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Dogs survived hoarding nightmare: Need public to survive high kill shelter

Devore, CA (July 10, 2014) - 38 dogs and 17 cats, all survivors of a horrendous hoarding house in Phelan, CA, are available for the first time, to the public for adoption, and can be adopted from Devore Animal Shelter in San Bernardino, CA.

Cutie Pie's Grooming spent the day grooming dozens of neglected dogs. Today, Babe is healthy and available for immediate adoption at the Devore Animal Shelter, along with 37 other dogs and 17 cats.
Cutie Pie's Grooming spent the day grooming dozens of neglected dogs. Today, Babe is healthy and available for immediate adoption at the Devore Animal Shelter, along with 37 other dogs and 17 cats.
Homeward Bound Project Adopt
One of 38 dogs and 17 cats gets the royal treatment, and transforms from a matted mess into a beautiful little Shih Tzu dog.
Homeward Bound Project Adopt

Most of the dogs are labeled either Shih Tzu or Lhasa Apso mixes.

As the L.A. Times reported on July 10, 2014:

Some dogs were covered with their own excrement, and in some cases the fur was so matted that the front of the canine was not easily distinguishable from its rear", said C.L. Lopez, a spokeswoman for San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control.

These dogs are very lovable. They're very friendly."

Cutie Pie's Grooming and San Bernardino County Animal Care spent nearly two hours grooming dozens of the dogs.

As the San Bernardino Sun reported on July 7, 2014:

It looked like fecal dreadlocks hanging down from their face,” said Pam Morrisey, owner of Cutie Pie’s Grooming, by phone Monday afternoon.

The first thing I wanted to do was just cry,” she said. “It was so sad to see a human treat an animal this way.”

They’re the most loving lil’ group of pets,” said Morrisey, who remains hopeful that these animals will eventually be adopted.

None of these animals were adopted on their first available date.

A few of the dogs and cats are only available to 501c3 rescues due to the fact they are fearful. Devore Animal Shelter, with its high euthanasia rate and serious overcrowding, often will kill an animal for space, within an hour of the animal becoming available for adoption.

Since these hoarder house dogs and cats (or Phelan 55) arrived on July 2, 2014, Devore has had to house over 147 dogs into 90 kennels. Oftentimes, there was only 1 empty and available kennel for incoming animals.

On a busy day, there are usually about 30 dogs and 15 cats coming in, and every day since July 2, 2014 has leaned towards higher intake numbers.

For the past week, Devore has resorted to killing dozens of available, healthy animals, due to lack of space and too few adoptions. Rescues have been taking as many dogs and cats as they have been able to, but due to a perfect storm of factors (kitten season, summer vacations, lack of fosters), have not been able to take them all.

All but a few animals are available for adoption to the public, at reasonable adoption fees. If the public does not come through for these survivors, they may not get out of the shelter alive.

Keep tabs on the Phelan 55 hoarder house dogs and cats.

Devore Animal Shelter is open every day. Anyone can adopt from them – they do not need to be a resident of San Bernardino County. Their hours of operation and contact info are:

19777 Shelter Way
San Bernardino, CA 92407
909-386-9820 ext 0 right away to speak to someone at the front desk
Hours of Operation:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10:00 am - 6:30 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Search available pets at Devore.

Kat Woodworth is the Founder of Paws Worldwide, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending needless animal deaths & suffering by connecting people & streamlining data with advanced information technology solutions.

She has been owned by several cats, dogs, birds & other companion animals her entire life, and has been writing for about just as long. She has had many animal-related articles published in various magazines.

Please join us in ending animal suffering at! Contact her at

Kat Woodworth
Founder | Director of Advocacy & Education
Paws Worldwide

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