By Edwin Folven, 1/10/2013
Man allegedly ordered dog to kill a neighborhood cat
Some residents near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Larrabee Street in West Hollywood are outraged about an animal cruelty incident in which an individual allegedly commanded his dog to attack a cat, mauling it to death.
The incident occurred around 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 2 in the 1100 block of Larrabee Street. West Hollywood resident Katy Junge said she awoke to the sound of a person yelling and a cat shrieking. She looked out her window to see a man with a pit bull standing over a neighborhood cat named Phantom. Junge said her friend yelled that they were calling the police, and the man quickly hurried away. By the time they went outside, Phantom had suffered fatal injuries.
“I heard the cat crying out and screaming, and I heard the man yell ‘take that’ in a very violent tone. He repeated it several times,” Junge said. “I saw him hovering over the cat. When I ran across the street to check on the cat, he slowly died, so we called the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Department.”
Lt. Michael White, with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, said according to reports, a deputy was sent to the location and found the dead cat. The suspect had left the area, however, and there was not much more police could do at the time. White said instances of animal cruelty are considered very serious, however, and the matter will be investigated further if more information surfaces.
“[The charge] would be cruelty to animals. You can’t sick your dog against someone or someone’s animal,” White said. “If people are willing to come forward, we are interested in investigating.”
Larrabee Street resident Mary Sutton said the incident has galvanized the neighborhood to ensure that something similar doesn’t happen again. She said approximately 10 to 15 residents came together when they heard about Phantom’s death, and many people remain concerned about their pets.
“The really terrifying thing is that this could be someone living in our neighborhood. I am worried for all of my animals,” Sutton said. “They say good things come from bad, and the amazing thing is how our neighbors have rallied around it. Everybody is watching out for each other’s animals.”
Junge said residents in the neighborhood are planning to put up flyers warning the public about what happened. She described the man as being Caucasian, under 30 years old with a medium build and short, dark hair. She described the dog as a “blue nose” pit bull, gray in color.
The crime of animal cruelty can be charged as a felony, punishable by imprisonment and a fine of up to $20,000, or both. Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at (310)855-8850.