Vandals Strike Home of Animal Services Head
By Jorge Casuso
Oct. 3 -- The Santa Monica home of the head of Animal Services for Los Angeles was vandalized early Friday morning by suspects believed to be tied to a radical animal rights group, police said.
Jerry Greenwalt's property on the 2300 block of Cloverfield Boulevard was splattered with red paint shortly before sunrise. The vandals, who struck at 5:40 a.m., also splashed red paint on his car and scrawled the initials ALF (Animal Liberation Front) on the property.
"Members of the group focused on this victim because he is the general manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Animal Services," said Lt. Frank Fabrega, the police department spokesman.
The investigation is ongoing and search warrants are being sought, Fabrega said. The FBI is also investigating.
Animal rights activists have targeted Greenwalt and his department for its policy of euthanizing animals, despite efforts that have reduced the number of animals the department has put to sleep.
According to the Association to Save Abandoned Pets (ASAP), the euthanasia rates in the City of Los Angeles have decreased more than 25 percent under Greenwalt's leadership.
Mayor Richard Bloom a neighbor and close friend of Greenwalt, denounced the predawn attack, calling it "awful."
"It's threatening. It's just awful," Bloom said. "Jerry has worked really, really hard to get more money for adoption programs and expand adoption programs.
"This is a radical wing of animal rights that's a very small number of people that has engaged in a very vicious campaign," Bloom said. "They'll get caught and punished. This is considered a very real threat."
ALF recently distributed
flyers denouncing Greenwalt and his department in the Sunset Park neighborhood
where Greenwalt lives with is family, Bloom said.