Pueblo Shelter Director and Vet charged with animal cruelty-neglect

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PUEBLO, Colo. — UPDATE (9/24): After a state investigation, the Pueblo animal shelter’s former director and staff veterinarian face criminal charges.

According to court documents, both Linda Mitchell and Joel Brubaker are facing several misdemeanor charges of cruelty to animals-neglect dating back to January 1.

Both face 10 counts of animal cruelty-neglect. Some of the charges are identical but not all of them. The maximum sentence, if convicted for Mitchell and Brubaker would be 18 months per count.

They will be in court for arraignments October 30th.

The facility is now under the management of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peaks Region.


Several animal rescues and shelters have stepped in to transport animals that were housed at the recently shut down Community Animal Services of Pueblo. 

Shelters in Boone, Denver, and Colorado Springs, and other facilities in Pueblo, have been transporting the animals. All of the animals were out of the now-defunct shelter by Thursday night. 

Those animals needed our help, Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region spokeswoman Gretchen Pressley said.

Pressley reports they have taken in 28 dogs varying in age from a puppy to a dog that is 11 years old.  As is the procedure with any incoming dog, they are isolated to the quarantine areas of the shelter. 

We can give them the medical assessments they need, keep them away from the other healthy animals in our facility to make sure we’re not spreading those other communicable diseases coming into our shelter, Pressley said.

Finding out exactly what treatment to give the animals has been difficult, as their records were minimal, according to Pressley

One dog could need a leg amputation. The puppy’s records indicated it had the potentially-fatal disease parvo, though when the shelter tested for the sickness, the results came back negative. 

We are still monitoring that puppy closely, Pressley said. We’re really going to be spending the next few days sorting through records, trying to figure out the individual needs of these dogs and trying to figure out where to go from here.”

Pressley said the future is unknown for the dogs at this time.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Pressley said HSPPR is not contracted through the city or the county to fulfill temporary shelter care.

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