-- a group banned in 2017 by LA Animal Services GM Brenda Barnette from keeping dogs in the city of Los Angeles.
LA Animal Services’ decision was generated when two Pit Bulls owned by Ace of Hearts, a West Hollywood (Los Angeles County) organization which “specializes in bully breeds,” attacked innocent victims in two separate incidents while in the care of fosters in LA.
Both were declared Dangerous Dogs by LA Animal Services' GM Brenda Barnette, meaning the dogs must be removed from the city or be euthanized and that the owner cannot license or keep another dog within the city limits for three years.
Kari Whitman, founder of Ace of Hearts, appealed. The appeals on both Pit Bulls were heard by the Animal Services Commission and the Dangerous Dog declarations were upheld. The appeal on the second Pit Bull, which had viciously attacked two children, was held on November 14, 2017.
(See: Ace of Hearts Rescue Loses Right to Keep Dogs in LA After Pit Bull Attacks)
VIOLENT ATTACK ON FOSTER DOG, BRODY
On April 16, KERO (Bakersfield), and other media sources announced that Brody, a dog “rescued” by Ace of Hearts and left with a foster in California City, “. . .is fighting to recover after a brutal attack left him with nearly a foot-long stab wound and other injuries which indicated he had been beaten, as well as stabbed.”
Reports state that Ace of Hearts, the organization that was “caring for the dog,” is calling for justice, seeking a new foster home and accepting donations for $11,000 in surgery and veterinary care.
Kari Whitman, founder of Ace of Hearts, told KERO that 10-year-old Brodie “had been under foster care in Cal City for the past several months. She said, “his foster left Brodie in a side yard to her tiny home and when she returned found him badly wounded.”
"She had supposedly had an altercation with her sister," Whitman said, "and came back and he had an 11.5-inch knife wound all the way down his spine, a broken leg and hip.”
He is now in an animal hospital in Woodland Hills, and Whitman said, “she wants the person responsible for his injuries to be held accountable.”
Does she need look farther than a mirror?
IS ACE OF HEARTS REMOVING ITSELF FROM RESPONSIBILITY?
Describing the release of an alleged Dogo Argentino-mix, a Mastiff-breed dog, to someone in a “tiny house” with violent relatives as “caring for the dog” may be a hard sell.
Brody was previously in a “high-kill shelter before being rescued” by Ace of Hearts, TMZ reported. There is no indication of Brody’s past behavioral record, and why he was impounded. Ace of Hearts’ site and past record in Los Angeles indicate it takes “at-risk” bully breeds from shelters.
It is unlikely Brody would have sustained these horrific and painful wounds in a shelter, so. . .
WAS HE REALLY ‘RESCUED?’
ACE OF HEARTS AND BEST FRIENDS’ ‘NO KILL LA’
On the Best Friends Animal Society site, above the assertion, “We will reach no-kill in this country by 2025,” is a link to Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue (NKLA), which states:
Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue is a 501(c)3 foundation dedicated to rescuing dogs the day they are scheduled to be euthanized from various Los Angeles shelters and placing them in qualified, loving homes. We rescue all breeds, and specialize in bully breeds. . .We rehabilitate and place dogs in the right homes.’
It appears that may not be going so well, considering the ban by of LA Animal Services, and the recent headlines regarding Ace of Hearts’ placement of Brody.
POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS ‘NO KILL’ POLICIES
The advent of the “No Kill” movement brought the overt and underlying goals of painting official animal shelters as “animal killers,” rather than as the only safe refuge for many unwanted pets and strays.
Another strange phenomena is that both governmental (tax-funded) and private (donation-supported) shelters are destroying their own reputations for safety and professional care in order to appease and garner favor with the large “humane” organizations that are raking in millions of dollars by influencing media reports that handing out animals to anyone - and not taking them to shelters -- is better than safeguarding them in facilities designed, maintained AND REGULATED to protect their health and safety under local and state law.
One of the first “No Kill” measures implemented by GM Brenda Barnette was a policy in LAAS shelters prohibiting behavioral notes on kennel cards where they might be seen by the public, since full disclosure of employees’ experiences or observations might influence a potential adopter. The reported or often-obvious designation of the breed of dogs was also eliminated.
It has now evolved into the HASS (Human Animal Support Services) program, which adds encouraging shelters to not take in lost and stray pets, if possible, and encouraging finders to take in any found animals and advertising online to find the owner, rather than taking them to the local shelter where the owner would search for the pet.
The latest “No Kill” step is that dogs and cats in the shelter will be drugged in order to modify their behavior and “stress” and expedite adoptions. (See: Dogs, Cats Will be Drugged in LA Animal Services “No Kill Shelters.)
Shelters are also urging owners to avoid shelters completely by doing a “home-to-home” placement from such sources as Craigslist, Facebook, Next Door, etc. This is destroying the ability to enforce laws regarding the health, welfare and protection of pets, licensing, spay/neuter, and microchipping and to monitor the conditions, activities, and sales by unregistered backyard breeders.
THE OUTCOME CAN BE TRAGIC:
Riverside, CA, Man Arrested for Beating and Allegedly Slitting Dog’s Throat, Posting Video
On April 26, 2021, Los Angeles KTLA News reported Angel Ramos-Corrales, 19, was arrested in Riverside, California, on a federal charge of “animal crushing” when he allegedly slit the throat of a dog and posted a video on Snapchat of the dying animal, which he kicked to demonstrate his assertion, “I am cold-hearted.”
The victim was a tiny Chihuahua he had bought on Craigslist. A complaint was filed with Riverside Police after Ramos-Corrales allegedly posted the video showing the small brown dog with a large laceration on its neck, and then kicked the dog, which he had named Canelo, who was still alive at the time.
Animal Control Officers and police responded to the home, where they found the dog still “barely alive” and Ramos-Corrales with fresh blood stains and cut wounds to his hands,” the news release states. He told officials he did not remember what he had done.
A veterinarian mercifully euthanized the tiny dog, which Ramos-Corrales had reportedly had for several months, after determining that the animal’s extensive severe injuries included fractured bones in his head and chest.
Ramos-Corrales was arrested by the FBI and the Riverside Police Department and appeared in court later the same day. He did not enter a plea and was released on a $15,000 bond, the Associated Press reported.
“Animal crushing” is a unique category of cruelty in which certain types of animals are mutilated and subjected to “serious bodily injury not related to hunting or other lawful activities,” as described in a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
Ramos-Corrales can face up to seven years in federal prison, if convicted.
Cats Obtained on Craigslist Strangled and Tortured, According to Prosecutors
St. Charles, MO, prosecutors charged a man with animal abuse after he admitted to buying over a dozen cats on Craigslist, torturing and killing them.
According to Fox2 News, multiple dead cats and kittens were found in the area between January 1, 2019 and May 9, 2019. According to the prosecutor’s office, more than a dozen cats may have been killed. They said some kittens were found mutilated.
Court documents said Kaine Louzader, who works at a hospital, told police he “would strangle or stomp on the heads of the cats in the bathtub or backyard patio.” The suspect said after killing the cats he dismembered them by removing the heads or cutting off the limbs.
On May 26, 2019, St. Charles County prosecutors charged Louzader with two counts of animal cruelty.
Man Accused of Chaining Cats at Escondido, CA, Compound
And, two months later, in Esconcido, CA, NBCSanDiego reported that authorities arrested Joshua Boyer on multiple felony counts of cruelty to animals in connection with the alleged torture and killing of cats apparently acquired via Craigslist and animal adoption groups.
The arrest reportedly “came a month-and-a-half after several cat carcasses and more chained live cats were found during three searches of his home.” The report states that ten dead cats were found in a locked shed on property where Boyer was the only one with access.
The shed also contained firearms, a crossbow with arrows, bats and knives, several of which had blood and fur on them.
Prosecutors said some of the dead cats had their legs zip-tied to cages, some had metal BB’s and bullet fragments in them, and some were burned. All but one had an empty stomach. (See: PETA’s blog / Craigslist Killers. . .)
‘RESCUING’ - A BLESSING OR FATAL OBSESSION?
Under “No Kill” policies, animals are transported across the U.S. and into other countries under the guise of “saving” them. But there is little, or no follow-up on what ultimately happens to them.
Here’s a current example:
On April 7, 2021, the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant near Capon Bridge, W Va., and shut down the “Love Shack” animal rescue/foster because the situation was unsuitable for keeping animals and due the failure to comply with state and local laws.
Deputies, Hampshire County Animal Shelter personnel and a veterinarian were on site Monday and Tuesday at the rescue operated by Sabrina Drescher. And it was announced that criminal charges will be sought.
The report states:
At least three decomposed dog carcasses were reportedly on the “rescue” site.
The Sheriff’s office said the rescue consisted of multiple makeshift kennels set up in a wooded area, dogs being kept in cages inside outbuildings, in two separate houses and some in vehicles.”
Throughout all of this, a very disturbing fact is many of these dogs were being shipped to the Love Shack from several rescues located in more Southern states,
The dogs were reportedly being shipped without any type of reference checks and on-site visits, the report states.
The “rescuer” is fighting to keep 12 of the dogs.
MORE PROBLEMS WITH UNMONITORED ‘RESCUE’
We can never forget the agony at Spindletop Rescue in Willis, TX, where 300 dogs were found in deplorable conditions, causing unforgivable cruelty, and the rescuer/owner arrested.
(See: Hundreds of dogs seized in Texas Pit Bull sanctuary raid.)
IN THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES, THE PROBLEM BEGINS HERE
LA Animal Services: Pit Bull with a Violent History Attacks Adopter. . .
A Pit Bull named Sammy with a prior record of repeated aggression and who had just bitten a Los Angeles Animal Services’ kennel worker in the abdomen, was released on April 28, 2016, to NovaStar Rescue, at the personal instruction of LA Animal Services General Manager Brenda Barnette.
NovaStar states on its site that it was started in 2012, lists only a PO Box address in Ola, Arkansas, and describes itself as “[a] small rescue in Ola, Arkansas. The main focus of NovaStar is to . . . save the pitties, the most loyal yet most misunderstood dogs.”
“Sammy” was the name given to the dog by kennel staff. He was formerly named, “Sadom.”
He was described as a Male, Unaltered, Black and White American Staffordshire Terrier, Age: 5 yrs. Weight: 69 lbs. and was listed for adoption to the public.
During the time Sammy was being offered to a “forever” home, he was chalking up warnings by shelter personnel -- Then on April 14, the memo reads, “DOG BIT AN Animal Control Technician. RABIES OBSERVATION.”
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER GM BRENDA BARNETTE RELEASED SAMMY
It is surprising that -- considering the documented history of this dog -- the GM would release it for adoption, BUT she did. And on May 15, Los Angeles Fire Department and LAPD responded to a small, unkempt older house on White Knoll Drive, Los Angeles 90012, (near downtown LA) at approximately 9 pm, where a pit bull was attacking a woman who “was visiting dog to determine if she wants to adopt from the rescue who had been fostering the dog.” That dog was later identified by LA Animal Services as “Sammy.”
“Sammy” was alive but had been stabbed 19 times by a neighbor who heard the victim screaming. He was transported to an emergency clinic, where he was euthanized, according to the County Dept. of Public Health report.
CHANGE THE CA LAW THAT ALLOWS ‘NO KILL’ FOR DANGEROUS DOGS
Considering the danger to both animals and humans, isn’t it time the CA Food and Agricultural Code that mandates unsafe animals “shall” be released to rescues upon request be reconsidered by California lawmakers and at least changed to “may” be released?
TIME FOR RESPONSIBILITY IN “RESCUE”
Sharon Logan, President Of Paw Protectors Rescue, in Orange County, California, commented, “This industry has gone far too long without checks and balances.
Reckless rescues that display no regards to public safety, other animals or humans seem to be the current trend in the animal welfare sphere. It's time to take the stigma out of humane euthanasia when it's necessary.”
It is time for rescues, shelters, and the public (including the media) to stop the mania of “No Kill” and concentrate on responsibility, for everyone’s sake.
(Phyllis M. Daugherty is a former City of Los Angeles employee and a contributor to CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.