Last month a woman jogging east of Palmdale was fatally mauled by a pack of pit bulls. The shocking attack landed the dogs' owner in jail, where he faces a rare murder charge for something four of his canines allegedly did.
Now Los Angeles County authorities are cracking down on "dangerous dogs" with one of the best weapons around: Money.
The office of county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky this week announced that $3.5 million in new spending has been approved specifically for new animal control officers, vicious dog investigations and prosecutions, and a call center in Lancaster that could get help for dangerous dog complaints quicker.
County government is also considering expanding the legal definition of a potentially dangerous dog to include a history of attacks on livestock as well as attacks on people, says Yaroslavsky's office.
The fresh cash, meanwhile, will help fund a 9-person unit that will be focused solely on designating problem dogs, like the ones owned by the suspect in the jogger's death, as "potentially dangerous."
That would give the pooches a strike on their records that would help authorities take them away from irresponsible owners.
Authorities say Alex Donald Jackson's dogs were used to protect a marijuana grow house and had attacked before.
The county says the extra cash and enforcement could prevent future tragedies like story of jogger Pamela Marie Devitt, 63.
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Department of Animal Care and Control director Marcia Mayeda:
If we'd had more Major Case Unit officers, the guy in Littlerock might have come up on our radar sooner and we might have been able to bring a case against him sooner.