LOS ANGELES — Additional staffing, new vehicles and equipment, and a new communications center in the Antelope Valley have been approved to enhance the Department of Animal Care and Control’s ability to protect the public from dangerous dogs, according to an announcement by L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.
Nearly $775,000 in additional staffing and equipment were approved in the Final Recommended Budget, and an additional $2.4 million has been set aside for adoption in the Supplemental Budget.
On July 1, five additional animal control officers will be deployed and have access to six new vehicles, and protective equipment — collapsible batons, pepper spray, ballistic vests, and duty belts. In addition, nine new positions will staff the Critical Case Processing Unit team which investigates dangerous dog cases — and the Major Cases Unit will receive three additional officers to conduct in-depth criminal investigations into animal cruelty, neglect, illegal animal fighting, and animal hoarding situations, according to Antonovich.
The additional resources come in aftermath of brutal and deadly dog attacks in the Antelope Valley in recent months.
On May 9, 63-year-old Pamela Devitt was mauled to death by a pack of at least four vicious dogs as she took her daily morning walk in Littlerock. An autopsy concluded Devitt sustained approximately 150-200 puncture wounds.
The dogs’ owner, 29-year-old Alex Jackson, has been charged with murder in connection with the incident. (Read more here.)
On Dec. 30, 2012, 6-year-old Carlos Blakely had to be airlifted to the hospital after he was brutally attacked by a pack of dogs in the front yard of his grandparents’ Lake Los Angeles home. (Read more here.)
“With additional staffing and resources, the County’s animal control officers will have the tools necessary to patrol our neighborhoods and hold irresponsible owners accountable when they allow their dogs to roam, fight, breed and attack other pets and people,” Antonovich said.