AV sees an increase in animal cruelty cases

Authorities broke up a dogfighting ring in Littlerock this summer, and 12 people were arrested (read more here). County animal control officials said the cases of animal cruelty in the Antelope Valley have since increased. The department has responded to four different AV cases in the past month alone.

LANCASTER – The Antelope Valley has seen a rash of animal cruelty investigations in the last few months, according to staff at the L.A. County Department of Animal Care and Control’s Lancaster center.

The Lancaster staff has responded to four different cases within the past month alone, authorities said.

The most recent occurrence was last week (Oct. 29), when county animal control officers accompanied Lancaster’s Code Enforcement team to confiscate 34 cats and 10 dogs from unsanitary conditions on a property in Lancaster.

The owner eventually relinquished the animals to the department.

A week prior to that incident (Oct. 23), county animal control officers issued a warrant to seize 38 horses and three dogs from a property in Acton.  The animals on the property had no access to food or water and resided in unsanitary conditions, officials said.

With help from the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) Emergency Response Team volunteers, all of the animals were confiscated. The owner faces animal cruelty charges, and the case is pending investigation.

“Removing the horses from the property was an all-day effort, and our staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure every horse was removed from the property,” said director Marcia Mayeda. “Once they arrived in our care, they were fed, given fresh water, and medical attention.”

Earlier in October, DACC assisted the Sheriff’s Department in unincorporated Palmdale, where four dogs were seized and the owner pled guilty to numerous counts of dog fighting and animal cruelty charges.

Three days prior to the dog fighting incident, DACC responded to numerous complaints from neighbors in unincorporated Littlerock. The department confiscated 129 cats and 15 dogs that were living in filthy and unsanitary conditions.

This case is currently pending investigation and is being prepared for the County of Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.

“Our staff is currently undergoing intensive trainings to ensure we are preparing the most comprehensive cases for the District Attorney’s office to review for prosecution,” Mayeda said. “Our animal control officers are the voice for the animals, so each animal rescued from cruel and inhumane circumstances is a victory.”

In light of the recent activities involving animal cruelty, DACC urges the public to contact their local animal control agency if animal cruelty is suspected.

DACC would also like to remind the public about the Dog Fighting Tip Line that’s made available by the County of Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office – 877-NO2FITE.

“It is important to understand that weapons, drugs, gambling, and alcohol abuse are often closely connected with dog fighting, so it is crucial for the public to use the tip line to report such activity.” Mayeda said.

For life threatening emergencies to animals, call 911.

(Information via the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control.)