Los Angeles: In the last couple of years, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACTF) has seen an increase in the number of cases where video evidence has been provided by members of the public.
Video evidence has captured images of the horrific violence often associated with animal cruelty. With the availability of smart phones and video surveillance, this valuable evidence has contributed greatly to the identification of suspects and criminal charges of animal cruelty being filed.
Noteworthy is the number of cases where members of the public have reached out to ACTF with video evidence to report animal cruelty incidents. A common factor compelling members of the public to provide video evidence on animal cruelty cases is a deep concern for public safety. Witnesses come to the realization that anyone that would commit such horrific acts of violence on defenseless animals could also do the same to humans.
On January 3, 2014, the ACTF received its latest case where members of the public captured images of animal cruelty. This information led to the arrest of 28-year-old Dossey James. In this case, James repeatedly dragged a puppy on a leash up and down the street and sidewalk because it refused to walk. The video images clearly revealed the puppy being dragged a considerable distance. Witnesses reported that despite the puppy being injured and leaving a blood trail on the sidewalk, James continued to inflict trauma on the puppy.
The incident caused Southwest Patrol Officers to respond and arrest James for Animal Cruelty. The ACTF was notified and immediately responded and assumed the investigation. The puppy received medical treatment for his injuries, which consisted of numerous lacerations to the legs, and stomach area. The puppy required surgical repair of the lacerations, and is expected to make a full recovery. During the investigation the video evidence was discovered.
On January 7, 2014, the District Attorney’s Office charged James with two counts of felony Animal Cruelty, and set bail at $145,000. The reason for the large bail amount was due to the investigation uncovering another similar incident of animal abuse alleged against James.
The ACTF was established in 2005 and consists of personnel from the Los Angeles Police Department and the Department of Animal Services. This partnership facilitates a comprehensive approach to the prevention, intervention, detection, and prosecution of acts of animal cruelty. The success of ACTF is achieved through the investigative expertise of the task force members, the use of veterinary forensics, and the prosecution efforts of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The City of Los Angeles aggressively investigates and prosecutes acts of animal cruelty. There is a strong correlation between those who commit acts of animal cruelty and those who commit acts of violence against humans, and the goal of the ACTF is to break the cycle of violence through aggressive prevention, intervention, detection, and prosecution of acts of animal cruelty.
Acts of animal cruelty can be reported by contacting ACTF detectives at (213) 486-0450. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to www.lapdonline.org, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips.”
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