Humane society reviewed
A judge ruled Tuesday that a humane society that raided two San Fernando Valley businesses for animal cruelty must reapply for humane officer privileges. Superior Court Judge David S. Wesley ruled that members of the Bureau of Humane Law Enforcement cannot act as humane officers until he resolves questions about their legitimacy as a local humane group. A third hearing on the Hawthorne-based agency was set for Jan. 30. “I just want to know what’s going on here,” Wesley said during a downtown hearing instigated by Los Angeles police. “I just want to know why they’re doing business in Southern California.” During the hearing, Wesley said he was troubled by such BHLE titles as captain and lieutenant when the group had no rank-and-file officers. “Those titles bother me,” he said. “I’ll make no bones about it. ‘Lieutenant’ and ‘captain’ suggest someone with vast experience, someone who has come up through the ranks.” Brian Acree, co-founder of the BHLE, said his group hopes to work with local agencies to educate the public and to end animal cruelty. “It’s a way of finding a way to work together,” said Acree, an Oakland-based civil-rights and environmental attorney. “Animal Services, the LAPD and the City Attorney’s Office – we all want the same thing: to stop animal cruelty.” Dana Bartholomew, (818) 713-3730 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Warrants obtained by the newly formed agency led to the shutdown this fall of Angel Puss and Boots Rescue in Canoga Park and the Los Angeles Quail Farm in Sun Valley, both alleged to have kept sick animals in deplorable conditions. While activists have praised the BHLE for pursuing such businesses when city agencies failed, Department of Animal Services officials have criticized the group for failing to follow through. Attorneys for the Los Angeles Police Department argued in court papers that the BHLE was not authorized to operate locally as a humane agency. BHLE officials countered that only a court glitch imperiled its proper registration. Tuesday’s hearing addressed the alleged failure by the bureau to incorporate in Los Angeles County, as required by law. It also named two BHLE officers for obtaining warrants without being properly sworn in. The Bureau of Humane Law Enforcement was incorporated in Contra Costa County in 2004, then moved to Acton early this year before opening a Hawthorne office with four humane officers.