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11 thoughts on “Letter: After Pit Bull Kills Dog and Maims Man, Victims Seek to Advance Public Safety in Los Angeles

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  1. "The Los Angeles Leash Law states that any dog taken off of the owner's premises must "be restrained by a substantial chain or leash not exceeding 6 feet in length" and be in the control of a competent person when off property."

    LOL! A "competent person" ? Doesn't that exclude all pit owners right there?

  2. This is OUTRAGEOUS. Blaming the victim gone wild. EVERYTHING that happened, followed as a consequence of the pit bull owner's choices and negligence. The pit bull owner should be held responsible and the county should protect the victims' rights.

  3. The county should be sued for negligence and the unresponsive leaders should be noted so you can Vote AGAINST THEM when they come up for reelection. They are doing nothing to respond to the victims and they are not enforcing current laws.

  4. Dear Steven and Rusty,

    My heart felt condolences what happened to you both and your dog. I too know how it feels to have a sense of no justice, something similar happened to me. As far as I know, the owner of the dog that invaded my property and attacked my dog wasn't given so much as a leash violation. Although I did finally obtain compensation for the damages done, viewing this dog daily charge at the screen door, and hanging out of the window snarling at our letter carrier is enough to send me into a panic attack. No complaints to the Post Master, City Managers, the Mayor, the Animal Control even inspires a response. They have important work to do at Animal Control…. after all, they are trying to adopt out the pit bulls so they won't be criticized for euthanizing so many of them. We will just have to wait for this dog to attack again, and then he will have one more strike until there is a hearing to consider if he is a "dangerous dog".

    California is going to the dogs. Everyone in my neighborhood walks with weapons in hand. Until they ban guns, that's the only thing we can do.

  5. Dear Stephen and Rusty, I was so sad to read about what you have gone through–the lost of your precious Yorkie and the disfigurement of your finger. It is amazing to me that, although your locality has laws on the books, they are not being enforced! I hope you have a very good attorney who can make them see that it is in the area's best interest to protect the public. Unfortunately, in the areas I have lived in the Carolinas and in VA, we can rarely even get leash laws passed, much less other laws. It is sad to live in a society that values the rights of Pit Bulls and their owners, over the rights of people, even children. And I am a dog lover, a dog trainer, have shown dogs and even been a past president of a humane society, so I am not "anti-dog" in any way. But I AM pro-safety, pro-human rights, and this nonsense has to stop. Will be praying that something can be done about what happened to you, as far as legally. But I know that cannot bring back your precious little dog, nor your finger. This should never have happened, and was totally preventable, that is the saddest part of the entire situation. You have my best wishes and full support.

  6. Well, it appears that this pit bull attacked the wrong people and the wrong dog this time. It was bound to happen sooner or later! Glory halleluiah for Stephen and Rusty's work and dedication!

  7. Thank you to everyone for your wonderfully supportive comments—the support that we have received from and its followers has helped us to get thru the past 3 months. We continue to press the issue of public safety with the City of Los Angeles. When we spoke before the Studio City Neighborhood Council, one neighborhood resident in attendance contacted us to tell us about her 8 year old son being attacked by an Akita on 12/26/13. She had a similar story about the City not being responsive to her family’s situation and how they tried to ignore the fact that her son could easily have been killed. After making some waves and getting the local CBS News to air a story about what happened to their son, the family was finally able to get a dangerous dog hearing to address the Akita that attacked their son. Rusty and I attended this “hearing” to support this family and what transpired was a joke. There was no hearing: the hearing officer, after meeting privately with the owner of the Akita, came out into the public hallway where we were waiting and announced that he had spoken with the owner of the attacking dog and because the owner of the dog pleaded “no contest”, he was not going to declare the dog dangerous, and would be requiring the dog to have a “restricted license”. The attorney for the victims objected, stating that he was not being allowed to present the case of the victim, and that he felt they were being denied their due process. The hearing officer stated that he didn’t need to hear their case, as the owner of the dog was not denying that the attack took place. The victims’ attorney wrote a letter to the Manager of Animal Services detailing the lack of a proper hearing. I was able to obtain a copy of this letter, and with the permission of the victims, I forwarded a copy of this letter to the City Councilmember for Studio City (a neighborhood in Los Angeles). In less than 2 hours, I received an email from the Councilmember’s office stating that they were “horrified” at what happened at the hearing, and that they were giving the situation priority and would be looking into what can be done to make some changes. We are not sure what this means exactly, but at least we seem to have gotten the attention of one Councilmember. Rusty and I are still waiting for a date for a dangerous dog hearing on the pit bull that attacked us and killed our dog, Vargas.

  8. I contacted you via email. I posted the attack on and several people are interested in attending the next Studio City council meeting to support you. Please let me know when it is, and I will post and I will be there.

    Terrible what you are going through.
    R Palyo

  9. Hi. R. Palyo, for some reason I did not receive your email, but saw this post. The next Studio City Neighborhood Council meeting that we are attending is scheduled for Wednesday, June 18th from 7 to 10 PM at CBS Studio Center (MPR-9), 4024 Radford Ave., Studio City, CA 91604

    Feel free to contact me at [email protected] Thanks for the support and I look forward to meeting you.


  10. You can’t accomplish anything by being nice to petty bureaucrats. Sue the county, it’s the only thing that gets their attention and forces action, threat of a large economic loss. The reality is there are a lot of stupid people in the world, who are happy to impose their idiotic sense of need over the well being of the community, and many of them own dangerous dogs while lacking the ability or sense or responsibility needed to own them safely. Bottom line, a dog’s life means nothing as compared to human life and the good of the community we live in. Lawsuit. Do it.

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