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Woman Takes Fight Over Animal Shelter Conditions To City Council

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SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — An animal rights activist arrested at a San Bernardino animal shelter last week claims the facility is neglecting its animals.

KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz reports Maria Sanchez hoped to address her concerns about what she claims are unsanitary conditions at the city animal shelter, located at 333 Chandler Place, during a City Council meeting on Monday following her arrest.

“They would be shocked to see the living conditions of these animals,” Sanchez said.

Time for the public comments section ran out at the meeting, but Sanchez is continuing her fight. She wants council members to tour the shelter and to evaluate its euthanasia policy.

Sanchez’s appearance at the meeting came days after her arrest at the facility.

Cell phone video shows her being escorted out of the shelter on Friday, after she was banned by employees.

The dog-lover says she spends hours of her free time playing with and video taping dogs to put on YouTube, hoping to find them homes, and refused to give back a dog named Sue because she suspected she was sick and neglected.

That’s when Sanchez says she was asked to leave the shelter and not to return for 72 hours. She returned before the time was up, prompting shelter employees to call police.

Officers arrested and cited Sanchez for trespassing and assaulting a police officer.

But Sanchez denies the claims, and alleges she was mistreated by law enforcement.

“He was guiding me where he wanted me to go. He tripped on my feet,” she said.

Spokesperson Lt. Richard Lawhead denied the claims.

“It’s believed she tripped the officer. The officer fell and tore his pants,” Lt. Lawhead said. “It appears to me that the officers were in policy in everything they did. I think they used great restraint.”

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