Loading...

Stop the War — or the Dogs Get It 

Thursday, Apr 10 2003
Comments

On April 1, the fliers began appearing around the North Central Animal Shelter, near 26th and Figueroa streets. "We Will Kill Our Pets To Protest the War," screamed the big block letters on 8-by-10 sheets stapled to fences and telephone posts. The loathsome sacrifice would occur at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 6, at the Silver Lake Dog Park, purportedly the work of Raelian Pet Owners United To Stop the War. (You remember the Raelians. They’re the we-cloned-a-baby-because-the-space-people-told-us-to-do-it folks.) As justification, the flier contained some vague reference to the Assyrians of Mesopotamia sacrificing prized animals to end tribal warfare.

A hoax? The people at L.A.’s Department of Animal Services weren’t so sure. The shelter faxed a flier to the Northeast Division of the Los Angeles Police Department which, in turn, faxed it to the Counter Terrorism Bureau of the LAPD. Yet, here was the creepy part: It isn’t illegal to kill a healthy pet as along as you do it "humanely."

Lieutenant Kevin McClure, Northeast Division’s watch commander, decided a public spectacle did not constitute humane treatment and set out to investigate the threat to L.A.’s pet. By 5:45 p.m., at the Silver Lake Dog Park, plenty of dogs and dog owners were present, but no obvious Raelians. Nevertheless, three LAPD officers (including McClure), three park rangers, a couple of animal-regulation officers, an animal-rights activist, plus two people from the SPCA arrayed themselves in force across the street from the park. The SPCA guys, clad in flak jackets with 9mm sidearms, had a vaguely SWAT-like aura.

Related Stories

  • LAPD Unit Looking For Nude Man Runs Him Over 4

    A Los Angeles Police Department patrol unit en route to a report of a nude man in the street ended up hitting and killing the pedestrian, police said. You might not want to judge the driver too harshly, here, however. The victim wasn't where cops were told he was, and...
  • USC Murder Arrests 2

    Los Angeles police overnight named two of four suspects arrested in connection with the murder of a USC engineering student who was walking home from a study group when he was attacked early Thursday. Johnathan DelCarmen, 19, and Andrew Garcia, 18, were both booked on suspicion of "murder with special circumstances,"...
  • Hot DUI Crackdown

    It will be one of the warmest weekends so far this year.  And the heat will be on the streets, too. Yes, it's time once again for our DUI checkpoint and patrol cheat sheet, in which the Los Angeles Police Department and other agencies warn you about where they'll be...
  • Where the Crime Is 20

    Earlier this month Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck announced that violent crime had increased in the first half of 2014. The city saw a 2.8 percent bump compared the same period last year. But while the increase was small, it was the first time the city had seen...
  • USC Grad Student Found Dead, Might Have Been Assaulted 13

    A 24-year-old USC graduate student was found dead in an apartment near campus this morning, police said. An LAPD statement says the young man "may have been the victim of an assault." The discovery in the 1200 block of 30th Street was reported to the Los Angeles Police Department's Southwest...

By 6:10, with still no Raelians in evidence, giddiness started to set in. Tom Cotter, the supervising park ranger, pointed to an unsuspecting woman driving a dog-filled SUV, "Now there’s a friggin’ Raelian if I ever saw one!"

Meanwhile, the SPCA’s Lieutenant Doug Buck, who had been watching the park through binoculars, spotted four suspiciously dogless persons who, when questioned, claimed not to be Raelians but lookie-loos who came on the off chance something exciting would happen. "All of us are cat owners," said the group’s leader, a 30-something sporting around 35 earrings, the largest of which resembled an enormous, multicolored dead worm.

By 6:45, everybody was pretty much ready to pack it in — although McClure said he assigned a black-and-white to stay in the area.

Early Monday morning, the Raelians’ Salem Assli, who identified himself as the Raelians’ "Los Angeles guide," finally weighed in via e-mail. "The flier is a hoax by some people who are obviously trying to make the Raelians look bad."

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows

  • Comic-Con's "Celebrity" Autograph Area
    A sometimes overlooked (but still incredibly unique) aspect of San Diego Comic-Con are the celebs available to sign autographs, as well as the autograph seekers themselves. If you've ever wanted to meet the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld or the guy who played Michelangelo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, chances are, as you wander the Autograph Area, you'll be able to connect with someone you didn't even realize you were waiting your whole life to meet! All photos by Rob Inderrieden.
  • Real Madrid Soccer Practice at UCLA
    Fans came out to greet world champion soccer team Real Madrid as they practice at UCLA. This is the first time that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has practiced with the team this year. All photos by Jeff Cowan.
  • Here's What Happens When President Obama Comes to L.A.
    President Obama came to town again to rake in some funds and clog some traffic. The only view of his visit you probably saw were the brake lights of the car ahead of you in the traffic jam he caused, but here's what was really going on. All photos by Ted Soqui.