Posted by: kinshipcircle | June 19, 2009

UNDUE JUSTICE – STU ON DEATH ROW, 4 YEARS AND COUNTING

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6/18/09: Undue Justice – Stu On Death Row,
4 Years And Counting

Stu
PHOTOS LT-RT: Stu at Thanksgiving, 2008 after 3+ years in custody. Stu with
former Animal Services Board Commissioner Marie Atake, who famously resigned
in 2007, frustrated in her attempts to increase Department integrity and
professionalism. Stu, on day he was impounded by L.A. Animal Services, 2005.
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-1779-LA-Pet-Rescue-Examiner~y2009m6d17-Playing-political-games-with-a-dogs-life

Kinship Circle does not usually cover complex dog custody cases. Stu’s story
is different. His person, Jeff de la Rosa, is a Kinship Circle supporter.
We’ve watched Stu grow old in “jail” since he was wrongfully impounded in
2005. Please read the sample letter below, and an account of Stu’s ordeal
after that. Stu still faces death. As always, the decision to act is yours.

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EMAIL BLOCKS: Sample letter + Complete contact information at end
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*   TO SEND: COPY/PASTE EMAIL BLOCKS INTO BCC: LINE OF YOUR EMAIL
*   TYPE YOUR OWN EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE TO: LINE
*   COPY/PASTE SAMPLE LETTER INTO SAME EMAIL.
*   Change some words, sign with your name/full address and send!

LOS ANGELES CITY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE &
BOARD OF ANIMAL SERVICES COMMISSIONERS
Rocky.Delgadillo@lacity.org, Laurie.Rittenberg@lacity.org,
Todd.Leung@lacity.org, Dov.Lesel@lacity.org, tariqkhero@gmail.com,
ninekitties@aol.com, ireneponce@earthlink.net, secundar@unitedtalent.com,
ajq1trq2@aol.com, Jim.Bickhart@lacity.org, Ani.Commission@lacity.org

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE & CITY OFFICIALS
councilmember.weiss@lacity.org, weiss@lacity.org,
Councilmember.Parks@lacity.org, Bernard.Parks.Jr@lacity.org,
councilmember.smith@lacity.org, Dennis.Zine@lacity.org,
councilmember.reyes@lacity.org, ed.reyes@lacity.org,
David.Hersch@lacity.org, Mike.Hernandez@lacity.org,
Moniquea.Roberson@lacity.org, jose.gardea@lacity.org,
rebecca.valdez@lacity.org, guadalupe.duran.medina@lacity.org,
lisa.flores@lacity.org, tony.perez@lacity.org, monica.valencia@lacity.org,
mayor@lacity.org

CONTACT WITH NO EMAIL AVAILABLE:
[incoming] City Attorney Elect Carmen Trutanich
180 East Ocean Blvd.; Long Beach, CA 90802
ph: 562-216-4444; fax: 562-216-4445

***KINSHIP CIRCLE CANNOT GUARANTEE ALL EMAILS WILL WORK***
During campaigns, recipients may change or disable their email addresses.
Emails from government, corporate, or institute websites may be incorrect.

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GET A FORMATTED LETTER (WORD DOC): info@kinshipcircle.org
Easily modify letter. Copy/paste it into an email or print letter to fax or mail.  
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Dear City of Los Angeles Officials,

I trust all letter recipients are familiar with Stu, a rescued dog who lived
an uneventful five years with Jeff de la Rosa, before de la Rosa entrusted
his dogs to an assistant while away for a family emergency.

Under that pet sitter’s care, in August 2005, Stu atypically clashed with
another household dog and wound up with a torn ear. It is accepted knowledge
that injured animals may react defensively. As the pet sitter slipped a
harness over Stu’s hurt ear, the scared dog bit her twice on the arm.

“A couple of puncture wounds,” Commissioner Archie Quincey, a 30-year
veteran of L.A. Country Animal Control, would later state. Still, a full
month after the incident, the assistant served de la Rosa with a lawsuit and
Stu was seized from a locked, backyard kennel. Thus began Stu’s
incarceration under L.A. Animal Services (LAAS) and a bureaucratic battle so
absurd, Stu’s story has gained worldwide notoriety.

What is the point of keeping this now elderly dog on death row? Dr. Richard
Polsky, a co-creator of City criteria for gauging dangerous dogs, and Bobby
Dorofshar of New Leash on Life, also a City advisor and one-time member of
its Spay/Neuter Advisory Committee — have testified that Stu poses no
threat of aggression to humans. Their conclusion stems from assessment of
Stu’s pre- and post-incident behavior, plus comprehension of how the
victim’s actions may have triggered the bites. Dorofshar sheltered Stu at
his own facility for many months, during which time he came to know the dog.

The City Attorney should call off his resistance to de la Rosa’s appeal and
close the books on this case. Please stop shuffling Stu through a
bureaucratic thicket and let the dog live his final years with de la Rosa.

After four years of wrongful internment in LAAS facilities, just one fair
and merciful outcome remains: Stu needs to go home. Yesterday.

Sincerely,

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PLAYING POLITICAL GAMES WITH A DOG’S LIFE
=============================================================

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-1779-LA-Pet-Rescue-Examiner~y2009m6d17-Playing-political-games-with-a-dogs-life

A detailed article (link above) gives an accurate picture of Stu and Jeff de
la Rosa’s ordeal. Kinship Circle re-phrases it for simplicity and length:

Stu lived uneventfully with Jeff and two other dogs for five years, before
Jeff had to leave him with a sitter in Aug. 2005, due to a family emergency.
He entrusted his dogs to an assistant who knew them. While away Stu
atypically clashed with another of Jeff’s dogs and wound up with a torn ear.

The pet sitter tried to slip a harness over Stu’s wounded ear, to bring him
to the vet. Injured animals often act uncharacteristically defensive. Such
was the case with Stu: The scared dog bit the assistant twice on her arm.

The assistant did not file a report with police or L.A. Animal Services
(LAAS). She told Jeff she “didn’t want to get Stu in trouble.”

Yet three weeks later, Jeff was slapped with a lawsuit. Ten days after that,
Stu was seized (without warning) from Jeff’s locked outdoor kennel. Jeff
rushed to Animal Services, but staff denied Stu’s release, citing a bite
report received one full month after its occurrence. Thus began Stu’s
incarceration, a battle of bureaucratic power plays so embarrassingly
absurd, Stu’s story is notorious worldwide.

With the assistant now dramatizing her account (Stu “dragged her back and
forth across the floor”), lawyers asked for six million dollars in damages.
Meanwhile LAAS ruled in its initial hearing to revoke the dog’s license. The
verdict would have let Jeff relocate Stu outside Los Angeles or move
himself. The verdict would have let Stu live.

Instead, LAAS ignored the Hearing Examiner’s recommendations (defying LAAS
rules) and a Captain Helen Brakemeier memoed then-General Manager Guerdon
Stuckey: “After reviewing the [Hearing Examiner’s] report, I disagree…and
think that the dog should be deemed dangerous.” Brakemeier never mentioned
evaluating Stu herself or what authorized her to override the original
verdict. Still, Stuckey sided with Brakemeier to sentence Stu to death.

Ironically, Mayor Villaraigosa fired Stuckey days later for the GM’s
inability to bring euthanasia numbers down. Jeff only found out about
Brakemeier’s inappropriate role in Stu’s fate after securing all public
records in the case, in an attempt to save his dog.

Fast forward four years and Stu is still trapped in a bureaucratic thicket.
He’s aged inside City facilities as Jeff fights a relentless legal battle.
Esteemed dog behaviorists — such as Dr. Richard Polsky, a co-creator of
City criteria for gauging dangerous dogs, and Bobby Dorofshar of New Leash
on Life, another City advisor and one-time member of its Spay/Neuter
Advisory Committee — have testified that Stu poses no threat of aggression
to humans. Their common conclusion stems from assessment of Stu’s pre- and
post-incident behavior, along with comprehension of how the victim’s actions
may have triggered the bites. Dorofshar even sheltered Stu at his own
facility for many months, during which time he came to know the dog.

Animal Services and the City Attorney’s office remain dead-set on killing
Stu. Are they peeved over the negative publicity? Just before the forced
resignation of previous General Manager Ed Boks, the City Council admonished
him for blogging against Jeff (and other LAAS critics) on the City’s time.

Animal Services Commission, created to monitor LAAS, even advocated for
Stu’s life. Commissioner Archie Quincey, a 30-year L.A. County Animal
Control veteran, motioned the City Attorney to call off his resistance to
Jeff’s appeal. Quincey proposed the case go back to Superior Court to drop
Stu’s sentence because evidence shows a denial of due process. But
Commissioner Quincey’s motion has vanished from the Commission’s agenda and
a 6/8/09 meeting before Stu’s Appeals Court case was cancelled as well.

No one seems to know who’s in charge — Animal Services Commission or Animal
Services Department — of meeting agendas. It is clear, however, that Stu’s
case is shuffled so that Commissioner Quincey’s motion goes unheard.

Quincey intends to bring up Stu’s case at the June 22 meeting whether it’s
scheduled or not. “I think it’s gone too far,” he told reporter Kate
Woodviolet for LA Pet Rescue Examiner. “I have a lot of Animal Control
experience. I saw the pictures [of the human victim’s injuries], there were
a couple of small puncture wounds — and the dog was injured when it
happened. On that one bite Stu gets the ultimate penalty? That’s like
getting the electric chair for a misdemeanor!”

At this point, there is but one fair and merciful outcome left: Stu needs to
go home. Yesterday.

=============================================================
FULL CONTACT INFORMATION
=============================================================

[incoming] City Attorney Elect Carmen Trutanich
180 East Ocean Blvd.; Long Beach, CA 90802
ph: 562-216-4444; fax: 562-216-4445; (no email available)

[outgoing] City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo
800 City Hall East; 200 North Main Street; Los Angeles, CA 90012
ph: 213-978-8100; fax: 213-978-8312
email: Rocky.Delgadillo@lacity.org

Ms. Laurie Rittenberg and Mr. Todd Leung
Office of the City Attorney
200 N Main Street; City Hall East, 9th floor; Los Angeles CA 90012
fax: 213-978-2250; email: Laurie.Rittenberg@lacity.org,
Todd.Leung@lacity.org, Dov.Lesel@lacity.org

BOARD OF ANIMAL SERVICES COMMISSIONERS
President Tariq Khero: tariqkhero@gmail.com
Vice President Kathy Riordan: ninekitties@aol.com
Commissioner Irene Ponce: ireneponce@earthlink.net
Commissioner Ruthanne Secunda: secundar@unitedtalent.com
Commisioner Archie Quincey: ajq1trq2@aol.com
*(Mayoral aide assigned to Dept.) Jim Bickhart: Jim.Bickhart@lacity.org
Ani.Commission@lacity.org

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE
Councilmember Jack Weiss, Chair, Council District 5
200 N. Spring Street, Room 440; Los Angeles, CA 90012
ph: 213-473-7005; fax: 213-978-2250
email: councilmember.weiss@lacity.org, weiss@lacity.org

Councilmember Bernard C. Parks (former police chief), Council District 8
200 N. Spring Street, Rm. 460; Los Angeles, CA 90012
ph 213-473-7008; fax: 213-485-7683
email: Councilmember.Parks@lacity.org, Bernard.Parks.Jr@lacity.org

Councilmember Greig Smith, Council District 12
200 North Spring St., Rm 405; Los Angeles, CA 90012
ph: 213-473-7012; fax: (213) 473-6925
email: councilmember.smith@lacity.org

Councilmember Dennis Zine, Council District 3
200 N. Spring Street, Rm.450; Los Angeles, CA 90012
ph: 213-473-7003; fax: 213-485-8988
email: Dennis.Zine@lacity.org

Councilmember Ed Reyes, Council District 1
200 N. Spring Street, Room 410; Los Angeles, CA 90012
ph: 213-473-7001; fax: 213-485-8907
email: councilmember.reyes@lacity.org, ed.reyes@lacity.org

David Hersch, Public Safety Deputy: David.Hersch@lacity.org
Mike Hernandez, Assistant Chief of Staff: Mike.Hernandez@lacity.org
Moniquea Roberson, Executive Assistant / Administrative Manager:
Moniquea.Roberson@lacity.org

Jose A. Gardea, Chief of Staff: jose.gardea@lacity.org
Rebecca Valdez, Chief Planning Deputy: rebecca.valdez@lacity.org
Guadalupe Duran-Medina, Planning Deputy: guadalupe.duran.medina@lacity.org
Lisa Flores, Executive Assistant/Scheduler: lisa.flores@lacity.org
Tony Perez, Communications Director: tony.perez@lacity.org
Monica Valencia, Press Deputy: monica.valencia@lacity.org

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Hall
200 North Spring Street, RM 303; Los Angeles, CA 90012
ph: 213-978-0600; fax: 213-978-0750
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: mayor@lacity.org
Jim Bickhart, Mayor’s Office: Jim.Bickhart@lacity.org

=============================================================
SOURCE OF INFORMATION / REFERENCE LINKS
=============================================================

Playing political games with a dog’s life
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-1779-LA-Pet-Rescue-Examiner~y2009m6d17-Playing-political-games-with-a-dogs-life
Proposed [impossible] settlement in Stu’s case
http://sites.google.com/site/savestuletters/timeline/6-8-09Delarosaltrresettlement.pdf?
Jeff de la Rosa, Stu’s dad
stu.911@gmail.com

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ACTION CAMPAIGNS • EDUCATION • ANIMAL DISASTER AID NETWORK
http://www.KinshipCircle.org * http://www.kinshipcircle.org/disasters

Subscribe Now – For Breaking News & Action:
Kinship Circle Primary: subscribe@kinshipcircle.org
Action campaigns on animal cruelty issues worldwide
Kinship Circle Animal Disaster Aid Network: disasteraid@kinshipcircle.org
Animal rescue coordination/news in disasters + companion animal alerts

*DISCLAIMER: The information in these alerts is verified with the original
source. Kinship Circle does not assume responsibility for the accuracy of
the information or for the consequences of its use. Nothing in this email is
intended to encourage illegal action in whatever country you are reading it
in. Kinship Circle does not engage in, nor support, any form of harassment
or unlawful activity. Nothing in this alert serves to promote such conduct.

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Responses

  1. […] Kinship Circle: 6/18/09: Undue Justice – Stu On Death Row, 4 Years And Counting […]

  2. […] Kinship Circle: 6/18/09: Undue Justice – Stu On Death Row, 4 Years And Counting […]


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