Los Angeles police and other officials are looking into the disappearance of 64 animals, most of them dogs, from city shelters over the past year.
The Los Angeles Times reported on its website last Tuesday, May 31, that 49 of the missing dogs, cats and other critters disappeared from one shelter in the city’s Lincoln Heights neighborhood.
Animals “Wrongly Disappeared”
As first reported by the Associated Press via CBS Los Angeles, Animal Services Department general manager Brenda Barnette says some could have been incorrectly listed as missing because of clerical errors, but she described at least some as having “wrongly disappeared.”
Many of the missing animals were considered “highly adoptable” and officials are trying to determine if any were stolen and sold for a profit.
The Young Ones, The Cute Ones
From The Los Angeles Times:
“They were the young ones, the cute ones,” Barnette said. “They were ones that would have been likely to have been sold or be a nice gift for someone.” The majority of the unaccounted-for animals were dogs, Barnette said.
In April, officials turned the matter over to the Los Angeles Police Department, as well as the city Personnel Department, which has a team of administrative investigators. Since then, the animal services agency has added new locks at the North Central shelter and changed some of the personnel assigned there.
Barnette would not say if any employees had been placed on leave.
Sarah Hamilton, spokeswoman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, had few details on the investigation but confirmed that Barnette had asked for help with the probe. “She wants to have a well-run department, and when she saw this discrepancy she came to the mayor’s office and asked for assistance,” Hamilton said.
Sold On The Black Market?
Have shelter workers been selling the very cutest of their animals on the cute-beast black market for cash? Or have these animals simply been stolen?
Whatever the answer, it’s good to know that the Los Angeles Police Department is taking this seriously enough to launch an investigation.
Photo Credit: chris.corwin via Creative Commons
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