BY JOHN F. HILL AND JANET ZIMMERMAN
A group of 20 dogs living for nearly a year at the Ramona Humane Society in San Jacinto has plenty of admirers and potential adopters, but no chance of being placed in a home.
The dogs — a collection that includes wide-eyed Chihuahua and terrier mixes, a friendly black Lab, a boxer and five newborn puppies — were seized from the Menifee home of a woman accused of child endangerment and animal cruelty. Traci Kathleen Murray has declined to give up her pets while her court case has dragged on for 11 months.
The humane society must take care of the dogs until her case is resolved, at the expense of taxpayers. By the end of May, the case will have cost the city of Menifee about $75,000, more than half of the city’s annual shelter budget.
The case is not unique. Every year, Inland animal shelters spend thousands caring for dogs, cats and even horses seized from the homes of people accused of animal abuse. Some, such as a suspected pit bull fighting case in San Bernardino, can last years and drive animal care costs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In the Menifee case, Ramona shelter volunteer Denise Glass has started an online petition to urge Riverside County court officials to bring the issue to a fast conclusion. She said she started it to raise exposure for the plight of the dogs..." More