An Investigation into the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley, CA
by Cari C. Ensley
Until I started physically going to Western Riverside Shelter, I never understood the Community’s mentality that this was a “No or Low Kill” facility. But, People only see the immaculate modern exterior; the beautiful lobby and adoption rooms; pristine kennels in the dog adoption buildings; training sessions; beautiful photography; many wonderful staff members….it paints a very deceptive picture. But the cold hard reality behind this superficial facade lies a broken system. A system that has the power to be better, yet no accountability to want to change.
This video was created to honor the 80 large/medium breed dogs that were killed just in the month of March. 90-95% of these dogs NEVER even saw the Adoption building. At any given time, the two Adoption buildings have 25-35 empty kennels. Meaning space is not an issue. When their stray hold is up, for any small reason, be it fear, a superficial wound, a limp or even just shaking/trembling, the majority of the intake dogs continue to be housed in the back kennels; unseen by the public and Volunteers. These are the dogs that are dying weekly. The Unseen.
UPDATE: 4/12, since I finalized this Video, we received Outcomes of 9 more large breed dogs that were Euthanized in March. That brings the total Euthanized for March to 89. I will add their threads and pictures in comments, as they were not able to be honored in the Video.
I was told on one of my videos by an actual Volunteer, “We do not kill healthy dogs or pitbulls. Only the severely aggressive or very sick dogs are put down”. Tell that to the 80 beautiful dogs that are now gone. A small number killed had medical issues, but the majority were merely fearful.
Only 3 of the 89 dogs were in the Adoption building (Scrappy, Quincey and Jason), so their death was much more personal for me. There were many empty kennels the days these 3 were killed. I honored them first as I held, loved and interacted with each and will carry that pain with me.
I feel the first step to bringing change is Awareness. My hope with this video was to shed light on the reality of what is really happening.
*Song: “Everybody Hurts”, cover by Jasmine Thompson
**Jason photos courtesy of Kelly Marie
Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter
6851 Van Buren Blvd.
Jurupa Valley, Ca. 92509