Illegal Sale of Turtles and Rabbits in Downtown Los Angeles Santee Alley District
LCA joint task force with LAPD to combat the illegal sale of animals from Santee Alley Fashion District
In November of 2009, Last Chance for Animal’s (LCA) Special Investigations Unit (SIU) began working on a joint task force with the LAPD and Voice for the Animals (VFTA), investigating the illegal sale of animals in the Santee Alley fashion district of downtown Los Angeles. This investigation led to an ordinance, signed in September of 2011, to prohibit "the purchase, offer to purchase, barter, or receive without cost, live animals on any street, sidewalk or other public place in the City of Los Angeles." In addition, SB 917, a California law, prohibits "any person to willfully sell, display, or offer for sale or give away as part of a commercial transaction a live animal on any street, highway, public right-of-way parking lot, carnival, or boardwalk." Penalties for both offenses include fines of up to $1000 and up to 6 months of jail time.
Undercover photo of Santee Alley
Signage warning sale and purchase
Baby bunny being sold illegally
Other than posting signage, the Mayor's office has done little make the public aware of the law, so in fall 2012 LCA's SIU collaborated with NBC4 Los Angeles to expose the sale of sickly baby bunnies, infant turtles, and puppies stuffed into cages in deplorable conditions.
The SIU filmed an illegal purchase of one infant rabbit and two infant turtles (both three weeks old) on October 21, 2012 and handed over this footage to LA's NBC4 Investigative Unit. Watch NBC4's report here.
The Los Angeles Police Department has pledged to step up its efforts in making arrests and enforcing the law.
You can help by reporting potential violations and letting the authorities know that this issue is important to you!
If you are in L.A. call: Los Angeles Animal Services at 888-452-7381 or Los Angeles Police Department at 877-275-5273
If you live outside of L.A. contact your local animal services department if you suspect illegal animal sales.