Did Officer Pro Do Enough?

There has been a small group (3) of Hispanics selling puppies on Nordhoff Street near Lindley for several weeks now. I never stopped, not knowing what the law was about selling puppies in a yard, closely abutting the sidewalk and the public tree lawn where people gathered to check them out. The cage was maybe 5 ft from the sidewalk.

Curious, I called West Valley, both to test their phone answering and response times, as well as checking on what the law was.

After 8 minutes and 41 seconds I talked to someone at West Valley who didn’t know what I was talking about. But he knew he didn't know, and I was bumped up to an ACO.

Explaining the situation, the ACO said they’d send someone out.

First, I was quite pleased I didn't have to wait 30 minutes as has been alleged happened to others--at least not this time and not at West Valley. I guess West Valley is beginning to grow on me.

I stopped by 30 minutes later, and sure enough, there was an Animal Control truck and an ACO Officer talking to the Hispanics. Again, someone had been sent out immediately. No pain, no wait.

I didn’t know what the law was, and what the officer told them, so I questioned him when he returned to his truck.

His name was officer "Pro." He said he told them they cannot sell on the streets and that Animal Services drove by that location all the time. He told me he got all their information. I don't know what that meant, but since he spent a considerable amount of time with them, I assume he got a lot of information.

Pro was a pro. Professional in appearance, friendly, informative.

But, as I was leaving, I asked myself, "Why didn't Animal Services stop these guys 3 weeks ago?" They had been selling the puppies there daily for the three weeks, and an AS truck must have driven by at least 10 times in 21 days.

Nordhoff is a main drag and the shelter is located one mile North on Plummer and about 1.5 miles West.

They even had a huge sign propped up over the lawn and sidewalk saying, “Puppies for sale,” and a truck saying "Exotic Pets" was parked at the curb by the puppies. There was no way to miss it. Also, the ACO I finally talked to on the phone said they had had many calls about this operation popping up all over the neighborhood, which I would surmise they would have investigated that area for some time.

I asked Pro whether they had a license, either an LA business license, or any specific to selling animals to the public. He seemed surprised and told me he did not ask. Pro did say, “You’ll not be seeing them around here again.”

I asked myself, couldn’t Pro have done more than just chase them away to set up operation a dozen blocks away? Why didn’t he check for licenses? Couldn't they have been cited if they didn't have a license? Could the puppies have been impounded?

As it was, they appeared to be selling six, 3 to 4 month old Golden Retrievers kept in a small 4 X 4 cage. At least they had an awning over the cage.

Since I didn't know, I asked a friend what should have been done. He responded:

“Pro didn't want to do his full job. He didn't want to write a report, didn't want to impound the animals, plain and simple. Easier for him to tell them to just move.

"They needed a breeder’s permit if they were bred in the city. They needed a dog kennel permit if they were kept at his house. He needed a pet store permit if he was selling them. No matter what it's illegal to sell them on public property or in front of someone else's property. He needed a USDA permit to breed or sell mammals. As they were over three months I think, they all needed dog licenses. And, coming soon, they'd need to be spayed or neutered."

Actually Pro did take an extensive amount of information and I assume wrote a report. Also, the puppies were actually being sold on a front yard, even though the sellers and buyers were milling around on the sidewalk and tree lawn. Therefore, the property itself might have been the kennel. The truck with the sign Exotic Pets sure indicates a retail operation located elsewhere.

My concern was not whether it was an illegal operation, but what would happen to the puppies? How did they fare in the hands of these guys selling them? Could they have been impouned? What would happen to them if they were and taken to West Valley? Since they were small and not Pitbulls, I assume they would have at least a 90% save rate.

If anybody knows the law and department policies, please leave a comment.



Anonymous said...

I saw those puppies todayt. I took the guy's card and went straight over to Animal Control to report the guy.

There were not 6 Golden Retrievers in the kennel; there was a black Chow-Chow puppy, a Doberman puppy, a husky pup, and four german shepherd pups. There was only one Golden Retriever.

The pups only had two small bowls of water in the kennel and no food.

Besides the fact that the city doesn't want to take the animals and bring them in, officer Pro is a very laid back kind of guy.

The breeder wanted $650 for the chow and shepherds and $750 for the Retreiver, and he said the pups range from 2 months to 3 1/2 months old.

When I asked him if the pups come with vaccinations, he said yes.

I asked if they were going to be s/n, and he said no, they were too young.

I took the guy's license plate, card and the description of the vehicle. When I went to report it, officer Pro had already been sent out.

The truck was still parked out there w/ the pups in the kennels at 5p.m. when I went back.

Yup, the sign posted above his van announcing the pups for sale was HUGE. "PUPPIES FOR SALE" in HUGE letters.

I swirved right around on Nordhoff and went straight over to ask them these questions and then went right over to West VAlley to report.

If the pups don't sell, I am worried about what is going to become of them.

IDOT people.

The pups were not impounded.

Even if they were, people would fight for them...they'd go on the lottery and whoever bids the highest for the pups gets the pup. IT's a way for the shelter to get revenue.

Unless, the rescues grab them first. Then the rescues get to sell them for an arm and a leg.

But at least they'd be chipped, vaccinated, and s/n...and they wouldn't go to just anybody....

I sulk when I get officer PRO on the other end of the line. He is sooooo laid back.

I much prefer some of the ladies. They get stuff done and don't give a hoot if they've been warned not to bring the animals in....IF they see something wrong, the girls will act on it. Some. OThers, well...just turn the other cheek and follow orders....

I figured the guy had a breeder's permit, or he wouldn't have blatantly stuck around all day on the boulevard just a little way's from the shelter if he was trying to hide.


I wanted him to get cited up the Ying-Yang for proliferating and selling those sweet little babies.

Guy sure makes a mint of of each one.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah... when I asked the breeder guy if he had a place where I could see the puppies at a later date, since I was just passing through, he said that he would bring them over to your home to show them...

In case any of you out there want a cute little pup for $650 and $750

The old women who stopped by there were furious that this guy might have been a backyard breeder.

He's fearless, or has nothing to hide, I suppose. No one did anything to him or to the pups.

There was a skinnier guy in the truck with the breeder guy.

Might as well be dealing drugs.

Well, ya wanted porno. Here it is.

Ed Muzika said...

Glad you got closer. I did not see that many dogs, but I did see the Retriever and assumes they all were.

But what is the law?

Should they have been impounded?

If two of us reported him within an hour of each other, how many other complaints must have been phoned in over the last 3 weeks?

They were on a front lawn. Are the dogs kenneled there?

I did a drive through on the alley behind the hosue but could not tell which yard it was.

However, this is one way to keep impounds down---tell them to move down the street.

I don't care if the puppies were sold, taken by rescues or adopted by a Saudi prince not related to Paris Hilton, as long as they were well treated.

Who are the officers you say do a good job?

Was Pro's actions appropriate or unresponsive? I don't know the law. I did get the feeling that he thought my complaint was about the inappropriateness of street vending in Beautiful Downtown Northridge, not about a concern for the puppies.

What will animal services now do with that info? Will anyone investigate?

Only Mr. Boks knows.

Anonymous said...

Where's the Pet Overpopulation Task Force?

Anonymous said...

"Glad you got closer."

Yeah, I was very upset. If you go up and down the boulevard, then you've seen the regular breeder signs posted, often on Tampa and Nordhoff, about australian shepherd pups, and red-nosed pit pups for sale. So, here these little guys were out in plain view for people to gawk at during nap time; no place to poop, and no food.

" I did not see that many dogs, but I did see the Retriever and assumes they all were."

Yup. That's because the retreiver was the largest of them all...some of them, like the doberman were much smaller than the golden retreiver, and he was biting the heck out of the little one's ears, pouncing all over him. Rambunctious little thing.

"But what is the law?"

They need a breeder's permit, and a kennel permit to start.

You need to look it up in the manual---the SPCA has it...don't know the exact wording, but anyone with more than the legal number of animals has to have a breeders'permit if the animals aren't altered, and a kennel permit if there are just more than three.

(Usually the officers will look the other way if the animals are pretty well cared-for, so they won't cite you w/ the violations if they see that the animals are healthy and altered).

BUT, these guys were not altered, so I am assuming the guy had a permit, and that's why officer Pro perhaps just told the guy to move on.

The guy was a peddler with a friggen permit, I'm assuming.

The upshot is that the guy needs to have a permit to both breed and maintain more than the legal number.

As far as selling on the street, it's a vendor's license issue, I'm assuming...don't know.

"They were on a front lawn. Are the dogs kenneled there? "

No. I asked the guy if that is where he lives. He said no. I'm assuming whomever is allowing the guy to sell his pups on the property gets a cut off the deal.

The guy isn't going to give us his home address or the kennel address. He brings them over to you.

"Should they have been impounded?"

If the animals are in poor condition, the officers will fine them and will most likely issue an order to correct the problem. But the pups were in good condition, so I think that only the $100 fine for each animal sold without a permit applies.

"However, this is one way to keep impounds down---tell them to move down the street."

Yeah. The shelters are full, so they really don't want to bring in any if they can really help it. They have to work with the people to encourage them to make changes.

"I don't care if the puppies were sold, taken by rescues or adopted by a Saudi prince not related to Paris Hilton, as long as they were well treated."

Well, they looked pretty good. So that is why the officer didn't want to take them. They would risk getting sick at the shelter. They more that come into the shelter, the greater the chances of developing kennel cough, and other airborne diseases. It puts everybody at risk.

My brother adopted a rotweiller pup long ago, and the pup splattered his guts all over the kitchen floor. Parvo. IT's airborne. It's a risk.

Then you get the panleuk spreading like wildfire among the cats and kittens and it's hell.

I remember when one of my neighbors left her cats behind when she moved, and she left her dog w/out food and water everytime she went on her two-week vacation. There was poo everywhere in the yard.

Officer Pro didn't want to take the cats even though they were abandoned and didn't know how to survive on their own.

There was a panleuk outbreak at the shelter. The cats would have died miserably.

Everytime someone goes in, it's a risk for everybody. You can't isolate them all.

The puppies being sold on the lawn were healthy, and I'm assuming that the guy had a license to breed, and the pups appeared healthy.

What concerned me is that the pups didn't have a place to poo, and they had no food in the kennel, and they had been there all day.

Now you say they've been there for the last three weeks. That's so sad, and so unnecessary, because it could have all been prevented if the guy NEVER bred them in the first place and spent all his money altering every dog in sight instead of making money at their cost.

Oh, well. It makes me sad and it made the elderly ladies I saw there angry. But porno makes me angry too. It's in your face. This guy is breeding in your face and using and misusing poor defenseless animals who don't have a choice.

"Was Pro's actions appropriate or unresponsive?"

I think officer Pro probably has a little Valerian Root tea for breakfast. That job is damn hard, and I know I couldn't do it, nor do I want to.

I think I've said more than enough here. I don't want him coming after me if he gets cranked up and going at some point.

I'm Totally setting myself up here.

"Who are the officers you say do a good job?"

Well, you may not like me at all for this and go after me too...but I am going to take a risk by answering this question:

I Like Briefman a lot; I adore Demacio (spelling?) because she is tough, efficent, fast, and she listens. She gets things done, and she uses wisdom and good sense of judgement. She is reasonable and wants to work.

I admire Lara very, very much. She is gentle, efficient, hardworking and kind.

My heart also goes out to Captain Selder. She is a wonderful listener; she works hard, and she works with you. She is tough, and kind, and admirable.

I like McCarthy too. He's fun to talk to; he's serious, and he looooves animals.

Officer Julian, (Julius) also gets things done. I like him quite a lot. He is also a serious, gentle and kind man.

I know you all hate me for saying this, but it's just the way I feel.

" I did get the feeling that he thought my complaint was about the inappropriateness of street vending in Beautiful Downtown Northridge, not about a concern for the puppies."

Yup...: ) Kind of reeeally frustrating for me. He doesn't like to talk.

"What will animal services now do with that info? Will anyone investigate?"

It depends on the officer, I think.

If you want to know what happened, you can call on another day, perhaps tommorrow, and get an update. Speak to an officer and tell him or her that you put in a report about the puppies for sale on Nordhoff, just East of Yolanda.

Ask them for an update. Then you can tell us all about what you found.

Things are usually handled according to the discretion of the officer handling the situation, I think....

I hope I don't get bombed for saying all this now.

I'm not afraid of telling the world about how I feel about certain officers on staff though, I really love and admire some of these people at West VAlley. They really are super, and I am grateful to them.

I'm the same person who feels for you and little Gracie and mourned for the loss of your baby when you first told us about her....and still feel deeply for you. It's just the way I feel.

Talk to another officer on duty and try to get the answers you are looking for.

Try talking to Briefman. He's cool.

I did not see that many dogs, but I did see the Retriever and assumes they all were."

Anonymous said...

Forgot...Briefman is at East Valley. You can still talk to him though...he's really neat.

Anonymous said...

I hate you for saying that, poster!

ACOs = death

Anonymous said...

Yes I too have had bad expierences with Officer Pro. I ran into him one day on his day off. He was eating a steak at Black Angus. I told him it was deplorable for him to be eating something that was once a living being. His reply "I love animals because they taste so good" I went home to my cat infested house and cried for three days.

Anonymous said...

You hate me for saying what? That I love some of these guys/gals and I appreciate the fact that they take their job seriously and put their feelings on the back burner and get the job done when animals are being abused, neglected, and proliferated through no fault of their own?

Is that what you hate? Get over it Mary. Don't be silly and senseless.

Is that what you want? Little dogs sold on the street for profit while the guy makes more puppies to add to the overpopulation and suffering of animals? You know that a lot of full breeds end up at the shelter when people don't know anything about the breed and can't cope with having them around and they grow up and ain't so cute anymore.

Is that what you hate? The guy should have been cited up the ass for as much as he was selling those pups for: $650 and $750 a piece minumum, plus pain and suffering for having them out there without food or litter box, and a million $$ fine per pup for pain and suffering caused for each mom that was forced to get pregnant and have to go into labor for the GREED of ASSHOLES like that guy.

Is that what you hate? Or is you hate me for putting up the names of the people who I appreciate so that everyone would know what a great job they do and that we need more people like them around to do a job that neither you nor I would be able to cope with.

Or are you an officer who thinks that I shouldn't be talking about other officers for either good or not so good?

I love the effective ones who can deal with the public who educate people and encourage people to stop neglecting animals and give them the care they need and deserve.

Is that what you hate?

Or is it just that I talked about officers at all?

If you are an officer, and you are offended by what I said, I apologize.

But I am not going to apologize for appreciating the good and decent people in the animal world.

Is that ok with you?

Or are you going to go after them now just because they are good, decent people with a strong character, and the fact tha some people in this animal world love the fact that the officers are able to demonstrate their love for animals by the sheer quality of their performance, efficency, and responsiveness each and every day of the week?

So you hate me for saying that these people are serious, loving, kind, dedicated, and tough?

I expected this kind of response. Nothing new.

Anonymous said...

Poster #8, what were you doing at Black Angus in the first place?

Don't even go there, and you won't put yourself in a place where you're going to end up crying in the end.

I wouldn't go there.

Anonymous said...

As a vegetarian of fifteen years, I have to say that approaching someone on their time off, in a public place, and castigating them for what they're eating doesn't help matters much. Particularly if what you need from them is their help and sympathy in saving cats, dogs, etc., not cows.

I don't believe in eating cows, nor do I think his response was particularly mature, although having someone intrude on my privacy while I was off work might bring out the perversity in me too.

People, pick your battles. The cow is gone, but the dog or cat an ACO saves next week because you haven't deliberately antagonized him still has a shot at life. We are never going to win this by telling people their meal is dead. Sorry. Let that fantasy go. All you will do is make them dig their heels in and dismiss us as kooks and rude, elitist clods. There are some battles (those over personal actions of individuals)that confrontation will never win while we still have a free society. Telling someone they are "deplorable for eating something that was once a living being" AS they are eating is going to persuade them of nothing, except that you think you're better than they are.

I certainly didn't become a vegetarian because someone told me I was a cruel, heartless asshole for eating meat.

People are going to care about what you want them to care about much more if they think you are a respectful and reasonable person.

Anonymous said...

If any of you are the reporting party (RP) then you can get information on what the officer did. If not, then the officer cannot discuss what his actions were. California has a privacy act, you know. And if the puppies were not 4 months or older, no license is required yet. Animal control cannot go in and take the animals unless it is covered under the law. In bad condition, no shelter, etc. can give them the authority to take the animals, but not because there are complaints from people who disapprove of the owner's actions and choices. If this is the case then you would need to bolt your doors against animal control. This is not a dictator state where property (and animals are property) can be seize at whim. (Please don't bring up the Mason case, that is totally different from this one.) Most officers prefer to work things out with someone rather than take the animals and the law provides for this. If he had taken them then the complaint would be against that. Officers don't want to risk losing their jobs (just like the rest of us) for not doing their job. Remember to ask for a service call number when you make a complaint so you can do followup. Sorry the law doesn't suit you, work to change it if you don't like the way it is enforced.

Ed Muzika said...

Thanks for all your answers. If I were to summarize, Pro did do the best he could, if he did check if the guy had appropriate permits or licenses, and there then will be an appropriate followup.

I just worry about the care the puppies were receiving given that one commenter said there was no food and a way to pee.

I would like AS to take a look at his "kennel," and shut him down if it proves unacceptable.

I agree that the dogs should not have been impounded due to danger to them--unless of course, their treatment now is unacceptable. I just did not know the law.

About the dictatorial state and the mention that the Mason case was different, it is and was not different. His property was seized and no method of getting them back was offered. Where it happens once, it can happen again and again, especially as officer Jenney Potts told Mason, "We can take anything we want, any time we want."

Anonymous said...

Hi Again, Mr. Muzika:

Here's an answer to one of your questions about "what is the law." I didn't answer the question thoroughly because I don't know the wording from memory.

When you go to the following website, type in 53.00 into the "quick search."


Look up the 53.00 legal code listings after about 53.11 or so...

It's fun to read the codes, but it's scary too...

I'm especially thinking of the poster that attacked officer Pro with her vegetarian "mad cow" delight during Pro's dinner and then told us she went back to a "cat infested home."


All of this info is made available to us through the animal services website under "Laws and Policies."

Have fun with the reading!

If you want the number to the breeder guy on the card, I have that too. Maybe someone can go out and check his kennels...

This time, I would call the SPCALA, if there is a problem.

Officer Pro didn't find anything wrong with a report I made about a dog who was tethered and caged for months in the back of the owner's yard; no shade during the summer, no place to excercize, water bowls turned over...the dog grew up in that cage.

I kept calling about the problem until some really wonderful officers finally went out there to correct the situation. SPCALA was also involved in educating the family, and they finally got a few citations, I gather...the officers were writing stuff on a pad.

It took about a year to finally get some results. There was a huge improvement. The dog finally got a dog house built for him and a dog run, and he was moved closer to the only tree in the dirt yard. Still no fence for the dog to run around, but the dog's condition is much improved.

The dog had another one in the cage crammed inside. The idiot owners got rid of the second dog, rather than make improvements, like building a fence. They're in construction. Rather got rid of the dog than make changes.

They kept the one dog and at least the dog isn't crammed in a tiny cage anymore.

When I originally put in the report, Pro did nothing. Didn't see a problem.

After calling Animal Cruelty and putting in several calls into the shelter and writing out the codes I found on the laws and policies handbook that I found on the LAAS website (The one that Mr. Muzika put up a few months ago), there was finally a response from lots of officers---however, turned out that the handbook was a fraud.

Anyhooo...the point is that after lots and lots of calling and pressing the situation, everybody went out there, the one dog is left, and he's in a much better condition than he was in before.

He's spending the rest of his life alone and without companionship, locked behind that dog run, and I would rather a fence be built for him to run around in the yard, but the law doesn't require such a change and I have to be happy that the idiots at least made some kind of change.

The officers had to fight like hell and work with the idiot owners to keep educating them and encouraging to make any change at all. They didn't want to push so hard that they would give up the second dog, so they let things be.

Idiots were hiding another dog inside the house during this time and gave up the beautiful huge husky mix.

Anyway, if you're not happy with one response, get another officer. Look up the codes and use that as a back up when you need to.

You do need to be respectful and try to work with the officers so that you can get the help you need in favor of the animal you are trying to protect...I am completely with the poster who gave us this advice.

Anonymous said...

"I would like AS to take a look at his "kennel," and shut him down if it proves unacceptable."

Yes. I'm crossing my fingers on this one and hope for nothing but the best for those puppies.

Anonymous said...

Well, the guy and his black Astro Chevy Van was peddling his pups on Nordhoff again---this time near Woodley. He was there all day, with his stupid sign, pointing to a home where he got rid of one of the shepherd pups for a good $700 bucks.

Right on the street.

Called LAPD--it was the Mission Hills district.

Officer said there is absolutely nothing that can be done, unless the guy is selling them on a street corner, or at some sort of gas station, on public property.

If he's selling the pups on somebody's lot of front lawn, the LAPD would have to get a complaint from the owner of the property before they could get out there to cite him for selling without a vendor's license.

Called SPCALA and left a message.

Also called the Spay/Neuter Task Force and left a message w/ the guy's license plate.

This after getting guess who on the phone again today at you know where, and couldn't get an update, even though I put in the call yesterday about the same situation.

There is nothing anyone can do as far as checking out the kennel conditions without an address.

You can't just give the phone number, or a cell, or a license number because, as I've been told by the lieutenant regarding a different situation, they're not the FBI.

We need an address and we need a report that the dogs are being abused or neglected. Without that, we have nothing except to hope for the best for all of those puppies that will continue to be overbred until the mother is no longer good for anything and she gets shot somewhere, or dropped off at the shelter cause she's had too many litters and she's good for nothing anymore.

Assholes do it all the time. Makes you want to beat your head against the friggen wall.

Oh well...