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Probe launched into missing pets at L.A. animal shelter

The city is trying to determine whether nearly 40 dogs, cats and other animals from the Lincoln Heights facility were stolen and sold for profit… Or???

North Central Animal Shelter in Los Angeles

A pair of puppies wait to be fed at L.A.’s North Central Animal Shelter. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / July 11, 2007)

By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times

June 1, 2011

In the latest investigation involving a Los Angeles city agency, officials have launched a probe into the disappearance of nearly 40 dogs, cats and other animals from a Lincoln Heights shelter.

Brenda Barnette, general manager of the Animal Services Department, said 64 animals have disappeared from six shelters in roughly a year. Of that total, 39 were housed at the city’s North Central shelter on Lacy Street — a missing rate considered unusually high.

Although some animals could have been incorrectly listed as missing because of clerical errors, at least some have "wrongly disappeared," Barnette said. Many of the missing animals were considered "highly adoptable" and officials are trying to determine if any were stolen and sold for a profit.

"They were the young ones, the cute ones," Barnette said. "They were ones that would have been likely to have been sold or be a nice gift for someone." The majority of the unaccounted-for animals were dogs, Barnette said.

In April, officials turned the matter over to the Los Angeles Police Department, as well as the city Personnel Department, which has a team of administrative investigators. Since then, the animal services agency has added new locks at the North Central shelter and changed some of the personnel assigned there.
Barnette would not say if any employees had been placed on leave.

Sarah Hamilton, spokeswoman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, had few details on the investigation but confirmed that Barnette had asked for help with the probe. "She wants to have a well-run department, and when she saw this discrepancy she came to the mayor’s office and asked for assistance," Hamilton said.
Animal Services is among several city agencies currently under scrutiny. At the Department of Building and Safety, FBI agents have arrested two building inspectors on suspicion of soliciting bribes and demanded personnel information on 10 others.

At the Department of Transportation, two traffic officers were put on leave in April as part of an investigation into whether they appeared in a pornographic video while in their official city uniforms. And at the city’s housing authority, former board President Beatriz Stotzer is the subject of a district attorney’s inquiry into possible conflicts of interest.

Stotzer resigned abruptly Friday. Her lawyer said she has recused herself from agency decisions when necessary.

Also on Tuesday, a team of seven auditors from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development showed up at the city’s housing authority to comb through documents, including six years’ worth of minutes involving the agency’s board.

david.zahniser@latimes.com

June 3, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pet Adoption, Pets, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences | , , | Leave a comment

Caught On Tape: Alleged L.A. Animal Shelter Abuses


Shelter surveillance cameras capture employees abusing a dog  Photo: CBS2.com

LOS ANGELES (CBS) ― Animal Shelters are supposed to care for lost pets. But we found some LA County workers caught on tape allegedly abusing dogs. CBS 2 Investigative Reporter David Goldstein obained the videos and has this exclusive report. 


These surveillance videos — obtained by CBS 2 News — show what some L.A. County animal shelter employees do when they think the public’s not watching. 

“How do you pull a defenseless dog through the facility like that, dragging it, and you have nothing to say at all.”We have the videos and obtained documents showing a hidden culture at the county shelters, where animals are allegedly euthanized and abused by employees, sometimes for kicks. 

“There were quite a few of them who high-fived each other when they got certified to put the animals to sleep, as if it was a major coup.” 

L.A. County’s Animal Care and Control claims to be one of the largest and progressive shelter systems in the nation. Their slogan is “care with compassion.” 

But our investigation found that is not always the case. 

Animal control officers are watched from dozens of surveillance cameras set up all around the six shelters across L.A. County, watching them when no one else may be watching. 

In a video from the backroom of the Downey shelter, an animal control officer is seen putting his foot on the dog he just brought in. While it’s fully restrained on what is called a catch pole, he pins the dog down, jabbing the pole in its throat. 

In this video from the Baldwin Park shelter last December, the officer drags the dog all the way down the long corridor, pulling it by a rope, as the animal spreads out on all fours. When he stops, the friendly dog wags its tail, only to be dragged along even further. 

The day before at Baldwin Park, a camera catches another officer doing the exact same thing — dragging a dog by a rope down a corridor. 

In March at Baldwin Park an officer is seen flinging a Chihuahua into the cage. The tiny dog is tossed in like a piece of meat. 

And finally in Baldwin Park in 2006, a dog is appears unsteady on its feet, having just come back from the vet with a hip injury. But that didn’t stop the officer, who has been identified as Felix Reyes, from first pulling the dog, then dragging it by a rope. 

As a family of five walks by, Reyes drags the dog across the compound. 

After a short time, the dog finally succumbs to the pressure and gets up, only to have Reyes captured by another camera, as he walks it along and yanks the injured dog across the threshold and into a cage. 

“Every animal has a story and they can’t talk,” said Cathy Nguyen. 

Nguyen is an animal lover and frequent critic of the shelter system, who has troubled by the videos. 

“The dog could be someone’s dog. They didn’t know. If this is how they treat my dog it wouldn’t be acceptable,” Nguyen said. 

It was almost sadistic? 

“Sadistic. Absolutely.” 

“Hey Felix, I’m David Goldstein with CBS 2 News.” 

I tried to question Reyes. 

“You were pulling that defenseless dog down through the whole place. What were you doing that for?” 

But he never said a word. 

“How do you keep quiet about that? How do you live with yourself at night? You’ve got nothing to say?” 

Critics of the shelter system say the videos bring to light the sometimes dark side of what goes on goes behind the cages — a culture that can breed cruelty, neglect and even torture. 

These investigative reports, obtained by CBS 2 News, document dogs that were intentionally or mistakenly euthanized, killed in the shelters after being put on hold for adoption or the return to their owners. 

“There were definitely people working there who didn’t even like animals.” 

This former shelter employee, who would only talk if we concealed their identity, says the euthanizing of animals was sometimes a sought after position. 

“They enjoyed putting the animals to sleep?” 

“Yes. Some of them volunteered. They wanted to be the ones doing that.” 

“What kind of person is that?” 

“Narcissistic. Lack of compassion. It wasn’t uncommon at all.” 

But the head of L.A. County’s shelter system says three instances is just a small amount. 

“We take in 90,000 animals a year, three incidents over the numbers of thousands of animals that have come in during that period of time I think is very minor.” Reporting – David Goldstein

Hmmm… 3 incidents that were found out about.  How many were not?  Who lets volunteers euthenize animals?  And what if it were your pet that someone Euthenized?

It is time that cruelty to animals was punished much more severely.  And it is also time that we stop euthenizing healthy animals !!

May 15, 2009 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Successful Protest by the Companion Animal Protection Society in West Hollywood, CA!

SUCCESSFUL PROTEST BY THE COMPANION ANIMAL PROTECTION SOCIETY IN WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA!

Protest

On Saturday May, 2009 activists and celebrities protested with the Companion Animal Protection Society in front of Elite Animals Pet Store in West Hollywood California. West coast director, Carole Raphaelle Davis organized the protest in front of Elite Animals Pet Store. The pet store in West Hollywood sells dogs from puppy mills in the Midwest and is defrauding customers, lying about the conditions the dogs are from. The city of West Hollywood, CA passed a resolution against the sale of puppy mill dogs last year. Elite Animals has ignored efforts by the City of West Hollywood to come in for a meeting to discuss the evidence in an open forum with representatives from several national animal welfare organizations. The protest was the lead story on KTLA news the same evening.

More of the Protest 

West Coast Director of the Companion Animal Protection Society, Carole Raphaelle Davis, being interviewed by KTLA Channel 5 News Team.

Source:  CAPS – Companion Animal Protection Society

Publication date: 2009-05-06

Posted: Just One More Pet – 2009-05-09

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May 9, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rescues, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Events, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment