Reward Offered in Pet Rights Vandalism

Times Staff Writer

The county Board of Supervisors has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people who defaced the home of Brian Berger, director of the county Animal Control Department.

The move Tuesday also makes available to the Arcadia Police Department help from the district attorney's office and the Sheriff's Department in investigating the case.

Early Sunday morning Berger's home and car were splattered with red paint, an Arcadia police spokesman said. He said a note on the windshield of another car on the property read, "Warning: don't sell pound animals to research." The note was signed by the Animal Liberation Front, a clandestine nationwide organization. However, later Sunday a woman who identified herself as Sydney telephoned The Times and said the group had nothing to do with the attack. "We are not affiliated with the raid on Brian Berger's house," she said. "We do not attack personal property."

Damage was estimated at $2,000, making the crime felony vandalism.

A spokesman for the Animal Control Department said the county sells some shelter animals to laboratories for medical research. He also said that on Sunday night shotgun blasts were fired at county animal shelters in Carson and Downey.

The Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the theft in December of more than 100 animals being used in medical research at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte.

At that time a City of Hope spokesman said the loss of the dogs, cats, mice and rabbits would seriously affect $400,000 in cancer and emphysema research.

Ten of the rabbits were discovered a few days later in the Napa Valley town of Calistoga, but were again stolen in February with the Animal Liberation Front claiming responsibility. The other animals have not been recovered.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World