LA residents raise concerns over homeless pet ownership – NBC Los Angeles

Marathon runner Don McGreal was taking a morning walk near Marina del Rey last week when he says a dog belonging to a homeless woman sank its teeth into both of his legs.

“It looked like he had been attacked by a bear. His legs were covered in blood,” said Celia Williamson, McGrail’s wife, who took him to the ER.

Celia wrote about the dog attack on the Next Door app, and at least four other people posted that they, or their friends or neighbors, had been bitten by the same dog, which belongs to the same homeless woman. .

Celia Williamson told the I-Team, “She always looked so upset. She looked like she might be on drugs.”

According to the LA Homeless Service Authority, there are between 3,000 and 6,000 dogs and other pets belonging to homeless people in most of the LA area.

Several NBC4 viewers have contacted the I-Team because they’ve seen pets owned by homeless people that aren’t being cared for properly, and they’ve told us about dogs that are being used. have been reported to have become violent, attacking people.

“The owner was out of control of the dog, and it lunged and tore at my calf,” said Scott Palmer, who said he was bitten by the same dog near Marina Del Rey the day before Don McGreal was bitten. .

But when concerned residents call LA Animal Control about neglected or violent pets belonging to homeless people, they tell the I-Team the agency does little or nothing to protect the animals or the public. she does.

“I wanted them to come out, monitor the dog, see if the dog is OK, see if the dog is a threat to society,” said Celia Williamson, who took her husband to L.A. after the dog bit him. Called Animal Services. January 3

“They said they only have two investigators for all of West Los Angeles and they don’t have the manpower to handle a case like this,” Williamson told the Eye Team.

But Williamson says something else, two different animal services officers told him on separate occasions, made him even more worried.

Williamson added, “that they were instructed by the mayor that … they are not allowed to take stray dogs away from homeless people … even if the dog is dangerous.”

Across from L.A. in the West Valley, another concerned resident, Fawn Aselia, also reported a dog belonging to a homeless man, who she says was not getting enough food or water.

“The dog’s water dish is upside down and there’s no water in it, and there’s no food in the food dish. The dog house was tipped over and there was feces and urine all over the floor,” says Isili as she walks by. If so, he has seen it many times. by the homeless camp on Corbin Avenue in Winnetka.

Assili says he has tried to talk to the dog’s owner, a homeless woman who lives in a tent at the camp, but says he worries the woman is unable to care for the dog. is, and does not have access to any services, including basic hygiene.

“She apparently can’t take care of herself properly, so how can she take care of an animal?” Asley observed. So she called LA Animal Services.

“I think they need to come get the dog. This animal will be better off in a shelter and hopefully someone will rescue it, and give the animal a good home,” Iseli told NBC4. Told to

But Iselli says Animal Services won’t do that. They told him they went and checked on the dog, said it looked like it was being fed, and said, “The dog would have to be in pain for us to do anything.”

The I-Team wanted to address the concerns of its viewers, so we requested an interview with Staycee Dains, general manager of LA Animal Services — an agency with a $26.9 million annual taxpayer-funded budget.

Animal Services did not respond to NBC4’s interview request, or specific incidents, but sent a statement that said, “The department…removes animals from owners in cases of abuse, neglect, if necessary. .. In addition, animals may be removed. by owners if the animal is exhibiting potentially dangerous behavior.”

The agency also said, “LA Animal Services is not under any order from the mayor” not to remove nuisance animals from homeless people, even if the dogs pose a danger to the public.

Additionally, a spokesperson for Mayor Karen Bass told the i-Team that Animal Services was “never under any such direction from the mayor” regarding the pets of the homeless.

Some West LA residents who live near a homeless woman whose dog attacked people are still waiting for action from Animal Services.

“I want us to feel safe, to be able to go out in our neighborhoods and not feel like we’re living in the woods and being attacked by an animal,” Celia Williamson told the iTeam. can.”

Full statement from LA Animal Services:

The priority is to promote and protect the health, safety and welfare of animals and Angelenos. The department’s policy for removal is not based on whether the animal’s owner is home or not. The department works to resolve all situations and, if necessary, removes animals from owners in cases of physical injury/pain as a result of abuse, neglect, or cruelty. In addition, animals may be removed from owners if the animal is exhibiting potentially dangerous behavior. Experiencing homelessness, in and of itself, is not a reason to remove one’s companion animal.

If a dangerous animal poses a threat to Angelenos, LAAS can remove the animal.

LA Animal Services is not under any such mayor’s order. If it did, it was an independent actor with no authority or knowledge of the issue. We apologize to the person cited for misrepresenting department policy.

Anyone who has a complaint can visit. LAAS website To find our list of shelters to notify the department.

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