Sacramento County Animal Shelter Illegally Killing Animals sign now

700 H Street, Suite 2450
Sacramento CA 95814
(916) 874-7593 FAX

Roger Dickinson - District 1
[email protected]
(916) 874-5485

Illa Collin - District 2
[email protected]
(916) 874-5481

Muriel Johnson - District 3istrict District 3
[email protected]
(916) 874-5471

Roger Niello - District 4
[email protected]
(916) 874-5491

Don Nottoli - District 5 District 5
[email protected]
(916) 874-5465

Animal Welfare Activists and Rescuers Demand:

1. Immediately ending animal neglect, cruelty and illegal killings at the Sacramento County Animal Shelter;

2. Firing Pat Claerbout, Shelter Director, who demanded animal slaughters before animals were available for reclaiming or adoption in clear violation of California and Federal Animal Welfare Law;

3. Criminally investigating and prosecuting Pat Claerbout, for felony animal abuse and the ordered killings of animals at the shelter;

4. Reinstating longstanding policy allowing not-for-profit independent animal rescuers and organizations to save from death and adopt out the shelters animals. (This policy was unreasonably and appallingly terminated by Pat Claerbot despite the approximately 90\% kill rate, displaying a clear disregard for the value of these hapless creatures lives;)

5. Ending pound seizures, selling up to 7\% of the Countys shelter animals to research facilities. (The county shelter is the ONLY facility in the state that allows this despite massive outpourings of local and national protest.)

The following is excerpted from:

"Shelter Sued by Animals' Friends
County Accused of Untimely Killing of Dogs and Cats"
written by Julian Guthrie, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, March 25, 2004
2004 San Francisco Chronicle

The Sacramento County Animal Shelter is illegally killing dogs and cats before they can be adopted or recovered by their owners and has not kept records on thousands of others sold for medical research, animal welfare groups assert in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Sacramento.

The suit, filed in Sacramento Superior Court, also alleges that the shelter has failed to review protocols showing how the animals are used in research under a county agreement with UC Davis and Sutter Hospital.

The agreement, approved by the Board of Supervisors in 1986, allows the sale and transfer of animals from the shelter to the research facilities but requires the county to keep an eye on how the dogs and cats are treated and used by UC Davis' veterinary school and the medical research wing at Sutter Hospital in Sacramento.

"With the exception of records we did a public records request for in 2002, UC Davis failed to turn in any required records since the inception of the memorandum of understanding in 1986, and Sutter provided only sporadic records,'' said Teri Barnato, national director of the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights. AVAR was joined in the suit by the Animal Protection Institute and In Defense of Animals.

The suit asks for attorneys fees and an end to the agreement.

Sacramento County Supervisor Illa Collin acknowledged Wednesday that "we should have been asking for yearly reports."

The Sacramento animal shelter, which takes in more than 20,000 animals a year and euthanizes more than half of them, is the only shelter in the state known to sell cats and dogs for medical research. The lawsuit is the latest attempt by animal welfare groups to end the practice called "pound seizure" and shed light on conditions at the Sacramento facility, detailed last year in a series of articles in The Chronicle.

The suit says records obtained by the plaintiffs suggest that there are problems of animal neglect and what appears to be a failure to follow federal animal welfare laws, which require dogs and cats to be held for a minimum of four business days to allow for recovery by the owner or adoption by a new owner.

The suit says records show: A domestic shorthaired cat was euthanized two days after arriving, with no explanation given; two other shorthaired cats were euthanized the day after arriving; a Labrador retriever mix was euthanized for coughing; a poodle mix named Mickey was euthanized two days after arriving.

The lawsuit is not the only bad news the shelter has gotten in recent days.

At a hearing Tuesday before the Board of Supervisors, animal rights activists presented other examples raising questions about the operation of the shelter.

They presented an e-mail from the shelter's veterinarian, Cynthia Delany, who detailed an incident involving approximately 30 cats surrendered to the shelter. The e-mail, dated Aug. 15, 2003, was sent to a county administrator who oversees the shelter.

"Approximately 15 of these cats were severely ill,'' wrote Delany, seeking advice from the administrator. "The remaining 15 cats appear to be healthy and should be offered for adoption immediately. I am now being summarily ordered by Pat Claerbout to euthanize these animals without holding them the legally required holding period.'' She continued, "As a licensed veterinarian, I refuse to break the law.''

Claerbout said. "The public at large should not be getting away with turning in their animals if they don't like it that a dog barks or a puppy isn't housebroken."

Lisa Hockins, shelter director of Pets Unlimited in San Francisco, visited the Sacramento shelter Wednesday to look for dogs to be adopted in San Francisco. She has visited the shelter twice a month for a year and a half, taking many dogs that had failed "temperament tests" and were scheduled to be euthanized.

"I've been to a lot of shelters," Hockins said. "This one is filthy. There's frequently only one bowl of food and several dogs. The dogs are usually covered in feces and urine. It's a difficult place to walk through."

She added, "Today I took out a female Labrador retriever who had failed a temperament test for being shy. When I saw her, she was backed into a corner by a pit bull. She was terrified. She was supposed to be euthanized this morning. When we got her out of there, she turned into a doll."


Furthermore, Pat Claerbot has taken the unprecedented step of changing the longstanding policy allowing not-for-profit independent rescuers and rescue groups to save animals from the shelter. This indicates a clear disregard for these animals lives or welfare.

In conclusion, we demand the termination of Pat Claerbouts contract with the Sacramento County Animal Shelter, renewed in 2004 by the Board of Supervisors despite overwhelming protest by the animal welfare and rescue community, the criminal investigation of Pat Claerbout for the illegal killings she ordered, the end to pound seizure of any Sacramento County shelter animals, the cessation of any and all animal neglect and cruelty at the county shelter, and the immediate reinstatement of policy allowing independent not-for-profit rescuers and organizations to save and adopt out shelter animals.

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Latest Signatures

  • 20 February 20161000. Felicidad R
    City, State, Zip Code sacto, CA., 95820 I think that is soooo wrong. I love animals myself and I wouldent think people would do anything like that. Especially a Animal shelter.
  • 17 February 2016999. Doreen S
    I support this petition
  • 14 February 2016998. Kelly G
    City, State, Zip Code Laconia These actions are cruel & inhumane. this is illegal & MUST BE STOPPED
  • 13 February 2016997. Samantha S
    I support this petition
  • 10 February 2016996. Pat P
    I support this petition
  • 08 February 2016995. Meredith H
    I support this petition
  • 04 February 2016994. Jessica R
    I support this petition
  • 04 February 2016993. Diane B
    I support this petition
  • 30 January 2016992. Lisa Lj
    I support this petition
  • 23 January 2016991. Danielle C
    City, State, Zip Code Galloway, NJ 08205 Stop illegally killing animals. YOU'RE MURDERERS!!!!
  • 22 January 2016990. Brandy S
    I support this petition
  • 01 January 2016989. Gilda F
    I support this petition
  • 28 December 2015988. Anne I
    I support this petition
  • 28 November 2015987. Trudi L
    I support this petition
  • 14 November 2015986. Nancy C
    I support this petition
  • 11 November 2015985. Dawn Mc
    I support this petition
  • 07 November 2015984. Nancie Ky
    I support this petition
  • 07 November 2015983. Michelle G
    City, State, Zip Code Elk Grove, CA These unwanted animals deserve better treatment than this. They should not have to pay for our ignorance and stupidity.
  • 06 November 2015982. Anastacia R
    I support this petition
  • 05 November 2015981. Linda M
    City, State, Zip Code --- Stop the horror of animal abuse
  • 31 October 2015980. Maria C
    I support this petition
  • 24 October 2015979. Patricia Morganpastpresidentpaloaltohumanes
    City, State, Zip Code 209 Alder Place, Novato, CA 94945 These appalling practices must cease at once!
  • 19 October 2015978. Pam C
    City, State, Zip Code rio linda ca. 95673 i had to take my cats there they gave them 2 days and then put them to sleep they didnt even get a chance to be adopted.
  • 05 October 2015977. Alexandra Pj
    I support this petition
  • 01 October 2015976. Kathy Ds
    I support this petition
  • 01 October 2015975. Dan Andmaryv
    City, State, Zip Code Hornbrook, Calif. 96044 They deserve to live as much as we do.
  • 30 September 2015974. Daniel W
    City, State, Zip Code Sacramento CA, 95822 This makes me sick

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Erica MaddenBy:
Petition target:
Sacramento County's Board of Supervisors


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