HESPERIA (CBSLA.com) — Calls for action rang out at a Hesperia City Council meeting Monday after cellphone video surfaced of an animal shelter employee dragging a lost dog down a hall.
“Mia” had escaped her owner’s yard, was dragged down the hall by her neck at the shelter, on Santa Fe Avenue, as employees looked on and did nothing, according to the dog’s owner, Tracie Carpenter.
“It was heart-wrenching,” Carpenter said. “The worst part is that was eight seconds of her 24-hour stay, and I don’t know what else happened to her.”
The event pushed city leaders to hold the public meeting on Monday evening after receiving several hundred emails from around the world, following the video’s post to social media earlier in February. Carpenter called for the firing of the three shelter employees.
Others at the meeting strongly agreed with her.
There were those in attendance, however, that say they did not see animal abuse when watching the video.
“I don’t see it as abuse,” Lisa Wilson said. “It’s not ideal the way the dog was treated, definitely not. But I do think with proper training and guidance, that the animal control people could do a little better.”
By the end of the meeting, the council had promised to investigate the matter, and is considering installing video cameras at the shelter.
“Animals have rights and so do people, and so we need to exercise rights on both fronts, and so that investigation is ongoing,” Hesperia Mayor Eric Schmidt said.
City leaders hired an outside company to investigate, and it is yet to be determined if any of the shelter employees will be fired.