The hunt for a bestiality suspect was underway Wednesday as the Los Angeles Police Department opened a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual assault and battery on a pit bull adopted from Orange County Animal Care in July.
“A crime report has been taken and a search warrant has been served,” LAPD Det. Al Erkelens, who leads the department’s Animal Cruelty Task Force, confirmed to the Orange County Register this week.
The investigation follows a request by Ghetto Rescue, a nonprofit Anaheim Hills rescue group, which called for law enforcement to look into the case after being notified of a dog found dying in a South Los Angeles neighborhood on Aug. 6.
The group responded and took the gray and white pit bull to a nearby veterinary facility. A chip on the five-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.
“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 last week. “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.
“Sexual assaults with dogs does occur,” he said. “Most cases are reported either because they are seen or someone tells someone about it.”
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