Dogs Gone

Dogs Gone

Rescue group files claim against Pasadena Humane Society

By Adrian Garza , André Coleman 07/10/2014

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A Beverly Hills nonprofit animal rescue group has filed a claim for damages against the city of Pasadena, alleging the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA unjustly revoked its rights to save animals from euthanasia, resulting in the deaths of two dogs late last year. 


In the $500,000 claim, an attorney for Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue asserts that officials with the Pasadena Humane Society made statements to a Sacramento animal shelter that Ace of Hearts no longer had the legal right to rescue dogs. The Humane Society, Ace of Hearts alleges, had claimed that their organization engaged in unspecified criminal activity, was charged with a crime and was under investigation for mistreating animals.


On Nov. 10, according to the claim, the group was told by the Pasadena Humane Society that its “pull” rights had been revoked. Under the Hayden Act, pull rights allow groups to rescue animals that have been deemed unfit for adoption. 


First passed in 1998, the Hayden Act was later revised and now requires public pounds to keep animals for at least four days before euthanizing them. The law also requires release of the animals to a shelter under most circumstances. By euthanizing animals instead of releasing them, the Ace of Hearts shelter claims the Pasadena Humane Society is violating the law. 


After being told its pull rights had been revoked, Ace of Hearts learned that the Humane Society euthanized a dog the group had planned to adopt. Later that month, the Humane Society refused to allow the group to adopt another dog. 


“No charges were filed against Ace of Hearts, and no investigation was conducted, yet Pasadena SPCA continued its refusal to communicate with Ace of Hearts or its attorneys, or allow it to rescue dogs from its facility in violation of the Hayden Act and in violation of Ace of Hearts’ 14th Amendment due process rights,” the claim states.


Neither the Pasadena Humane Society nor Ace of Hearts returned phone calls seeking comment for this story. 


An investigation by attorney Kendra Carney of the Long Beach City Pound uncovered no proof for the allegations against Ace of Hearts, which was informed it would be able to rescue dogs from that city. In the following days, a brown Labrador had been scheduled for adoption through the Ace of Hearts. However, when the group inquired about the animal, it received news that the dog had been euthanized several weeks before.


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