On Tuesday, Feb. 17, Los Angeles Animal Services removed a mature, mixed-breed dog from a wooden dog house that had been nailed shut and dumped on a desolate South Los Angeles street, reportedly three days earlier.
The animal was immediately transported to the nearby South Los Angeles animal shelter (Chesterfield Square), where it received care and veterinary attention for wounds and infection which may have resulted from dog-fighting, or other mistreatment. The dog also had numerous old scars.
A $1,000 reward from a private benefactor is being offered to anyone who can provide information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the callous person(s) who confined and abandoned this animal without food or water in the boarded dog house. The perpetrator could also face charges of animal cruelty and possibly engaging an animal in illegal fighting, according to an law enforcement expert.
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On Wednesday, Feb. 18, Los Angeles television news broadcasts featured a dog that had allegedly been nailed into a wooden dog house and left three days before near 83rd Street and Grand Avenue--a street devoid of residences or businesses and abutting the 110 (Harbor) freeway.
Although there is limited information available on this tragic incident, the South Los Angeles animal shelter reports receiving a service request from the Los Angeles Police Department at 10:17 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17, asking for assistance for an abandoned dog in a dog house on the street at that location. L.A. Animal Services records show that the dispatch was made for the first available officer, and Animal Control Officer McCulloch arrived at the scene at 10:38 a.m.
Video was reportedly provided to Los Angeles media by an animal rescue group that was already at the site and filmed the dog in the dog house and the officer carefully removing the terrified animal from the wooden structure with an animal control device.
A representative of the Ghetto Rescue Foundation told reporters that a homeless person informed their volunteer that a passerby took off the wood panel that had blocked the dog-house door.
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It is unknown if this injured dog, deemed a Chow-German Shepherd mix, was owned by the person who wanted to dispose of it.
The scars and wounds—but not confinement in the dog house—could also have been from struggling for survival in the streets of South Los Angeles, where an estimated 30,000 strays roam. Many are injured or die in fights daily over food and mating in a low-income area that is carefully ignored during the glowing rants by public officials over Los Angeles being a “No-Kill City.”
A high percentage of the owned dogs are unaltered and allowed to roam the harrowing streets of this graffiti-riddled area. Thousands have been turned loose or abandoned by residents who obtain them as guard dogs and then find them too problematic or too expensive to feed.
Some are feral, born under abandoned buildings, living their entire life scrounging for food in streets and alleys and having ample reasons to be fearful of other animals and humans.
The plight of this sad and fearful dog hovering in the back of a worn wooden dog house received compassionate reporting by Los Angeles news stations.
ABC7 News reported the dog was a muscular 57 pounds and that video shows the frightened dog resisting being removed from his crude refuge by the animal control officer. However, they note, the dog did not attempt to nip the officer nor did it bark.
KTLA commented that, “Video showed the dog appeared to be frightened when members of the rescue group approached him.” They also stated that the organization is looking for the person who did this to him.
After the required legal hold period during which the owner may claim a lost animal, the South Los Angeles shelter confirmed that the abandoned dog had been released to a rescue organization on Tuesday.
KABC News did a follow-up report on Friday, Feb. 27, stating that the group says dog will be up for adoption soon and that he “…is getting settled into his foster home, but he continues to need medical care and is extremely scared of people.”
They also reported that the police are still looking for the person responsible.
However, even with all this availability of media attention, thus far neither LAPD nor the city’s Animal Cruelty Task Force has made a plea for the public’s help in gathering information regarding this incident.
REWARD OFFERED FOR INFORMATION
A private donor was concerned that the abandonment of this dog would go uninvestigated and unprosecuted. To that end, a $1,000 reward has been offered through a non-profit organization, Animal Issues Movement. A private attorney will act as an intermediary to assure that it is paid to the first person who provides information to a law enforcement agency that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of this crime.
IMPORTANCE OF APPEALING TO THE PUBLIC
This dog was estimated to be between 3 and 4 years of age by the shelter veterinarian. It is highly likely that he has been owned for at least a portion of that time (possibly in an area adjacent to the city of Los Angeles) and that someone seeing the media coverage might recognize the dog and the dog house.
Also, there are surveillance cameras at businesses and homes that may have recorded a portion of the journey of a vehicle transporting this large dog house to 83rd Street and Grand Avenue and may have captured a license-plate number between Feb. 14 and Feb. 17.
It is unlikely that one person, alone, could have lifted a structure this size with a live animal in it onto and off of a vehicle. Someone may have assisted.
It is worth asking the public for help. It is also important that the person who dumped this animal—and others considering abandoning their pets—know it is a crime and the city takes it seriously.
If you have believe you have any information that will assist in solving this crime, please call Mark Salazar ([email protected]) at Los Angeles Animal Services, (213) 482-7455.