Cruelty Investigations

Our animal cruelty investigators, Officers F Padilla and Mike Ashbaker, uphold California Penal Code, and investigate animal cruelty. For concerns regarding barking, licensing, spay/neuter requirements, running at large and vaccinations please contact your local animal control agency.

Our office is open five days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We are closed on the following major holidays: Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and the day after, and the week of Christmas and New Years Day. You can reach us at (909) 386-1400 ext. 215 or ext. 216

Click here to submit a cruelty report online.

Public’s Help Sought

The Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley (HSSBV) Cruelty Investigation Department is looking for members of the community who have purchased sick puppies via Craigslist ads.

On April 11, 2018 at the 3600 block of Daisy Lane in Phelan, the HSSBV Cruelty Department with support from San Bernardino County Sheriffs, San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control and Rancho Cucamonga Animal Control conducted a search warrant at the residence of a family, all positively identified by victims, of selling sick and underage puppies. One male member of the family with prior felonies was taken in to custody when weapons were found at the home. Over 30 dogs were taken into protective custody. These dogs are under veterinary care, as most tested positive for giardia and round worm, among other health issues. Since these animals are part of an ongoing investigation, there is no adoption information available at this time.

If the following, or elements of the following, happened to you during or after the purchase of a puppy since 2014, please contact the HSSBV immediately at 909-386-1400 ext. 216 or 215.

  • You responded to an ad for a labradoodle, or small toy breed dog on Craigslist
  • You met the seller in a parking lot of business. The most common cities these sellers frequent are Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga and Ontario. However, cases have now expanded to Orange County, Los Angeles County and San Diego. There is the possibility of cases outside of the state of California or at the state line as well. The most common cities these sellers frequent are Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga and Ontario.
  • The sellers were members of a clean cut Caucasian family, driving newer vehicles or SUVs.
  • The seller presented themselves as an adult via online or phone correspondence and then said they would send their adult son or teenage daughter to make the actual transaction.
  • The puppy you purchased became sick after you went home and/or died. Most commonly the puppy would be diagnosed with parvo, or parasites.
  • The puppy you purchased was under 6 weeks old and you were told by the seller it was over 8 weeks old.
  • You contacted the seller regarding the sick puppy and they were aggressive, threatening,and unhelpful, or did not respond to you at all.
  • Sellers use different names and contact information on these sales.

At this time, approximately 30 cases have been reported. If you have any information regarding an experience like this, please contact the HSSBV immediately at 909-386-1400 ext. 216 or 215.

It is possible that the sellers are still actively selling puppies. Never purchase puppies from Craigslist, social media or the internet.

Humane Officer’s Investigation Leads to Arrest & Sentencing

San Bernardino- Francine Lucas was sentenced today to serve time in jail as well as three years probation in which she will not be allowed to own an animal and has been removed from the San Bernardino County Children and Family foster parent program. She entered a plea of guilty on February 15, 2011 to the felony charge of animal cruelty. Additionally, Lucas will owe restitution to the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley as well as the other civil organizations involved in the cruelty case.

Humane Officers responded to a report of cruelty and neglect at Lucas’ home in Highland on April 23, 2010 where they found “Lucky,” a small white terrier. Lucky was matted, dehydrated, underweight, and missing a portion of his left rear leg. He had been attacked by a pit bull and had to chew off the wounded portion of his leg, leaving the bone exposed, after not receiving the most basic veterinary care. Ms. Lucas hadn’t been feeding him nor did she provide him with adequate shelter. Immediately taken into protective custody by the Humane Officers, Lucky was finally given the care he needed. After what remained of his leg was amputated by HSSBV vet, Dr. Krone, Lucky was adopted by a loving family and now leads a healthy, happy life.

A report was promptly filed with the District Attorney’s office by the Humane Officer’s for criminal prosecution against Lucas, which led to her arrest and sentencing. Lucky appeared in court today accompanied by the Humane Officer who rescued him, who was asked to give the victim impact statement on behalf of Lucky.

Below is a photo of Lucky the day he was found as well as a recent photo of Lucky in his new home.

The Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley operates a vital low-cost spay/neuter and vaccination clinic, has a humane education program for children in grades K-6, and has two cruelty investigators on staff to address abuse and neglect of pets in our community. Without your support, these programs would not be possible.

Four Basics

There are “Four Basic” requirements to keep in mind if you are considering adding a pet to your family. All animals will need to be provided proper FOOD, WATER, SHELTER, and VETERINARY CARE daily and throughout their lives. If for any reason you are not able to provide any and all of these then you should not have an animal as a pet. It is important to remember that there are laws in California and ordinances in many cities and counties that clearly state a person cannot intentionally or unintentionally deprive any animal of these four basic requirements.

Humane Officers at The Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley respond to complaints relating to lack of food, water, shelter, and veterinary care far too often. Some times educating the owners is sufficient, but there are times when an animal has to be taken into protective custody due to the owner’s negligence or unwillingness to provide the four basic needs. When this happens owners can face cruelty or neglect charges against them as well as being held responsible for any medical bills and impound fees resulting in the care provided to the animals they have neglected.

It is a huge responsibility to accept an animal as a family member. It would be nice if all animals had good, loving homes but this is simply not the case. Just about any animal shelter is filled with great animals that are the product of human irresponsibility and failure to provide the basic humane care. There are many reasons people give for the failure to properly care for their pets… the economy is bad, the owner has lost his/her job or house, they don’t have time for the pet, or they may simply have gotten in over their heads in the proper caring of a pet. Whatever the reasons, it is never acceptable to deny an animal any of the four basic requirements.

The questions you must ask yourself is; are you responsible enough and prepared (financially and emotionally) to make a long term commitment to the owning, loving, and caring for a pet? If you cannot answer yes, then the kindest most humane thing you can do is to not have a pet.