City Requests Removal of False Animal Abuse Claims

City of San Bernardino Calls Upon Organization to Remove Debunked Social Media Claims About Animal Abuse
Posted on Feb 27, 2024


City of San Bernardino Calls Upon Organization
to Remove Debunked Social Media Claims About Animal Abuse


San Bernardino, Calif. – The City of San Bernardino is calling upon the Kris Kelly Foundation of Beverly Hills to remove from its social media site a debunked claim accusing the San Bernardino Animal Services Department of abusing a pit bull – mastiff mix at its shelter. As a result of the posts, threats have been made against the Shelter and its staff.

An investigation by the San Bernardino Police Department did not find evidence of animal cruelty.  The investigation determined that the photos of the dog posted on social media were reversed chronologically, leading to the claims its condition was worsening, while in fact, the dog’s condition was improving.

Immediately following the false social media posts claiming that the pit bull was beaten while at the Shelter, Kris Kelly called upon her 57,000 Facebook and 21,700 Instagram followers to protest the Shelter.

Since then, San Bernardino Animal Service Department staff have received multiple threats, and the Shelter was put on lock down to ensure their safety. Additional security measures have since been implemented at the Shelter. 

The San Bernardino Police Department is currently investigating the threats.

The debunked post has two pictures of the dog side by side. In the first picture on the left, the dog appears normal. In the second picture on the right, the dog has swollen eyes and lacerations on its snout. The post alleges that the second picture was taken after the first one and claimed that the photos proved that staff beat the dog while under its care.

However, the time stamp of each photo reveals that the dog with apparent injuries was taken the day it was impounded, January 5, 2024. The photo of the dog showing noticeable improvement was taken on January 9, 2024.

The Animal Services Department also uses a database program called Chameleon, to maintain its housed animals and link with online adoption services. Chameleon uses unalterable timestamps that register when images are posted. Those records also showed that the photo of the dog with apparent injuries was posted at 1:12 pm on January 5th, and the photo of the dog showing improvement was posted at 9:35 am on January 9.    A subsequent photo of the dog was also posted on January 17 at 3:14 pm.


The dog’s history at the Shelter began on January 5, 2024. Animal Services received a call for service from a city resident. The resident was trapped inside their vehicle, in their driveway, due to an aggressive stray pit bull in the resident's front yard.

An Animal Control Officer responded and took control of the pit bull – mastiff mix with a catch pole. It was documented that the pit bull violently rolled around on the ground (often referred to as alligator rolling) and was acting in an erratic aggressive manner when placed inside the animal control vehicle's kennel. The dog’s actions caused it to self-sustain visible bleeding injuries to its eyes and snout.

The injuries healed over the following days and were documented as such by the photographs taken on January 9 and 17.

Based upon the aggressive behavior displayed in both the community and at the Shelter, and following a series of veterinary and behavioral assessments, it was determined that the dog did not meet the safety requirements for adoption. On January 11, Animal Services Department sent out messages to its network of 247 partner rescue organizations for high-risk canines to find a home for the dog. However, no one was willing to take it. The pit bull was humanely euthanized on January 18.

Click on "View the PDF" below to read the press release.