German shepherd locked up in San Bernardino shelter for over a year due to legal battle

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A German shepherd has been locked up in a San Bernardino shelter for over a year due to a legal battle and is now facing a death sentence, the dog’s owner says.

Jose Sanchez, known as Pepe, says his 11-year-old dog named Sheba was incarcerated at the Devore Animal Shelter after getting into a fight with a neighborhood dog in 2018. Sheba was declared potentially dangerous by San Bernardino County officials, who placed terms and conditions for letting Sanchez keep her.

“One of those was that she never escape home again. Unfortunately, she did, and based on that they can declare her vicious and they may kill her,” animal rights attorney Marla Tauscher said.

Tauscher, who is not handling the case in court, but is familiar with animal control laws in Southern California, says they are not asking for Sheba to be returned to Sanchez — but rather they are asking for the dog not to be killed.

“As you might have been made aware by Sheba’s advocates, Sheba’s owner spends time with Sheba three times a week and brings her treats,” county spokesperson David Wert told KTLA in an email. “Because of Sheba’s designation as a vicious dog, the direct physical contact she is allowed to have with her owner and other humans, including shelter staff, is limited.”

The final hearing for Sheba’s fate is scheduled for Sept. 11.

“No one likes the idea of Sheba being impounded this long,” Wert said. “Court delays the County has had nothing to do with have dragged this out far longer than the County would prefer.”

The case caught the attention of many animal rights advocates, including Priscilla Presley. A website was created with more information about the case.

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