A local rescue group is calling for an investigation into animal cruelty after coming to the aid of a dying female pit bull dumped in a South Los Angeles neighborhood following a suspected sexual assault.
Members of Ghetto Rescue — a nonprofit animal rescue group based in Anaheim Hills — were alerted Aug. 6 by a resident in the 100 block of West 85th Street in Florence that a gray and white pit bull had been dumped from a small, dark-colored car by two men, according to a Facebook post, the Orange County Register reported.
A chip on the 5-year-old dog showed she was adopted from the Orange County animal shelter on July 23. The pit bull, named Valerie, had been in the shelter for three months.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Task Force has started an investigation, according to the Register.
“(Valerie) passed away about one hour ago, and we are in tears,” Ghetto Rescue posted on Facebook at 11:16 a.m. Tuesday. “She was comfortable, and on pain medication. The only thing we can be thankful for is she did not die on the sidewalk alone. Other than her vagina trauma nothing was obviously wrong. No scrapes or abrasions.”
“She had no external injuries and none were seen in Xray,” the post continued. “While writing this post we were informed that her aorta was ruptured. Vet suspects trauma to the chest area.”
Posts by Ghetto Rescue drew the attention of the LAPD. On Aug. 9, investigators began interviewing witnesses, said LAPD Detective Al Erkelens. Investigators also were planning to speak with the veterinarian who treated Valerie on the evening of Aug. 6.
Erkelens said he cannot confirm Ghetto Rescue’s allegation of sexual assault but said it will be investigated, as will the pit bull’s aortic rupture.
“There are two possible crimes, bestiality which is a misdemeanor and intentional injury to the dog that was meant to inflict pain, suffering or death to the dog,” Erkelens said. “If (someone) did something to cause the aorta to rupture, that is a felony.”
Erkelens said his unit responds to less than 10 cases of bestiality a year.