinic."

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I do not find the atmosphere of the facility depressing or austere. And the staff is not disenfranchised. I go to the shelter almost every week. These are my observations.

    When I enter the office, the staff looks up, makes eye contact with me, smile, and ask "May I help you?"

    There is a poster about an adoption event. On the bulletin board are positive stories and animals pictured for adoption.

  2. Ms. Burnette writes: "I have never encountered a facility that behaved in a defensive, secretive, and suspicious manner..."

    Perhaps you would act in this manner if you were continually being harassed and unjustly libeled in social media sites, or you received threatening telephone calls, or people stood in front of your place of work with signs that your agency abuses animals, or you see a car with a bumper sticker that Devore Animal Shelter abuses animals.

  3. That's why I think these people have the shelters mixed up. I watched an online thread just this week where a woman swears that she was at Devore but perfectly describes the City of San Bernardino shelter and swears that Mayor Morris is over Devore. Plus they continue to speak of the 75% euthanization rate, that is the City of San Bernardino, Devore's is about 45%, big difference. I think this person went to the City shelter, not Devore.

    I find the same as you Anon:59. The staff has always presented as friendly and helpful. Yes, Devore could use a lobby, but the building of Devore was an "afterthought". The hall is so tiny you have to turn sideways to get by another person. The activists yell volunteers, there just isn't enough room for volunteers to be running around. If there is one thing Devore needs the most, it is an expansion of the offices and lobby.

  4. Anon:14, that is an awesome comment and oh so true. And I bet you that Ms. Burnette walked in with an attitude to boot. I have been at Devore and have seen those walk in with that holier than thou attitude. I have actually stopped those people from their abuse of staff by intervening and "discussing" their attitude. Staff can't do it, but I can as an individual. You get what you give when it comes to life.

  5. Ms. Burnette writes: "I think you can see these rescue organizations will not stop protesting or insisting on needed change;"

    Are these really rescue organizations or out of the area protestors who have their own personal, hateful agenda?

  6. Ms. Burnette needs to read what "these rescue organizations" did to the animals they took from Devore. Dumped them in a boarding kennel, failed to feed them, and then had to call in help. Orange County failed to charge these people like they should have. To charge them would have meant taking in about 50 large dogs, a strain on any shelter, and having to hold them as evidence. So other "rescues" stepped in and got the dogs, thus no charges. But these people will continue to do the same and we don't know how many dogs are suffering right now because of Ms. Burnette's "rescue organizations" that she so highly regards.

  7. Ms. Burnette writes: "In fact I think the protesting will become more vehement."

    Is this a call to action to animal rights terrorists?

    Is this a veiled threat?

    Are you encouraging protestors to become more vehement?

    Ms. Burnette wrote that, in her opinion, the staff was "defensive and suspicious." With continued, unrelenting, unfounded accusations and with the type of comment you just made:
    "In fact I think the protesting will become more vehement." - do you have any wonder why the shelter staff might be cautious in their response?

    1. Doesn't just apply to Devore staff either. Because of these activists, the people who would speak up for Devore, remain silent. They are non profits, they do rescue themselves. If they spoke in favor of Devore, the activists would criticize them, call them murderers, etc. Then the supporting non profits would see a decline in their donations, it would affect their ability to save lives. These supporters are caught between a rock and a hard place. They want to support Devore but can't do that openly because of the intimidation of these activists. Thank goodness they can express themselves behind closed doors. So Ms. Burnette can't grasp that there are more people working FOR Devore than against it. But they have to be careful and are doing it behind closed doors, where it should be done.

  8. You are absolutely right - "the people who would speak up for Devore, remain silent."

    I have forwarded this blogspot to many people. I have advised them, for their own personal safety and protection as well as that of their family, that if they are going to comment, to only comment anonymously. I have asked them to please forward the blogspot link to everyone they know who is interested in helping animals so that the truth can be known.

    I know that many of the rescue groups remain silent because if they spoke up they would be unjustly criticized and have their name and organization be the target of a hateful smear campaign. They would have to spend time trying to clear their name and organization rather than doing the hands on work of helping animals.

  9. I agree: "If they (rescue groups) spoke in favor of Devore, the activists would criticize them, call them murderers..." They truly are stuck between a "rock and a hard place".

    I agree, there are many people, as well as reputable rescue groups, who do not openly support Devore with their name or organization because of the fear of intimidation and retaliation.

    The best way that many of the rescues find they can support Devore shelter animals is by responding to calls from office staff to take in a dog or cat. That way the rescue is trying to show support for the shelter and help animals.

  10. What happened to the freedom of expression?

    "Activists" have the right to write and speak. But at what point are they held accountable for what they write and speak. When their words are not truthful or their words and actions incite others to do potential harm, who is going to be held accountable?

    1. Stop using the word "animal rights activists." It gives a bad name to those of us "activists" who care about people, animals and the planet and who are working diligently, cooperatively, and respectfully within a wide circle of people - who all have differing points of view - to work for positive change.

    2. I go to the San Bernardino city shelter as well as the Devore Animal Shelter almost every week. Even if Ms. Burnette was at the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter, the staff is not "disenfranchised" and the atmoshere is not "depressive" or "austere".

      Immediately when you walk in is a large bulletin board with pictures and stories of adopted pets. I heard the staff explaining the licensing process to people and educating them about spaying and neutering.

    3. I don't think so either except I find the Devore staff much more welcoming myself. I personally have witnessed things in the back of City shelter that upset me greatly. In those places the public isn't allowed. I'm not so much down on the City shelter and their employees because I know the politics in San Bernardino City. That is the problem with that shelter, not the employees.

  11. What happened to the freedom of expression?

    Community citizens and animal rescue groups who support Devore Animal Shelter should not have to worry about their own personal well being, the safety of their family or the future operation of their rescue organization because of a view that they expressed that was contradictory to an "activists" point of view.

  12. This blogspot offers quite a study from sociological, psychological, political science, historical, and judicial perspectives.

  13. You know what is really sad? The staff at Devore are just that STAFF they get paid to do WHAT THEY ARE TOLD, that includes all the staff, PEOPLE why can’ t you hard headed F@CKS get it through your head, Doug is JUST a supervisor, everyone else is below him and are just good folks trying to make their next bill payments. Neither Doug nor anyone else at that shelter has to power to change anything, LEAVE THEM ALONE…… CRONIN AND BECK control all the strings, make all the rules, set all the policies, etc., etc., etc. AND THEY DON’T EVEN WORK OUT THERE, they set in offices in San Bernardino. Everyone needs to pull their collective heads out of their BUTTS and understand ONLY with cool, calm, collective heads will anything ever be accomplished. You people have all been pointing fingers at each other for more than a year and all that has gotten anyone is stiff F@CK N FINGERS. We truly believe all this BULLSHIT has become a GAME to most involved and that my friends is really sad it has resulted in both sides having closed their minds, not trusting anyone and real solutions to real problems and real good ideas all have BEEN LOST in the rhetoric and ridicule and you all are guilty of more animals dying because of it. IF GOD WAS HERE HE WOULD TELL YOU TO YOUR FACES “YOUR ALL ASSES” Set the HELL down, act like adults, work on real solutions to real problems give the good ideas no matter who they come from a shot, yes Cronin and Beck there are good ideas out there, your STAFF has them, RESCUE groups have them and YOU may even have them, don’t be afraid to try them, if they don’t work try another, all of you SUCK at this point but WE have faith, the staff has faith, good rescue people have faith. The animals need the BULLSHIT to stop, so everyone STOP!!!!!!!
    Hey Devore staff, you all need to have this tattooed down your arm and next time some asshole is giving you grief for things you have no control over show it to them;
    It’s not my job to drive the train,
    The whistle I can’t blow.
    It’s not my job to say how far
    The train’s allowed to go.
    It’s not my job to blow the horn,
    Nor even clang the bell.
    But let the damn thing jump the track
    And see who catches hell.

    1. Anon:21 I appreciate your frustration that you are expressing so well. Put yourself in the shoes of the staff. Endure the arrows shot at them. Actually the Board of Supervisors who control the purse strings are the ones in charge. And no, this is no game, it is serious business. This blog was started to get the truth out there, and to let the world know the types who are causing all of this. Unfortunately that means destroying their credibility, a necessary evil in this "game".

      We do need the "bullshit" to stop, this ain't like complaining about potholes. Lives are at stake. Painting a picture of a hellhole doesn't help, it costs lives. As with any business, you don't advertise your bad, you advertise your good. People don't want to do business with the bad. What is so difficult to understand about this?

    2. Thank you very much for you letter, Anonymous. You offer many ideas to consider.

      1. Staff: I believe the staff does have the power to change things. Because I believe they really care about people and animals, I believe the staff has excellent ideas that could improve the shelter. I also believe that if the staff/management/supervisors sat down together, they could brainstorm and come up with some excellent ideas. I also believe those ideas could be funded through public and business donations if the newspapers or TV did a public service announcement about how the management/team were working together to help animals and they needed the community financial support.

      2. Chain of command: Who is in charge? The supervisors are over Beck and Cronin.

      3. I totally agree: "ONLY with cool, calm, collective heads will anything ever be accomplished. We need to put differences aside, decide upon a goal and different ways to achieve that goal; real solutions to real problems and real good ideas all have BEEN LOST in the rhetoric and ridicule; work on real solutions to real problems."

      4. "The animals need the BULLSHIT to stop, so everyone STOP!!!!!!!" This blogspot, in my opinion, was created to publish the truth about the Devore Shelter, to offer support to staff and to affirm to the public, the truth. It would seen that the blog will continue as long as there are people who want to smear Devore Animal Shelter. You ask that the BS stop and efforts be focused on helping animals - Then the "activists" need to stop posting false accusations and inaccurate, emotionally charged information on social media sites. If this blog did not exist, if no effort were made to respond to these false allegations, then the public would hear only one side, and believe it were true.

      5. "the BS has become a game" I totally disagree. I believe those who are criticizing Devore Animal Shelter have a very real agenda and that is to take over the shelter. I believe they are thinking, since they took over Rancho Cucamonga from the county, they can take over Devore. I believe they follow the same agenda that No Kill "activists" have used all over the United States.

      I also believe they try to take over modernized shelters
      (then they do not need to spend money) and shelters that have shown a progressive decline in the euthanasia rate (so they can claim that they reduced the euthanasia rate, thus bring in donations).

      I believe/fear they might try to interfere with so many supervisor meetings, that the supervisors will succumb to their demands and let them have the Devore Shelter.

      I know what happens when No Kill "activists" take over a shelter. There are proven case after case of the No Kill shelter failing, being investigated for cruelty and neglect of animals, of overcrowding and disease, of more people giving up animals because the shelter is now "No Kill," of promising to be "No Kill" and then changing to "Low Kill," of turning people and their animals away since the shelter is full and can not accept any more animals, or has a waiting list of two to three weeks to turn in a pet - all of which results in increased dumping and abandonment, and as happened with animals that were turned in to Devore and taken by a "rescue" - the animals ended up in a kennel with little food, water, mange and medical problems. Or, because of the Hayden Bill, rescues are transporting thousands of animals to who know where and who knows what is happening to them.

      6. "WE have faith, the staff has faith, good rescue people have faith." Your words show your dedication to helping animals. May you continue to have faith and hope.

    3. If you know Brian Cronin, then you know that he is open to staff suggestions.

  14. Really what is the solution? If everyone stopped wasting precious time arguing and fighting and worked together, they might accomplish what they all want and that is to actually help the animals. So what is the answer???? We ALL need to educate the public on how to properly care for animals. To be kind, caring and compassionate. That they need to spay and neuter to help control the pet overpopulation problem, because it is a problem! You know if we could get these first few steps accomplished and EVERYONE did this together and also helped to get humane education in the schools, it only makes sense that the euthanisa numbers would go down, which seems to be the concern or goal. Get the word out people, EDUCATE EVERYONE YOU KNOW.(stop pointing fingers). In this large world of social media, you all can reach so many and start to make a difference. It all begins with you doing this. Be kind to animals week just passed. Did you do anything for it at your local elementary schools? Food drive, pass out humane education information, teach children how to be kind, compassionate, and caring towards animals. I did and it turned out great. I educated and did a food collection. I'm making a difference to truely help, are you? I guess I could sit and picket shelters and workers and rescue groups, and waste time and energy but instead I'm trying to pick and choose my battles and that is to be the "change" that the animals need. So all of you get out and get something done. We can decrease the numbers in the shelters and make a difference, if we spay and neuter and teach it too.

    1. The solution is based in reality and you have to be accepting of reality first in order to be part of the solution. "No Kill" is the motivation here and it is as far from reality as you can get. Education is a wonderful thing, and is the first thing that "No Kill" does away with. Winograd offers an explanation that the animals in the shelters are are result of adults therefore humane education in schools is a waste. Excuse me, but are we talking future pet owners here with humane education in schools? I find that "No Kill" is too grounded in the past and the present while the rest of us want to save the future. We can't save the present, we can only save our future.

      Each person has to do whatever they can, whatever that may be. Just do something, anything, it all helps. Thanks for your contribution.

    2. I, for one, do not WANT, nor will I, work together with "breeders" to solve anything. Period.

      We can spay and neuter everything on four legs - won't do a bit of good until the BREEDERS - backyard, puppy mill and so called "reputable", stop breeding haphazardly for the almighty dollar.


      Nathan Winograd is slowly being exposed for who he is - and who he is truly working for. That day cannot come soon enough for me - or the innocent animals that are being, and will be, killed.

    3. Then the word needs to be spread Don't use breeders. Also tell everyone to spay and neuter at the same time. We've got to get this going and start somewhere like yesterday. The animals are paying the price while we all stand here trying to figure it out.

  15. Anon:33 working with breeders can solve something. If we could only get them to alter their pet quality. They are against early spay/neuter and therefore their sold puppies end up in homes before altering. Some use a contract but that doesn't work. People buy pet quality, unaltered, and that is the fodder that feeds the backyard breeders. Think about this, the AKC relies on the funds from registering puppies, they will probably never change. I personally don't want to lose the purebreds, but the breeders are their own worse enemies for selling unaltered purebreds. Then the backyard breeders undercut the price. Does this affect the AKC, no, it affects the local breeders. Puppy mills are a different story so let's not get into that.

    Winograd does have connections in such a fashion as to question his motives. And many animals suffer and die in the name of "No Kill".

  16. responsible rescue in action! NOT! that home check really paid off. NOT!
    sad this dog had to pay the price for the greedy a$$ "rescue". i hope this poor dog will not end up with the "rescue" that started this horrible journey.

    1. all i can say is thank you for posting this for me!!! people need to know the truth. citizens MUST check out who they are trusting to "rescue" shelter pets. they MUST also get their pets spayed and neutered. it is 2012. time to get it together people.

    2. I thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  17. As I read the letter, I thought to myself, "I decided to research the facility in comparison with other facilities operating within a twenty-five mile radius, and I was shocked."

    Lets see, shelters within 25 miles of Devore. That would be Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Inland Valley Humane Society, Redlands, City of San Bernardino, Riverside (the multi-million dollar palace), and Moreno Valley. Well Riverside, Moreno Valley, and Inland Valley are not in San Bernardino County. And of the other shelters left, Devore ranks 4th, behind Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, and Redlands. And down near the very bottom of the list is City of San Bernardino.

    what kind of 'research' did she actually do??? Did she visit the shelters or simply read the crap others have posted about Devore and just churn it out with her own personal touches.

    Again, having rescued animals from all of the shelter I have listed, her letters sounds like City of San Bernardino, not Devore. And with the improvements made to Devore in the past years, the place is really looking good. It is always clean, the animals look happy and healthy, and the staff is always courteous and helpful. I have seen other rescue people interacting with the staff and my hat goes off to the workers. Even with the most trying activist, I mean rescue person, the staff always takes the higher road.

  18. If you look at the Facebook page for Courtney, you can understand her lack of credibility. However, she took staff time to respond to her. I will be posting that later.


Remember no accusations without proof. Rant if you will, it won't be published.