D.A. being asked to review alleged animal-cruelty case
The head of Los Angeles' Animal Services Department said Friday she will ask the district attorney's office to look into the case of a former employee accused of treating dogs inhumanely at the West Valley Animal Shelter in Chatsworth.
Brenda Barnette told The Times earlier this week that she had not considered a criminal referral for Manuel Boado, 64, whose firing was upheld by a city employee panel on Dec. 8. That panel concluded that Boado had failed to sedate dogs before euthanizing them, placed them near other dead animals and inserted the needle into their jugular vein during euthanasia, which is considered more painful than other locations.
Following angry responses from the public over the case, Barnette said in an email that she will forward information on the case to the D.A.'s office
"Several concerned and caring citizens have come forward asking to have [Boado] prosecuted for animal cruelty," she wrote. "The department can request an investigation, which we will do."
Boado had insisted that he did not engage in cruel treatment of shelter animals, saying that he had not been trained properly by the department on euthanasia. His lawyer also said that Boado had had a "bad day" on the day in July 2010 that sparked the disciplinary case -- and had likely yelled at a dog out of frustration over working conditions, including a broken refrigerator that contained animal carcasses.
Barnette responded by telling the city's Civil Service Commission, which ultimately voted to fire Boado, that animal shelter workers cannot have even one bad day when it comes to animal cruelty.
-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall