Dog Abandoned After Hours at the Contra Costa Animal Services Office in Martinez

December 2, 2013 21:17 pm · 87 comments



On Sunday night, a dog was left out in the cold at the Contra Costa Animal Services Department in Martinez.

Here’s the story from the Contra Costa Animal Services Department:

Unfortunately we see this too often – animals abandoned at the shelter after hours. It’s a good thing a staff member discovered the friendly dog so he didn’t have to sleep out in the cold all night. We understand that circumstances may be beyond some peoples control, but we would like to encourage people who find lost animals or who must surrender their animals to please do so during business hours. The animals will be provided with the proper shelter indoors and the care and food they need. Hopefully this big fella’s owners will come for him or we will be able to find him a new home.

Sad. It’s unknown whether he was found and was brought to the department, or whether his owners just abandoned him.

Either way, if you find a dog, especially at night or after hours, keep him or her in your garage, in a cage, at a friend’s home or some other warm place until they open, because that way, he/she won’t freeze.


1 J. December 2, 2013 at 9:21 PM

How much is the surrender fee during the day?

2 ??? December 2, 2013 at 9:27 PM

I hate people

3 Anon December 2, 2013 at 9:32 PM

That’s really messed up. I feel bad for the dog. Maybe get off the crack pipe so you can feed your dog. Or find alternate care for it. Just another loser trying to get out of spending money on things that are their responsibility. God forbid you have a child.

4 Dee December 2, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Thank God someone found him before this AM .This kind of crap just really pisses me off beyond words. At least he got some food and water and a warm place to sleep

5 AWWW Poor Thing December 2, 2013 at 9:36 PM

OMG, my brother in law in homeless somewhere in MTZ and my sister has not heard from him in over a month, and that looks like Chance his sons Pit that he was left with before being evicted from their place.
Can’t tell but are the ears pinned? Chances’ weren’t but I can’t tell by this picture.

6 Laura December 2, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Thankful they brought the dog to a great place but incredibly sad that they left the dog. It breaks my heart.

7 Julie December 2, 2013 at 9:37 PM

This is heartbreaking! I hope this wasn’t the owner, and if so, this person isn’t an animal lover, and doesn’t deserve the dog.

I would like to think if it was a stranger who had enough of a heart to bring the dog to the shelter, they would have the heart to keep the dog warm overnight, and return during the day.

My guess would be an irresponsible owner.

Very, very sad. I hope the shelter finds a very nice home for him. This made me cry.

8 Brian December 2, 2013 at 9:38 PM


9 anon December 2, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Awwww, he looks so sad :(

10 Tough Love December 2, 2013 at 9:42 PM

This Suck, But Perhaps The Shelte Should Have A Safe PlaceTo Leave The Animals At All Times Not Just During X hours.

11 larkin December 2, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Oh, that’s a point: if they just leave the dog, then they avoid having to pay a surrender fee. Still not right, of course.

12 Anon December 2, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Come on people- have a heart. At least wait until daytime to turn him in or if he’s not yours keep him in a safe place overnight.

13 M December 2, 2013 at 9:48 PM

OMG that’s so sad! What a beautiful dog! I’ve found dogs before and I’ve always just put them in the garage with a blanket and food and water. Why is that so hard?!?! That person should have to be forced to sleep tied up outside!

14 A Better Way December 2, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Other shelters have after hours surrender kennels stocked with food and water. People who find a dog or cat but have no way to shelter them can leave the animals in a locked safe cage.
With the limited hours of Contra Costa Animal services they should consider adding those facilities. At least the animal would be safe. However, that does not excuse the people who left behind this dog. I’m sure though that they wouldn’t have done it if they had a way to keep it temporarily. Someone actually made the effort to take it down there when, if they were cruel, they could have just ignored it or dumped it somewhere.

15 Sheila December 2, 2013 at 9:51 PM

This is so sad…..the picture of this poor dog sitting in front of the shelter. Thank goodness he was rescued and didn’t freeze to death.

Who would abandon a poor animal after hours? And to think it happens all too often. Please have the courtesy of taking the animal in during business hours.

16 Omg December 2, 2013 at 9:52 PM

wtf is wrong people how can you been so mean to a animal !!!!

17 Bob Brittain December 2, 2013 at 9:53 PM

This dog has beautiful eyes. I would adopt it if my three cats would not kill it from jealousy. I hope it gets a good family and a very happy life.

18 Me December 2, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Does the price matter? If it was a dog you found, there’s no charge, but if its your own dog, you shouldn’t be droppin it off in the first place unless your an uncaring awful person, especially at night in the cold, and if it is your dog you should have to pay!!!!

19 Sue December 2, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Karma……Will get these cruel people, someday :-(

20 Dog Owner December 2, 2013 at 10:00 PM

If it’s a dog (or cat) that you found, it’s FREE to take it to the shelter. It only costs money if you’re taking your own pet there.

21 MK&EC December 2, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Poor baby, how awful, does he need a home? I’d be happy to take that puppy(dog) if he needs care, and is suitable for a home. How could someone do that, let’s leave those owners in the cold for hours! When there are so many other ways to find a home or other means. Shame on them! Take care of your responsibilities!

22 MK&EC December 2, 2013 at 10:07 PM

How awful that poor little baby, if his owners are not found I’d be happy to take him if he was suitable and needed a home! If his owners dropped him off people need to learn to take care of their responsibilities. If he was just found there is no excuse for that cruelty!

23 Blah December 2, 2013 at 10:07 PM

The fee is $35 I think.

24 Kim C December 2, 2013 at 10:11 PM

That’s a good question, J. Is there a surrender fee?

25 Oldtimer December 2, 2013 at 10:14 PM

I believe the surrender fee is around $70 to $80 per animal, and they make a note of your address and it’s in their records forever.

26 Angelica December 2, 2013 at 10:17 PM

This dog looks so sad. Hang in there big guy! I hope this was a stranger, and the owners come get him!

27 S. December 2, 2013 at 10:33 PM

There is no surrender fee. They are obligated by law to take any and all animals that are brought to the shelter no matter the circumstance. This is why it is not their fault to have to put so many animals down. I hope it wasn’t his owners, and if it was, he’s better off out of their care…

28 S. December 2, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Oopsie! Ok its $50 to surrender, FREE for strays.

29 Sharyl December 2, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Don’t put animals in a garage. That’s too cold, as well.

30 rick reynolds December 2, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Will someone with a kind heart PLEASE adopt this lovinv dog. Give him or her aa nice warm home in time for the holidays.

31 Cowellian December 2, 2013 at 10:50 PM

I would have bet that the CoCo shelter had cameras. Most do.

A lot of pets were abandoned during the foreclosure crisis, when people had to leave their homes and move into apartments, many of which disallowed pets. We’re pretty sure that’s what happened to one of our rescue dogs.

32 Connie Dobbs December 2, 2013 at 10:55 PM

Sue, those people did a good thing in a stupid way. They could have dumped him at a truck stop.

33 Craig Cannon December 2, 2013 at 11:06 PM

I Drive By There Daily. At Night, just look in The Front Parking Lots. More Than a Dozen Cats, and a Couple Skunks just Sitting There as if they were also “Just Left There”. I Mean Every Night, Perhaps Waiting for their Owners to Return. Skunks, they will do fine, but it’s Sad So Many Cats. Just So Many. No Pet or Animal Raised as such should be left like this. My Heart Goes Out to Them, and All The Little Furry Ones, Abandoned. That’s Probably Why they Say Spay. Kind of Uplifting and Funny Seeing The Kitty’s Party with The Skunks. But only for a Moment. Sad. Homelessness Finds Many of Gods Creatures :(

34 Dorothy December 2, 2013 at 11:09 PM

I found a lost/abandoned kitten and took it to the shelter. There was no fee. I think I remember seeing signs about where to leave animals when the shelter is closed.

35 Monica December 2, 2013 at 11:19 PM

My parents just surrendered my brothers unaltered female pit/pug/ doxie mix. It was $30, he rescued when he found out several days later for over $250, (storage fees) there IS a night depository with food/water and blanket for FOUND animals. And a form you MAY fill out.

36 ConcordMike December 2, 2013 at 11:20 PM

The human race is disgusting to the other creatures on this planet. Absolutely Disgusting!

37 Catherine December 2, 2013 at 11:31 PM

There is a surrender area with cages around the street side of the shelter that is open at night, and when the shelter is closed. We found a dog tied to a fire hydrant late one evening and took him there. If I didn’t have my own dog that is not good with others she doesn’t know, I would have kept him for the night. We were lucky that a security guard was on duty and pointed us to the cages when we got there. I would like to think that whoever left this dog was not connected to it and was trying to do the right thing, but knew nothing of the cages. The shelter REALLY needs to do a better job advertising what they have on site! I had been there many, many times before I found out about the additional available cats that are kept inside a hallway and the rows of dogs that are outside of the main building. There need to be signs.

38 Trace December 2, 2013 at 11:37 PM

It’s very unfortunate that people throw away their animals.
People should spay and nueter. No more back yard breeders. This is heartbreaking. Sadly, a good majority of pets that go to the shelter, never make it out. :(
Everyone, next time you want an animal, please consider adoption.

39 Youngin December 2, 2013 at 11:48 PM

I would like to note that if you cannot take the animal with you (which is not usually advised because you do not know the actual temperament of the animal) you can call the sheriff who has keys to the shelter. I also heard that some of the graveyard staff come by every so often at night and might be able to help if you need it.
Also, if you find an animal abandoned somewhere on the premises but still outside, like the front dog run, please keep in mind that it would be considered trespassing to try to bring the dog to a more sheltered environment.
All of this I learned when I called in a dog left in the front dog run at midnight last Monday when over 15 dogs were dropped off.

40 Petluvr December 3, 2013 at 12:40 AM

Animal Services had to close the outside kennels at night because too many people were dumping very sick animals and they were causing healthy animals inside the shelter to become sick. Now those kennels are open when the shelter is closed until 4pm when vet staff is available to examine the animals before they put into their kennels.

41 Their cute when they puppies December 3, 2013 at 12:59 AM

drop off fee is charged by pound considering they are just gonna kill the animal anyways if they can’t sell it specially if it a pit.i hear they use 22 rifle on the pits does anybody know if this is true?

42 Sad December 3, 2013 at 1:30 AM

This makes me sad. I love animals so much and for a human to do this is awful. I would adopt all strays if I could. I am St. Francis of the 21st century

43 I'm sorry# December 3, 2013 at 1:36 AM

@ #29 but if you find a stray dog and have no other place to put it and you don’t know the temperament of the animal YES PIT IT IN THE GARAGE. You don’t even know if the animal is carrying any kind of disease as well! I wouldn’t bring a stray dog into my home with my 4 year old son but I would put him in a kennel or in my garage with a blanket food and water for sure!

44 I'm sorry# December 3, 2013 at 1:38 AM

P.S that picture of him sitting out there tied really breaks my heart!!!

45 Amy December 3, 2013 at 2:57 AM

Maybe someone found him after hours and had no place to keep him but didn’t want to leave him in the street?

46 Mother trucker December 3, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Hope it gets adopted

47 Jojo Potato December 3, 2013 at 7:28 AM

There are lockers on the side of the building where animals can be left and they are inside. Takes a cold heart to do that, I suppose but better than outside. “See you fluffy!” Slam and drive off.

48 Anon December 3, 2013 at 7:43 AM

@ Catherine- thanks for that info. I was there recently as I’m considering adopting a cat and was disappointed at the small selection they had. I’ll have to go back and find the other section. They really do need to improve this as it could cause a animal to be overlooked that may have otherwise been adopted.

49 4legs December 3, 2013 at 7:48 AM

What happened to the closed hours drop off kennels — they were on the side of the facility and you could put a found animal in there and close it — the staff would get the animals out as soon as they came in (they are there every day even if the shelter isn’t open). You can’t expect everyone who finds a dog to be able to keep it for any period of time (apartment rules, other animals, allergies, energetic dogs, etc).

50 Support our cops! December 3, 2013 at 7:54 AM

Poor little guy just sitting there patiently waiting for whatever to happen :(

51 The Mamba December 3, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Giving up a dog is an awful thing to do, but as other’s have posted – shelters don’t make it easy and it is especially difficult for pit bulls. I hope he finds a new home quickly.

52 escapehatch December 3, 2013 at 8:03 AM

It’s the irresponsible breeders. They should have to pay a “recycle” fee, just like TV’s. Profit is all they care about and their dregs are palmed off to the “Rescue” crowd, who also make a profit.

53 Kathy December 3, 2013 at 8:12 AM

There’s a large surrender fee. That’s why people leave animals at night.

54 Lucy December 3, 2013 at 8:57 AM

the rope looks to high on the pole for litlte guy to even lay down. Thank God he was rescued!!

55 Marissa December 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Poor lost animal–was abandoned. Look at that face, someone please adopt it.

56 Jen December 3, 2013 at 10:03 AM

People do indeed suck! You probably saw 15 digs dropped in 1 night because (we learned when we rescued one of our many dogs) that when some people can’t find someone to watch their dog over a holiday and they don’t want to pay for boarding they dump them! It’s true. Many pets come in this time of year.

If you’re thinking of adopting, even the purebred dogs (most likely without papers) but if your looking for a “lab” or a “shepherd” instead of a mix it’s a great time to be contacting the respective rescue organization. They take the dogs from the shelters as long as they have a home to board them in while they’re waiting for their forever home. We have had all great dogs, all from rescue, all amazing, loving, perfect dogs and puppies.

57 NiceDog December 3, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Poor baby. I hope he’ll be adopted so he won’t be euthanized. He looks like a sweetheart. He’s probably confused as to why he’s there. Imagine being with someone one day and not with your person the next day. Or being in a home one day with all your toys, food, water, blankies and then in a dingy jail cell with strangers and all the noise the next day on death row. I really do hope he’ll be adopted. Very very sad. Poor innocent animals put to death because we humans are so inhuman. Tragic.

58 ken December 3, 2013 at 10:55 AM

The old Building used to have an after hours drop door, what happened to it?

59 Pets aren't library books December 3, 2013 at 11:40 AM

There is a lot of misinformation on here, so let’s set things straight.

1. There is no surrender fee for dropping off an animal that you found. There is only a fee to “surrender” your own animal.

2. Sheltering and caring for these animals comes out of YOUR TAX DOLLARS. So, anyone who thinks it’s cool to dump a pet after hours to avoid paying a surrender fee that they don’t have to pay if the pet doesn’t belong to them is a moron.

3. Too many people were dropping off sick pets after hours. That is why Animal Services had to close the drop boxes.

4. If at all possible, keep a pet that you have found until daytime when you can take it to the shelter. If it is impossible for you to keep the pet overnight, then call the police or sheriff.

60 Psycho Cat December 3, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Perhaps better signage directing people to the after ours drop-off. But of course, that would probably require 52 requisitions, 87 work orders, and 43 union workers to install the sign.

People usually only surrender their pet when an extreme financial situation has fallen upon them and there is no other option. To set the record straight, the Contra Costa Animal Shelter DOES CHARGE A SURRENDER FEE. $30 for a licensed dog, $50 for an un-licensed dog. What person in such a destitute situation has $30 or $50? They don’t want to do it after hours, but they can’t do it during business hours if they don’t have any money. My heart breaks for these people and their pets!

All Contra Costa Animal Shelter Fees are posted here:

61 Bishop Estates December 3, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Poor baby

62 ☆♧Steph December 3, 2013 at 11:48 AM

They need to put back drop boxes and not charge to surrender pets.

63 ☆♧Steph December 3, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Poor baby looks like a pit. They no dOubt will kill him.

64 Pit bull momma December 3, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Who ever just abandons their dog like that has a seat waiting in hell for them. And he is a beautiful pit bull! The sweetest dogs ever! I hate stupid people

65 Stella December 3, 2013 at 12:54 PM

I am so tired of all you heartless people–the inhmanity of having a dog like that waiting out in the cold. I will take that poor beast into my home; I hope it’s there when I get to the pound.

66 Jess December 3, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Perhaps the owner couldn’t afford the surrender fee. Perhaps the owner works and can’t get there during regular hours.

Perhaps someone found the dog and had no way to keep it themselves overnight. Maybe they didn’t know the shelter isn’t open at night. Tying it up in front of animal control might have seemed like a better idea than releasing it to run free and get hit by a car.

67 firefighters daughter December 3, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Mr. Mayor: Will you let us know if he gets adopted and goes to a good home? I’m sure all of the Claycord readers would love to know. Thank you.

68 Good for you December 3, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Go Stella!! I hope he is there and you can adopt him, and we look forward to a pic of you with your new family member. Our house is already ‘dog full’ with no room for more. I will be really glad if this string on Claycord helps that baby get a new and better home.

69 Kenny December 3, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Disgusting people.

70 Plato December 3, 2013 at 5:39 PM

I feel for the dog – he didn’t do anything, has no voice to speak for himself, and likely gave his love unconditionally to whomever chose to abandon him.

I also have no doubt the dog would have treated his human better, if situations were reversed.

71 Reality Slap December 3, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Leaving the dog this way was wrong. My question is: this is a fairly new multi-million dollar facility and they don’t have after hour kennels for people to turn in animals? A stand alone building that has one way locking kennels so the animal is segregated and out of the cold. I think the old facility had “night cages”, why not this one?

72 Allyn December 3, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Everyone involved with the Martinez Shelter is saddened to see this dog left outside, and relieved that a staff member found the dog and brought it inside. And we hope that this does not happen again. Please do not shoot the messenger – this was made public BY THE SHELTER in an effort to reach out and discourage people from leaving innocent, helpless animals outside. Please – if you find a dog (or cat) find a way to keep the animal safe and secure until the shelter is open. If you cannot hold the animal at your home, ask a friend or contact a local vet to see if they will keep the animal overnight. The shelter is OVERWHELMED with dogs (and cats) that people dump, surrender, or release to fend for themselves until they are picked up as strays. We want to save animals – we implore the community to want the same. Our surrender rates are very low – $30 for a licensed pet, $50 for an unlicensed pet. WE DO OUR BEST TO CARE FOR THE ANIMALS DISCARDED BY SOCIETY – our veterinarians treat the dogs and cats, we keep them as stray holds (hoping an owner claims them) then we work like crazy to find an adopter or rescue group to save our incredibly loving, adoptable dogs and cats. Please be part of the solution – spay and neuter your pet, adopt – don’t buy, and please consider becoming a volunteer. It is easy to criticize, it is more rewarding to help.

73 Anon December 3, 2013 at 6:35 PM

There are so many people abandoning their dogs at the shelter right now, perhaps the drop box was full. People choosing to abandon their family members so they can afford to buy a bunch of crap for Christmas.

74 Petluvr December 3, 2013 at 7:12 PM

If you missed the posting I did up above – they had to shut the night drop Kennels because too many people were dumping sick animals – causing viruses and disease to spread out the Kennels. The shelter WAS built with after-hour kennels in mind but people abused it so now those kennels are only open when veterinarians are on staff to examine the animals.

75 Allyn December 3, 2013 at 7:39 PM

In response to Steph – you do not know what you are talking about. I am a volunteer – I spend many hours each week trying to save our shelter dogs -and I lose a lot of sleep worrying about them. What do you know about our challenges and efforts to help abandoned dogs? I invite you to meet me and walk through a day at the shelter – then tell me we will “probably kill” the dog. I give time, money, heartache to save our dogs, just like many other volunteers do – your comment is an ignorant insult to the people who give their time and heart to help our dogs…what the hell do you do to help?

76 Focus People! December 3, 2013 at 8:50 PM

It saddens me to read the negative comments. My guess is that the shelter posted this in hopes of finding this boy a nice home – focus on the need and don’t judge. It doesn’t matter if they don’t have night cages to drop off animals or even that someone may have done this in order to not have to pay a fee – what MATTERS is that this poor boy was abandoned at the shelter and NEEDS A HOME. Yes, shame on the people that left him there – but do not blame the shelter for not making it easier – they posted these pics to try to help.

God Bless all our animal lovers and caregivers out there – don’t nit-pick at things they have no control over (please)

77 Thank You December 3, 2013 at 8:52 PM

and Thank You, Allyn, for all you do for the animals that cannot do for themselves.

78 Focus People! December 3, 2013 at 9:01 PM

It saddens me to read all the negative posts. Everyone needs to FOCUS on the issue at hand here, which is that a pet was left unattended in the cold. The issue is not that the shelter doesn’t have proper after-hours drop off methods, or even that someone undeserving left a helpless animal tied to a pole. It looks to me like the shelter posted these photos only to try to help poor baby find a loving home, and few of you are even paying attention to that. Thank you for the people that posted this info, and God Bless the person that I hope gives this poor baby a forever home where he will not be deserted.

79 Petluvr December 4, 2013 at 12:00 AM

@Awwww poor thing – yes the dog’s ears cropped very short unfortunately.

80 robert December 4, 2013 at 2:07 AM

I get kinda tired of you guys harping and whining so much about someone who did the best they could. They took him to the right place. Get over it. It wasn’t that cold on Sunday for a dog, we’re not in Nebraska.

81 robert December 4, 2013 at 2:14 AM

None of you have any clue what the circumstances were so how can you speak with any moral judgement?

82 sarah December 4, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Most dogs in the shelter are pitties. Please get the word out so this guy isn’t redlisted and put down! Sick people leaving their babies in the cold just piss me off beyond words. Let’s do this poor guy some justice and find him a home for Christmas!

83 Mimi (original) December 4, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Have you walked through the shelter lately? 90% of the poor puppies there are pitties. What are their odds? Poor, I’d say. I feel sorry for them but pitties are what they are and abandoned with reason, I’m guessing. It’s not their fault, but someone needs to stop breeding them!!

84 Michelle December 4, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Thank you Mimi, this is such an atrocity something needs to be done.

85 Susanne December 4, 2013 at 12:03 PM

I have to agree, about 90% of those dogs in the shelter are pitties. I had an opportunity to walk through that shelter a few years ago. It saddens me to know that nothing has changed.

86 Candis December 4, 2013 at 1:53 PM

The dog was loose on North Larwin near Ayers Rd. I tried to rescue it but it ran from me onto Ayers Rd. It almost was hit by a car so I stopped.
I did rescue a dog that was with that one. I have him still and have flyers up trying to find the owner. He Is a great dog.
Whoever dropped off that dog was trying to do a good deed. I was trying to catch them at 11:30 at night on my way home from work.

87 Leilani Green December 4, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Firstly, I feel so bad for this dog, just like I feel so bad for ALL of the abandoned, neglected, abused and dumped animals. It is a shameful epidemic the Human race has spread. Secondly, I am thankful that there was someone there after hours so that this dog did not sit out there all night in the cold. Thirdly, I have nothing my admiration for the Volunteers. I can only imagine what hard work it on your hearts and in your minds. I know I wouldn’t be able to do it so I help in other ways; fundraisers, donations, spreading awareness, etc. Lastly, please tell me that they don’t shoot Pitties. And if it is a just a rumor on here, shame on that person for starting it. If it is true, I’m done.

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