Pamela Miller 100 dogs living in squalor at Millerwood Animal Rescue & Sanctuary

Burbank, CA

Los Angeles County

September 28, 2000
Pamela Miller 86 dogs living in squalor at Millerwood Animal Rescue & Sanctuary

Burbank, CA

Los Angeles County

July 26, 2002

The license had been revoked for Millerwood animal shelter located at Flower Street and Linden Avenue in Burbank, California last year. Pamela Miller was accused of keeping dogs in unhealthy conditions.  Volunteers had complained and the police investigated.  The facility was licensed to hold up to 85 dogs.  Ms. Miller admitted to having as many as 120 dogs at that facility. 

  (Photo courtesy of the Associated Press) Pamela Miller had opened the kennels in 1992.  Apparently some council members said that they had watched the deterioration of the kennels over time.  The case was brought to the city council after the Burbank police investigated tips received in December of 1997.  Informers alleged overcrowding, sick dogs, lack of food, and filthy conditions as existing at the site.  Police testified at the hearing. 

In the original hearing investigators called a Miller a collector.  They claimed that she did not have the capability to take care of them and was not actively trying to find them homes.  She had to be sued in court in order to inspect her property.  Claudia Madrid, an animal control officer, stated that she had a court order but Ms. Miller would not let her execute it; Miller would not permit the inspection. Failure to allow that inspection led to the revocation of her license on July 1, 1998. 

The outside of the so-called shelter is built like a prison.  There is a tall concrete fence and metal gates secure the entrance.  “No trespassing signs” threaten anyone walking to the front door.

Miller was cited as working a regular day job.  Some found it difficult to believe any adoption was going on and all since no one was present at the site during weekdays.

A council meeting had been called to review the case at her request.  The council for the defense claimed that the decision to revoke was made upon mere suspicion and not facts.  Several witnesses took the stand in Ms. Miller’s favor.  The city council could not be swayed. The City Council voted 5 to 0 against reinstatement.  Furthermore, the council said there will be no additional appeals possible.

Update  7/30/2000:

According to police Pamela Miller emptied the shelter.  Apparently she did so by giving the pit bull and pit bull mixes to friends in various places outside of the city. 

She complied with the court order but the condition of the dogs is unknown.  Her attorney maintains that the dogs were in good condition and that they remain in good condition. 

The decision had been made to seize the dogs after the California second district court of appeal upheld an injunction issued a Los Angeles County judge.

Under a court order to keep only 3 dogs at her home on North Linden Street, Pamela Miller is missing. A missing person report was filed by her father. A warrant was served at the Linden Street address but Miller was not there.

83 dogs were discovered during the search, two of which only had 3 legs. There was no water for the dogs and the temperature inside the building was about 100 degrees.

Animal endangerment charges have been filed. 34 of the dogs went to the city animal shelter. 49 were taken to Lakewood Kennels across the street from the site where they were found.

According to the owner of Lakewood kennels the dogs were in “quite good condition.” She thought that 90% of them were adoptable. She also said that Miller planned to move the dogs and was only keeping them at the Linden home as a temporary measure.

Update 8/15/02:

Pamela Miller turned herself in, according to reports. Her attorney was with her when she presented herself at the Burbank Superior Courthouse.

She is charged with 6 felonies. Her bail is set at $80,000. The hearing date is August 29th. She could do six years in prison.

The count was raised to 86 dogs mostly pit bulls and mixed breeds.

The Burbank animal shelter has been working hard to place the dogs by lowering adoption fees. They describe the dogs as “really nice dogs even though they have been kept in cages.”

At the time of this update more than 12 dogs had been adopted.

The “Adopt a Pet” program broadcast an expanded show to help find homes for the dogs.

Reference:

Daily News of Los Angeles CA

KUTV 2 News

LA Times