Reports of illegal animal abuse by Antioch Animal Control

Antioch kills dogs. Apparently lots of them. Last week, the animal shelter located in in Antioch California, killed two dogs belonging to a citizen, and broke the Hayden act (animal law re: shelters are required to give dogs to qualified rescue and not kill them when there is a reasonable alternative), and acted with absolute disregard for decency, the law, or the community. This is the animal government at work. As a result, rescues across California are networking to avoid adopting any animals to Antioch residents.

I am a volunteer with All Aboard Animal Search and Rescue out of Santa Rosa – and we deal with any sort of dog in a miserable situation, but, we are best known for the work we do with pit bulls. The Antioch ordeal has been a painful, shocking and horrible thing for all of us in rescue and you can find the basics of the story here:

I’ve been in touch with many pit bull and rescue groups and we’re going to join together to put Antioch on notice that they are going to be held accountable. I’d rather eat a bag of scorpions that have anything to do with this horrible city but I must not be silent. They broke the law, they murdered dogs belonging to a citizen and did so with glee, they rejected a rational and workable plan and they laughed in the face of justice. Why? Because they can.

We have documents re: legal papers filed for a stay of execution, emails we sent to all officials which were ignored, we have emails from the manager (Jeff Charter) of the Petaluma Animal Shelter who recommended us to Antioch and agreed to participate in this rescue and have the dogs moved to Sonoma county with his blessing and oversight. Despite a gigantic effort on the part of the dog owner (Drew Householder) and his family, at least one attorney, our rescue and the the city of Petaluma, Antioch officials basically blew us off- killed the dogs and gave them back to Mr. Householder when they were dead. My personal opinion is- Antioch officials liked the power from this and quite enjoyed it.

This is a total violation of the Hayden act and a complete travesty. We have rescue alerts going out all over California, Facebook Twitter and Livejournal, and via urgent emails to all rescues operating in CA and beyond to not adopt dogs to Antioch residents as it just too dangerous for vulnerable breeds there due to the random and ignorant nature of law enforcement/animal “care” there. It’s terrible for the innocent people there who will no longer be able to adopt from qualified rescues.

This one broke our hearts. You may contact the director of All Aboard, Mary Quinn at 707-479-5302 if you would like more information and she can get you the contact information on Drew Householder.

Hope you are interested in reporting it. Channel 2 is slightly interested and there are few SF based reporters who are looking into it – we’re just not about to let it die because animals there are in major danger and God only knows what’s been going on in Antioch for the unfortunate dogs nobody knows about.

~ EDITOR NOTE — I know of a County based “Star Chamber” that decides the fate of “aggressive animals.” We are checking with sources there to see if the termination of the two dogs mentioned above were part of that adjudication procedure or just summarily executed by Antioch Animal Services. But since Petaluma Animal Shelter got involved and tried to intervene, we fear the latter.


  1. Mary Fletcher says

    I live in Antioch and have had many unpleasant dealings with Antioch Animal Services. I have reported animal abuse several times to no avail. My neighbors got away with killing many of their cats and kittens and put a little bunny rabbit in a rabbit hutch with no food or water to die. Monika Helgemo (the supervisor of Antioch Animal Services) was here at my house and was shown the rabbit in the hutch with no food or water and just left the rabbit there to die, which it did a few days later. The whole ordeal still haunts me each and every day. Antioch Animal Services needs to be held accountable for all the horrific acts they have committed. It has gone on way to long!

  2. Steph Peters says

    The Individuals responsible for the murders of these pets are unequivocally inhumane not to mention criminal!!!
    Oh, and absolutely unequivocally corrupt!!!
    I posted this on my Facebook and going to post on my Twitter acct.
    We have had problems before with these so called city officials. They are on a
    power trip and need to be stopped immediately!

  3. says

    IN 2009 MY FAMILY WENT THROUGH THE SAME KIND OF ORDEAL, DEALING WITH ANTIOCH ANIMAL CONTROL. My puppies were picked up on Dec 31, 2008 and were in custody of anitoch animal control through april 2009 before being killed. my dogs were at large and were not licenced.They wanted to label my dogs potentially dangerous dogs, They never bit any one, i had to wait for a hearing, I paid over 900.00 for the B.S fees as of Feb 2009 by the end of this whole ordeal the antioch animal control wanted another 1800.00 in fees plus 1000.00 per year for 2 or 3 years ( can’t remember if it was 2 or 3 years), plus pay to have them spayed, then keep them locked up in a kennel in my garage with a lock on it, any time i had them out side they were to be muzzled, I was to enroll in some dog training classes with in
    30 days of bringing them home. I didn’t have that kind of money. I felt that the whole thing was about money, why else would detective Helgamo lie at the hearing? Being that Antioch animal control is ran by police really made me lose faith in our police Department. The people we are supposed to trust can’t be trusted. It breaks my heart that many of us living in antioch have lost our pets/family members for the shear fact being that the city of Antioch believes they are above the law. It has been 3 years and my family still grieves the loss of our babies. We the people need to stand together and fight to make things right in our city. I strongly feel that the city of antioch needs to be held accountable for there actions. If any one is interested in getting together to discuss what we can do together to change Antioch Animal control . Send me an e-mail at peterson94561@comcast .net. We the people need to stand together and be heard!!!!

    • marsha burgess says

      Interested in picketing Antioch animal control! get in touch! I will be there! Enough is enough!

  4. Barbara Zivica says

    I think you should delete from Related Posts the Supr Candidate Erik Nunn chastises Federal Glover etc.
    Erik Nunn died more than a year ago.
    Write or reprint an article re the 3 supervisors who voted against Ariz. law (was NOT Mary P or Gayle!

    ~ EDITOR EXPLAINS — Related posts are automatically generated according to existing post tags. People actually still search for that article, too. So best not to censor the past, don’t you agree?

    As for the the blessed Supervisors huffing and puffing about the Arizona law, you are very welcome to write your very own article about it any time! And you know what? I won’t delete that article either after, you…well, you know….


  5. says

    I wish to extend my deepest condolenses to Drew and his family. This was such a travesty, and unnecessary. Mona & Mary Jane looked like beautiful dogs, and only us Pit lovers know how sweet they can be.

  6. Sandra Mullin says

    Antioch dog catcher pick up Sadie last Sat. knowing she just had puppies, I went to pick up Sadie yesterday no couldn’t she didnt have shots or surgery yet. Most loving caring dog ever. If they kill her can I get some help with this.The employees there are pretty terrifying to me to do the right thing.She was homeless, 5 of us fed watered gave a place for birthing. Seems she escaped a home that fights Pitts, she doesn’t have it in her to do that. The Rescur want 270.00 to own her, if they actually let me have her. This whole thing is has been a heart break. Especialy letting her puppies die like that.The dog catacher knew me and where I lived she could have asked me, where they were.

    • says

      can you tell me what the outcome was with your dog. I just posted my story it is under dana says, We have got to do something about Antioch animal services.!!!!!!!!!!! If you want to picket let us know.

  7. Michael Toth says

    Animal cruelty, whether indivdual or institutional, is a reflection of community standards and values. It is up to the citzens of Antioch and the broader California animal welfare community to pressure local governments to adopt humane practices that establish euthanasia as a last resort and include active collaboration with local rescue groups. Otherwise silence will be considered to be consent. BTW, is there such a thing as “legal animal abuse”?

  8. cheryl sidrian says

    I am a resident in Antioch and am very upset over this situation. As an avid animal lover i too agree that these people in charge need to answer for their actions. We have a pit in our family and would be devestated if this was our family. Go after the GUILTY!!!!

  9. Allie F. says

    It worries and angers me that a municipal government and its officials would so unhesitatingly break laws that were set in place to ensure that prejudice and subjective opinion could not triumph over the safety and needs of animal victims, who of course are unable to advocate for themselves. Animal shelters that kill dogs with good homes and owners trying desperately to retrieve them cannot be called *shelters* in good conscience; they are holding tanks for execution and their staff should be charged with animal cruelty and stripped of any animal-related qualifications they possess. I send my heartfelt best wishes to the Householder family as they grieve the loss of their beloved pets.

  10. Patrick Bohler says

    Sonoma County Residents Responsible About Pit Bulls (SCRRAP) officially condemns the actions of Antioch Animal Services. What they have done goes beyond words. Those who made the decision to murder Mary-Jane and Mona MUST be held accountable and punished to the fullest extent the law allows. To make an attempt to extort money from a man in return for his family members and then to follow through with murdering them is reprehensible. My heart goes out to Drew and his family. Let us not back down from this fight. Justice MUST be served.

    [email protected]

  11. Patrick Bohler says

    Sonoma County Residents Responsible About Pit Bulls (SCRRAP) condemns the actions of Antioch Animal Services. What they have done goes beyond words. Those who made the decision to murder Mary-Jane and Mona MUST be held accountable and punished to the fullest extent the law allows. To make an attempt to extort money from a man in return for his family members and then to follow through with murdering them is reprehensible. My heart goes out to Drew and his family. Let us not back down from this fight. Justice MUST be served.

  12. RWink says

    The unwarranted actions by the Antioch Animal Control at the apparent sanctioning of the town government is an outrage and very well may point to a much deeper problem within the town (city?) government as a whole. As it is obvious that they do not listen to other entities opinions, pleas, reasoning and offers of help, they most likely do not take into account the needs and opinions of their own citizens.

    The people of Antioch need to look closely at their local government as it stands and ask themselves if this is the way they wanted these dogs to be treated and if they feel that their officials are representing them effectively. Their next step is to remove these officials from office in the next election and establish a town government that is both citizen and animal friendly.

    Thank you to Ms. Fausone for her relentless work to help not only these dogs, but all canines who are the victims of injustice.

  13. P Ranstrom says

    The manager of the Antioch kill shelter and the law officer involved obviously feel they are exempt from existing law and clearly are committing acts of cruelty in the compound. This is disturbing on many levels. Considering the efforts of many Bay Area residents to integrate shelter rescues into society, this repulsive behavior is a direct act of spite and indicates the lack of responsible civil standards and oversight in the city of Antioch.
    The citizens of California have passed humane laws and it is the job of law enforcement and shelter/compound managers to uphold the law, not actively and gleefully break it. This should be a wake up call to all citizens of the state and especially to the citizens of the city of Antioch. If law enforcement in that city operates at will, what is the next step, killing citizens that are offensive to city officials?

  14. Pamela says

    I heard of this story several days ago and my outrage has yet to cool. Antioch should be ashamed of itself, acting out of fear and prejudice and ignorance rather than thinking things through. The message that comes out from their actions is, “We like killing animals we think don’t deserve to live. If we decide yours aren’t deserving, no matter what you do legally or how you plead, we’ll do what we want.”


  15. says

    These two family pets were murdered, there is no other way to put it. Antioch Animal Services violated Hayden’s Law, that is very plain to see. The question is WHY. These dogs were confiscated and executed for killing a cat TWO YEARS AGO. In addition, within the time these dogs were in the “care” of the shelter, they were obviously not cared for properly, pictures showed them being extremely underweight. My heart goes out to the Householder family, I cannot even fathom the grief they must feel. This was wrong, and in my opinion, the entire incident surrounding the confiscation and execution of these dogs deserves the utmost scrutiny. We cannot bring back these two beloved pets, but let’s try to ensure that this never, ever happens again. This is why Hayden’s Law was enacted in the first place.