Los Angeles: On July 4, 2013, around 6:45 p.m., a citizen witnessed a male Hispanic pulling a severely injured dog from the bed of his truck and leaving him for dead in an alley. A Good Samaritan walking by the alley saw the injured dog and took him home for the night in an attempt to care for the dog as best as he could. Due to the extensive injuries observed, the Good Samaritan took the dog to an Animal Shelter for medical treatment. An examination of the dog revealed that the dog was dehydrated and sustained abrasions and burns on both sides of his chest, rear legs, and all four paws. The dog spent four days at the shelter where he was treated with antibiotics for pain management.
On July 9, 2013, The New Hope Rescue Team picked up the dog and named him “Indy”, because he was found on Independence Day. Indy was transported to the Westlake Village Animal Hospital and has received seven months of extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. He was subsequently adopted and is currently being trained to be a therapy dog.
The Los Angeles Police Department Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACTF) became aware of this incident shortly after it occurred and began an extensive animal cruelty investigation. After obtaining video of the alleged involved truck, a media release was sent out asking for the public’s help in locating the distinctive looking truck. The truck was eventually located and held as evidence. As the investigation continued, a suspect was positively identified by witnesses as 41-year-old Carlos Duarte. The case was submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration and one count of felony animal cruelty was charged against Duarte.
On February 6, 2014, Duarte was arrested for the charge and bail was set at $30,000.
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 the ACTF at the following:
(213) 486-0450 [Mon-Fri 7:00 am to 5:00 pm] 877-LAPD-24-7 (877 527-3247) [Non-business hours and weekends (800) 222-TIPS (800 222-8477) [Crime Stoppers – anonymous Text 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) [Crime Stoppers – All messages should begin with the Letters “LAPD” LAPDOnline.org Click on “webtips” and follow prompts.