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PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -
Owner of 15 dogs speaks about giving them up
Palm Springs man says dogs were the finest, healthiest and smartest in the whole
world
Bianca Rae, KESQ News Channel 3 & CBS Local 2 Reporter, brae@kesq.com
POSTED: 06:12 AM PST Jan 31, 2013
UPDATED: 05:49 PM PST Jan 30, 2013
Richard Rutgard said, simply, he didn't deserve what happened to him.
"I was there 24 hours a day with these dogs, raising them, training them, teaching them. They are the
finest dogs, healthiest dogs, smartest dogs in the whole world," Rutgard said of his 15 dogs.
We sat down with Rutgard to hear his story. It began a week before the raid, when he tried to give up his
dogs to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter.
"They told me they won't take them, even though they told me previously that they would, and that in one
week, members from a private animal rescue organization will come to my house," Rutgard said.
Rutgard said it's the way it happened that bothers him most.
"There must have been a minimum of 65 people there - fire trucks, police cars, U-Haul trucks. Then I
counted 35 to 40 people wearing a black t-shirt with these white wings on it," Rutgard said.
That's the Animal Rescue Corps, a non-profit animal protection organization. We asked Rutgard about
two very disturbing things.
First, the condition of his home. Rutgard said the animals knocked their food over during the raid.
"The only problem with the house is the kibble on the floor. One blogger I read said they're claiming the
dogs are fighting over food. How? These dogs did not fight over food," Rutgard said.
Second, the scars on the animals.
"I picked him up, he was dying, he was attacked by Dobermans in front of my office and his leg was
completely broken off," Rutgard said.
The Animal Rescue Corps said that explains one dog, but not the others.
"The records we have gone through indicate that all but two dogs he's had their entire life," Scotlund
Haisley, president of the Animal Rescue Corps, said.
In response to being called a hoarder, Rutgard shook his head.
"It's not hoarding. These people have hundreds of dogs and the dogs are starving, flea bitten, all kinds of
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Page 1 of 4 Owner of 15 dogs speaks about giving them up | News - Home
5/17/2014 http://www.kesq.com/news/Owner-of-15-dogs-speaks-about-giving-them-up/18352362
How is it that Haisley and Animal Rescue
Corps had access to records? Did Dr. Kunz
give Haisley the records that he wouldn't give
to Rutgard? If so, that's problematic for a
number of reasons, including confidentiality
issues.
conditions and diseases. They don't even give them water," Rutgard said.
Rutgard wished he could keep a few of the dogs, but they all got taken away.
"What we found was a condition not conducive for a life for these animals," Haisley said.
The animal shelter director told us it turned the dogs away because the city deals with animal control
cases. Rutgard made some startling allegations about the Animal Rescue Corps. We're investigating,
and we'll let you know what we find out.
Copyright 2014 Gulf California Broadcasting. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Page 2 of 4 Owner of 15 dogs speaks about giving them up | News - Home
5/17/2014 http://www.kesq.com/news/Owner-of-15-dogs-speaks-about-giving-them-up/18352362
This was Pat Brayer, who was the Director of the Palm
Springs Animal Shelter at the time. She admitted that
they wouldn't allow Rutgard to relinquish his dogs
when he tried to. She then contradicts her own
reasoning by claiming that they only deal with animal
control cases. Why, then, did they take in all of
Rutgard's dogs from Animal Rescue Corps less than a
week later? Maybe what she meant to say was that
they would only take in those dogs for publicity.
3 Comments
• •
humanitarian •
Let this man keep his dogs It sounds like the media and animal rescue people took
everything out of context . These dogs will end up being killed because the shelters wont
take them . They are better off at the home and owner that they know even though it
may not been that clean according to reports but they need to make the best with an not
so perfect situation and have these non profit agency's supply him with food and check
in with him on a monthly basis , give this man a chance he loves his dogs and his dogs i
am sure the dogs feel frightened and scared and miss there owner. Dogs dont need to
live in a mansion, first and foremost they need love and of course food and care to
survive and I believe this man truly love his dogs just give him some help so that he can
keep them because I am afraid they will be killed if they dont find homes.THey are better
off with this man than is a cage in a shelter or killed.
• •
Meridien •
I guarantee you don't know the whole story. The shelter couldn't take them when he
asked because they are full to the brim with unwanted dogs. Yes, he loves his dogs but
he couldn't handle all of them, they fought quite ferociously with each other, and he
allowed them to breed at will, producing even more dogs than he could handle. This is
irresponsible. All hoarders love their dogs. It's not enough to just love the dogs, and you
really, really don't know the whole story.
• •
abrownsgal •
This was the shelter's fault to begin with. From the sounds of it, this was a ploy to
save face after they adopted an unaltered dog and give someone credit of being
a "hero" along with a fat paycheck. There was no need to have a task force that
large for 15 dogs and certainly no need alert the media.
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5/17/2014 http://www.kesq.com/news/Owner-of-15-dogs-speaks-about-giving-them-up/18352362
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Page 4 of 4 Owner of 15 dogs speaks about giving them up | News - Home
5/17/2014 http://www.kesq.com/news/Owner-of-15-dogs-speaks-about-giving-them-up/18352362