Monday, January 29, 2007

The Los Angeles Animal Cruelty Task Force and the Dog Whisperer: Forces of Change in Addressing Animal Cruelty

What a great program. Very progressive and very needed. We can only hope that other cities will follow suit. In summary, the program consists of four Los Angeles Police Department officers and five investigators from the city's animal services agency.

“The task force has scored nine felony convictions since fall 2005, and several defendants have been sent to prison for their crimes.”

Now that’s a good record.

The task force can be reached at (213) 847-1417. Officials ask that callers please be judicious about reporting problems.

Article:

The Dog Whisperer sheds tears at City Hall

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/
la-me-localgovtqa29jan29,1,3989959.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california

By Steve Hymon, Times Staff Writer
January 29, 2007

The Dog Whisperer was in the house. And he was weeping.

Cesar Millan was in City Hall a couple of weeks ago to be honored by Councilman Tony Cardenas for his work in helping people get along better with problem pets.

In case you've been living under a rock, Millan has his own television show on the National Geographic Channel, a best-selling book and was recently profiled in the New Yorker. His Dog Psychology Center in South L.A. has become so popular that Millan needs more land.

Before the main event in front of the full City Council, Cardenas introduced Millan at a private ceremony atop City Hall and Millan quickly choked up in epic fashion.

Why? Despite all of his success, what really got to Millan — a Mexican immigrant — was the notion that he had performed a public service.

Cardenas is hoping to work with Millan on a program to teach students to treat animals with respect.

And before rolling your eyeballs….

*

How big of a problem is animal cruelty in Los Angeles?

It is difficult to say, because for years no one kept track.

Shortly after taking office in 2003, Cardenas learned that major cruelty cases were often not being pursued as felony crimes. So he introduced legislation that ultimately led to the creation of the city's Animal Cruelty Task Force, consisting of four Los Angeles Police Department officers and five investigators from the city's animal services agency.

"We were a city about protecting people from animals but not animals from people," Cardenas said.

The task force has scored nine felony convictions since fall 2005, and several defendants have been sent to prison for their crimes.

Among those convicted was a gang member sentenced to three years for using a Taser gun on and scalding his girlfriend's dog during an argument with her (the dog survived); and a heroin addict who beat his roommate's dog to death. Police caught him taking the dog's body to a trash container. He got a 16-month sentence.

A woman is also awaiting trial for allegedly killing a kitten as a way to teach her sons to listen to her.

"One of the reasons I wanted to come on here is because people could commit crimes against animals in the city, and by and large it wasn't considered a very big deal," said Det. Sue Brumagin, a member of the unit. "What I tell people now is that if you do this, you're going to state prison."

Not everyone believes the task force is living up to its potential. Marie Atake, an animal services commissioner, said she wants the unit to respond more to everyday abuses of animals, such as illegally tethering dogs in yards or leaving them out in the hot sun. Brumagin agrees, but said the unit must first deal with the most egregious cases.

The task force can be reached at (213) 847-1417. Officials ask that callers please be judicious about reporting problems.

No comments:

Search for More Content

Custom Search
Bookmark and Share

Past Articles