No Kill NOW!

Brian M. Cronin -"Mr. Cruel"
Home Defining No-Kill No-Kill Resources Shelter Law
What's Wrong With Devore       The Petition        Pictures of Devore Abuse       The Dog Beating       

Cronin was angry that a petition for change said Devore kills with empty cages. In response, on 5/11/06 he vowed to keep the cages full AND keep killing!

He is living up to his promise! 54 NEW dogs were caged between 5/10-5/13 and a similar number of dogs are NO LONGER there. That's a 54% turnover in 3 days! Is Cronin on TURBO KILL?

Cronin punishes little animals to get even with reformists by prohibiting rescue efforts.


Devore's director told us on 5/11/06
"I will keep the cages full!"

"We're going to take a closer look at rescues. We're going to tighten our procedures."  On 5/11/06 he  stopped us from rescuing 20+ animals. Those we use to work with tell us we can't take any more animals out without Cronin's special permission!

He claims to be a licensed dog-catcher with a tech license that allows him to kill animals. We could not verify this.

He loathes no-kill advocates yet worked  with Animal Control to try obtain a $15,000,000 'no-kill' grant from Maddies Fund. They told him not to bother because he didn't include the entire community in his plan.

Who is Brian Cronin?
Remember Brian Cronin, the new director of San Bernardino Animal Services that made national headlines immediately after starting his new job on March 14, 2006? He caused a world-wide uproar when he returned a burned convalescing Collie back to the same home where just a few days before she was doused with gasoline and set on fire. Her abuser - a 27 year-old man on bail- whose back home awaiting trial.  Cronin's colossal blunder sent the County scrambling into high-speed damage control after thousands of complaints poured in from as far away as Italy and France. Cronin's superiors forced him to back-peddle and take the dog into custody once again. Since then he has made every claim possible to justify his action ("it was the son who did the crime, not the father who is the true owner") but he has never admitted his decision was a catastrophic mistake .  A woman has offered $10,000 to take the Collie (who has second degree burns on most parts of her body) and promises full medical treatment and a forever home. Cronin did not encourage her to take legal custody or allow her to foster the dog.  Instead the dog is being kept at the Upland VCA Animal Hospital, likely caged almost 24/7,  pending the son's trial. While Cronin's department defends taking the dog back based on the dog's medical need, a Cronin staff member told us the dog does NOT require hospitalization and the father was taking the dog in for treatments prior to the global protest. He also insisted the father has every legal right to take the dog back home (where his son, the perpetrator lives).

Cronin, 43, resides in Redlands, California with his wife Carla. He is not new to San Bernardino or the Animal Control Department. He claims to be a licensed dog-catcher with a vet tech license that allows him to legally kill animals. We could not verify either. He volunteers at the sheriff's department. When he was director of the San Bernardino Humane Society he attempted to collaborate with his allies at San Bernardino Animal Control to try for a $15,000,000 Maddies Fund grant claiming to work for a 'no-kill' goal. In fact he helped form the non-profit entity POPCO for that purpose. Reportedly Maddies Fund told him not to bother applying because the entire animal community was not included in his plan. He has been strongly critical of the established no-kill community and has refused to work with them for years. He staunchly opposed the firing of the San Bernardino County as administrator of the Rancho Cucamonga Shelter which was based on its improper treatment of animals and violations of the Hayden Law.  He claims to have helped write the law,  but we are unable to verify his claim.

Now comes Cronin, just one month after the Collie disaster, with a new controversy - He vows to fill up the pound's cages, continue killing and make it difficult for complaining rescues.  AND he appears to be doing it.

Cronin was recently presented with a petition signed by over 1,900 people asking, in part,  to stop killing animals at Devore 'shelter' while as many as 1/2  the cages are empty.  Reformists suggest that if Devore gives the  animals more time, they have a greater chance of adoption. The petition is based on SB1785, California's shelter law that states, in pertinent part, SECTION 1(b)(1) "...adoption of lost or stray adoptable animals is preferable to incurring social and economic costs of euthanasia."  We complained that Devore has killed daily FOR YEARS not based on lack of space, but based on a daily 'kill quota' -- a practice that benefits the County by lowering costs, reducing the workload and meeting the wishes of the staff (according to one Devore supervisor.)  

We rescued 18 animals from Devore the week before the petition was released and supervisors agreed we'd return the following week for more.  On 5/11/06 we returned to rescue 40+ more animals in the 2006 van, pictured below. But  Cronin made an appearance (he works miles away)  and specifically limited us to 10 dogs and a few cats, despite having 99 dogs at the time and only 90 cages. When we asked why he said, "You said you don't like [killing with] empty cages so we are going to keep them filled. We are going to keep the animals here. That's what you told us you want." And fill the cages he is. In all the time spent at Devore in the past, this author never saw so many dog-catchers in one day, walking dogs from dispatch trucks into cages. A copy of Devore's website confirms an unusual turnover in the last few days.. 54 NEW dogs were brought into Devore between 5/10-5/13, a huge number considering that this figure represents more than half the entire dog population of 99. And sadly, a similar number is now gone that was there just a few days ago. Even dogs whose holding periods had not expired are gone from the website list. Could Cronin be making good on his promise to fill cages through County-wide sweeps so he can spite petitioners and step up the killing? If so, pet guardians beware. And  locals, it is time to decide if this is how you want your tax dollars spent.   

Our van came for 40+ animals

We purchased 20 new cages. Other rescues awaited the animals.

After Cronin's retaliatory mandate, we took only the animals he allowed us. Unfortunately we  were forced to leave behind a myriad of sad and frightened faces staring back in desperation - these are the real victims of Cronin's spiteful gambit. Some of the animals we ached to help were in cages hidden from the public's view in the combined quarantine/kill room where the public is rarely allowed to view. The public cat room was practically empty while the hidden room of death was packed full. Inside were metal boxes so dark and dungeon-like, you couldn't see if there was a cat inside without opening the door. When the door did open you could smell the stench because the ventilation was so utterly lacking - only a few tiny holes in a thick-walled  double-steel cage. In the  summertime it must be stifling for these captives,  if not deadly. This author has never seen any cage so horrific at any pound, ever. We were not allowed to take these cats.  There are sick kittens there that may be dying and we were not permitted to take these either.

Many of the animals we liberated from Devore over  a week ago  are still so traumatized, that the rescuers who took them have had to double  their normal efforts to socialize them. They also informed us that two of the kittens we took out 5/11/06 died the day after while in their care. They said the kittens' condition indicated they never received timely medical treatment at the pound.

Some of those we were forced to leave behind

The Hayden Law requires that animal pounds cooperate with rescues to save lives. It states, in pertinent part:

(a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(1) Public and private shelters and humane organizations share a common purpose in saving animals' lives, preventing animal suffering, and eliminating animal abandonment.
(2) Public and private shelters and humane groups should work together to end euthanasia of adoptable and treatable animals by 2010.

The Hayden Law does not support Cronin's refusal to work with rescues because they point out violations and seek reform.

We have been an asset to the Devore animals and have saved many lives. We believe we have done as much rescue at Devore as anyone in the last year or more. We have taken out many animals. We have campaigned to bring adopters and the rescue community to Devore. We've placed hundreds of online and newspaper ads promoting animals impounded at Devore. The supervisors have bragged about an increase in adoptions there. They were asked if they have done anything different and they said, "Nothing". Our efforts must have made a difference. In addition, we've paid thousands of dollars for boarding of animals taken from Devore. We've spent  thousands more  on spay/neuter, shots and medical treatment of Devore animals, some of which  we believe would not have been necessary if the animals had been treated earlier. Our rescue has not lost one animal we've personally rescued from Devore and cared for despite horrendous medical problems at the time of rescue. We took Devore animals to the emergency hospital 18 times in  the last several months,  not including regular vet visits. We were told to euthanize several of our Devore rescues, we didn't and all are still alive (and healthy!).

Cronin, who has  been director for only  2 months, intends to cut us off from rescuing animals or discourage us through restrictions because we dared to confront his unwillingness to discuss the real issues: the senseless daily killing quota (even with empty cages), the dearth of veterinary care, the inhumane way that animals are treated living there and the way they are killed there, the continued employment of a uniformed dog-catcher who reportedly beat a small dog in front of a stunned worker - this apparent animal abuser  is in the field alone with animals all day long- the reported killing of animals by an unlicensed kennel-cleaner for thrills, unsanitary conditions, and more. See pictures.

Cronin should focus on the spectacular deficits at Devore instead of going after rescues seeking improvements such as the following under Hayden: 

)(4) Make shelters accountable to pet owners and the public for records and the care of animals in their possession.
(c)(5) Make clear that shelter responsibilities are the same as those legally assumed by a person who voluntarily picks up an animal.
(f) The Legislature finds and declares that shelters should be required by law to take in lost animals and properly care for them with prompt veterinary care, adequate nutrition, shelter, exercise, and water.

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What's Wrong With Devore       The Petition        Pictures of Devore Abuse       The Dog Beating  

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