News Releases

August 27, 2013: Suspected Vehicle Thief Charged with Dog’s Death

Contact: 
Shiara Dávila-Morales, Media Chief
(213) 257-2000

Los Angeles County prosecutors today filed criminal charges against a transient man who allegedly stole a van with a dog inside and who later abandoned the vehicle with the windows rolled up causing the animal’s death.

Deputy District Attorney Sandi Roth said Danny Fis, 29 (dob 2/17/84), pleaded not guilty this afternoon to one count each of unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle and cruelty to an animal.

Commissioner Mitchell Block set Fis’ bail at $45,000. The defendant’s next court hearing is Sept. 10 for preliminary hearing setting in Department 112 of Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch. Fis is charged in case LA075079.

The alleged crime occurred on Aug. 17 outside a North Hollywood clothing store. The pet owner left his vehicle running with the air conditioner on and the dog inside the van while running into the store to get his family, investigators said. When the man returned, the dog and the van were gone.

Prosecutors recommended that defendant’s bail be set at $45,000. The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Task Force.