The 21 The story of 21 abandoned dogs & their INSPIRING recovery


The twenty-one pets have been either adopted by local families or were placed with several of our animal rescue partners. This was accomplished by a great deal of hard work from dedicated City of Moreno Valley staff members.

About the 21

The Moreno Valley Animal Shelter nurses twenty-one abandoned and neglected dogs back to health.

Just after midnight on March 18th, twenty-one small dogs (in crates) were abandoned outside the Moreno Valley Animal Shelter. These small breed dogs including Toy Poodles, Maltese, Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers range from approximately 2 to 12 years of age and were suffering from varying degrees of neglect and malnutrition when discovered by City staff. The Moreno Valley Animal Services team has provided extensive care, and now these pets are available for immediate adoption.

The City asks residents to open their hearts - - and their homes - - to these small pets.

Steve Fries, Manager of the Moreno Valley Animal Shelter said, “These dogs were dumped off on a night when the temperature dipped to 49 degrees and they were so malnourished that they had no body fat to keep them warm. Dogs were stuffed three and four to a small crate and the larger dogs were trampling the smaller dogs.”

Local authorities are on the case.

Moreno Valley Animal Services conducted an investigation, assisted by the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, into the abandonment and neglect of the dogs. The investigation revealed that the dogs’ owners reside in the unincorporated community of Nuevo and that the individuals who abandoned the dogs at the Shelter are related to the owners. A criminal complaint has been filed with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

“Although these dogs suffered greatly, they have made tremendous progress in response to receiving medical care and support provided by the staff at the Moreno Valley Shelter. These dogs are all very sweet, loving and happy! They greet everyone they meet with a friendly tail wag. The dogs have been groomed and have put on weight since they arrived at the Shelter and are now available to be adopted into loving homes,” Fries later said.

The Moreno Valley Animal Shelter has the perfect pet for every home. Dogs, cats, and even rare exotic pets are waiting to meet you, and ready to join your family.

For more information, contact the Moreno Valley Animal Shelter at 951.413.3790 or visit the City’s website listed below.

The 21 are featured on a special edition of "Pets of the Week."


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