Dog on the run has Echo Park resident worried

Photo by Esther Kim

The number of stray and loose dogs wandering the streets of Echo Park has certainly declined over the years. But some continue to roam the neighborhood, including an older dog with dirty gray fur that Esther Kim has spotted wandering around for the past year. She has seen  him at the former Magic Gas station on Echo Park Avenue, down at Echo Park Lake and on Academy Road.  The male dog has a collar and does not appear to be hungry or aggressive. But  she worries for the dog’s safety:

He has also been the topic of many discussions at my pilates studio as he cruises by on Echo Park Ave. Others see him roaming around as well. I was never really concerned about the dog because it looks like he almost has a particular route that he walks.  But over the weekend I saw a truck slam on its breaks, almost hitting him.  I’m not too sure if the owner is aware that his dog is out. He looks confused and is walking in the middle of the street.

Kim would to find the dog’s owner and make them aware of the risks the dog faces when left wandering alone.  “I would hate to see that dog get hurt due to someone lack of responsibility!”


  1. this dog belongs to an old man who lives up Echo Park Ave past Lucretia (i think) The owner does know that his dog is out walking around. Several people have notified him but he doesn’t care:( I think he just lets him out in the morning and then the dog returns home by himself everyday.

  2. Some things never change. At least it sounds like there are less dogs wandering around than there were in the early nineties.

  3. The dog situation in EP is really upsetting. Over the summer I tried luring a stray dog with a muzzle on to no luck. I also saw one for about two weeks roaming with a vet cone still on. I don’t have to explain how easily those dogs could starve or dehydrate even if there’s food to eat. Beyond the strays, the dogs with a “home” are even more troublesome. I constantly hear the most depressing and terrifying howls all day long if I’m home, from multiple dogs. I once climbed on to the roof of my garage to get a peek at the neighbors dog and found a puddle of blood while another dog barked in a panicked frenzy. I called animal control multiple times but nothing has changed. My neighbors told me the lady keeps two dogs that apparently hate each other separated by a fence. I hate that it comes to this point, even the police that I’ve called have told me quote “it’s a cultural thing, nothing you can do”. Sad that your culture accepts abusing animals. Makes no sense. The dogs are howling as I type. I’m not kidding. Also, with the amount of dogs I hear I rarely see any dogs ring walked in my neighborhood. Disgusting.

    • Wait, did you say the police said it’s cultural? At the risk of sounding racist, don’t we have laws in this country, county, city and state that protect ALL life which can and ought to be enforced? If the excuse “it’s cultural” is being bandied about, then go abuse your animals elsewhere, but while here you WILL be expected to abide the laws.


      • When I had got that quote animal control had just left. They told me that although the living situation wasn’t great it wasn’t bad enough to actually do anything. I then asked what’s the point of owning a dog if you don’t walk it or socialize with it, that you just leave it outside on the concrete behind your house. That’s when I was told by a cop who was assisting that “it’s cultural”

        • What kind of “culture” are you and the police referring to? I used to live next door to a family that had 3 large dogs outside, and 1 more inside a very small house. The backyard was tiny and they NEVER walked the dogs. The dogs had all kinds of energy stored up and they would bark at me every time I went into my own backyard. These people were terrible pet owners. They were white. HB and epgirl, what “culture” are you both talking about?

          • More importantly, what culture were the police referring to, seeing how we were just quoting them.

          • Mexican! That’s what the police were saying. How hard is that to figure out?

          • epgirl, that’s why my first question was “what kind of ‘culture’ are you AND the police referring to?”

            eastsidearts, thank you! Mexican. Just say what you mean. It’s not hard to figure out, but it must be hard for some people to write and say what they really mean.

            My neighbors were some of the worst pet owners I’ve witnessed. They weren’t very good people either, they were white. Their “culture” MUST be neglecting animals and having way too many dogs for the amount of yard they had. There’s not a culture of Mexicans doing this any more than there is white people doing this.

            If you just want to straight out stereotype people then at least type out what you really mean. The police stereotype people ALL the time, you guys just went along with it. It makes it okay if you only agree with it and not say it first, right?

          • LA, EP Girl and HB are not saying those things themselves, according to their posts they are relating what other agencies said to them. Reading comprehension 101.

          • why do we assume it was a racial comment instead of a class comment?

        • This is just like when Whoopi Goldberg excused Michael Vick’s inhumane actions by blaming the ‘culture.’

          • i don’t think it necessarily means “mexican.” my family is puerto rican and they have a long standing tradition of treating our dogs badly: making them live in the yard, chaining them up, kicking them when they do something wrong,…

            i think it is socioeconomic as well.

  4. perrito wow wow

  5. I am glad that the dog has an owner but he situation is not good!

  6. I see this dog at least 3 times/week on my way to work, and he’s usually on my front yard on Lucretia Ave. between 8-9AM. Very upsetting when dog owners don’t take proper care of their dogs.

    I hope the owner poops his pants in his sleep tonight.

  7. That is Clay,

    He lives on Lucretia. His owner is likely on vacation in Bali, and one of his students is clearly NOT doing a good job dog sitting. I will send this to Eric’s email!


  8. The Echo Park Animal Alliance has been around for years. This is a group of caring animal lovers. Check it out. Make a donation! This is a grass roots organization that really does help our local animals:

  9. My boyfriend almost hit this dog one morning when he wandered into the street. We called the owner and he was a terrible jerk. He finally came to pick him up after I said there was no way I was just going to let the old dog wander off. The man was super ungrateful and rude. Its not only unsafe for the dog to wander, but its unsafe for motorists too. The dog is old and confused and gets in the street. One day someone may hit him and that would be devastating.

  10. It’s so sad that people in this comment thread are more worried about veiled racism than the life of innocent dogs who see no race. The city is majority Latino so the majority of dog abusers will be Latino. There is abusive trash in every culture. However, if you are in Echo Park, the population is either older Mexicans, Asians, or young hipsters. Which ones do you think are more likely to abuse animals? Get over your racial divisiveness and just focus on the animals.

    • It is about the animals, Kyle, but I’m not going to sit idly by while people write derogatory comments about Mexicans. I’m Mexican. Me and my family have always taken very good care of our pets. So when I read something that says the police say it’s a “cultural” thing and others agree with it, I’m offended.

      It’s sad that people neglect their animals, no doubt. It’s also sad that blanket statements saying Mexicans or Latinos neglect their animals because it’s their “culture” are so easily accepted by people on this thread.

      • LA, have you ever traveled to Mexico, or for that matter, any other third-world country? For the most part, dogs in those countries are emaciated, sickly creatures who skulk around, nose to the ground, sniffing at piles of garbage and licking water from puddles. When I was in the Peace Corps in West Africa, I remember a group of young people grabbing sticks and chasing after a stray dog who had wandered into the compound where they lived. (I’ll spare you the rest of the story.) Point is, folks in other countries often have a dramatically different way of interacting with animals. I wouldn’t bother getting too offended at others’ comments, but that’s your call to make.

        • You’re right about the mistreatment of animals in poorer countries and about being offended by internet comments. Neglecting a dog is a horrible thing to do and abusers should be punished. But the worst thing here is that it was a police officer that lumped all Latinos into one category saying this whole group of people (almost 10 million in L.A. County) all don’t care about their pets. False. A few people here just accepted it as fact and will keep those thoughts with them for a very long time.

        • The “culture” is not a racial one, rather a regional culture. Sadly this regional culture is Angeleno.

          I see this kind of abuse in my neighborhood as well and it doesnt matter the ethnicity of the owner.

          PS: Mexico has the 11th biggest economy in the world, how is this a 3rd world nation?

        • You dont know where this owner is from, so lets not just assume he is from Mexico. I agree with LA, I too am Mexican American and I am sick of people lumping us all in to one gang banging, bean eating, dog abusing group. And according to CP007 the owner might be in Bali. Sorry, not to many dog abusing Mexicans I know go off to Bali every so many months. Get a grip people.

  11. LA, I understand your feelings, but really: read the comments! Reading comprehension!

  12. Just to be clear, my neighbors are Mexican and the officer that quoted “culture” was Latino as most patrol officers in my neighborhood are. I neglected to make the ethnicity clear in my original post because I personally wasn’t saying anything about them being Mexican. I’ve seen how these boards operate and I was hoping to avoid exactly what’s happening here now. Obviously people of all races abuse animals. But you know what, if you want to go there, I will say this… All of my surrounding immediate neighbors, who are all Mexican, that I spoke to about the dogs looked at me like I was a lunatic for question anything that was happening. Some even laughed at me. However, I’m Italian and I can tell you that I’ve had relatives straight from Italy that were very abusive toward animals. I think the whole “culture” thing is some backwards old world nonsense regardless of the country.

  13. Thanks for clarifying the posters original points! It’s hard for me to understand basic comprehension, you know. I’m just a Latino that neglects my pets because it’s part of my culture. Thank you mister police officer for letting neighbors know that my culture doesn’t take care of animals we bring in. And thank you, eastsidearts, for sticking up for your fellow posters that accepted what the police officer said without any doubt.

    HB “Sad that your culture accepts abusing animals. Makes no sense.” It makes no sense because it isn’t true.

    epgirl “At the risk of sounding racist … If the excuse “it’s cultural” is being bandied about, then go abuse your animals elsewhere, but while here you WILL be expected to abide the laws.” We don’t abuse our animals any more than you do. This story is about one person, not an entire group.

    Trying to stop stereotyping minds before they get too far.

    • LA, good for you for not abusing your animals, but every time I’ve been to Mexico, including beautiful San Miguel de Allende, I see lots of emaciated, mangy dogs wandering the streets, all over the city, and not one person expresses concern. When I ask locals about it, I’m told “this is a majority Catholic country and animals are not believed to have souls.”

    • LA, time to clean up, your stigmata are bleeding all over the place.

  14. LA I understand why you would get upset. My boyfriend is Mexican and we spoil our dog to a ridiculous extent, it lives better than most humans. I think the problem isn’t so much ‘cultural’ in the sense of ‘Mexicans suck at animal compassion’ but more demographic. Poorer people of all races will probably take worse care of their pets. Maybe they are more focused on feeding themselves.

    On the other hand, my boyfriend’s family always jokes with me about how white people kick their kids out at age 18, which is also not true. But I just laugh. Stereotypes are there for a reason, I don’t get worked up about each one.

    • I believe that to be true as well. Poorer people tend to neglect their pets more, regardless of race or ethnicity. I’m not trying to get worked up about it, I just didn’t want people leaving this thread thinking that Latinos or Mexicans, as a whole, don’t care about their animals. Some of those first comments were pretty bad.

      There are a lot of mostly harmless, funny, stereotypes that don’t bother me at all. But saying a “culture” and really meaning Latinos, don’t care about their pets is just plain ignorant.

      Myself and my other Mexican friends always had pets growing up and we all treated them with great respect. They’re part of our families. Stereotyping about things like this can quickly be passed down from generation to generation. Hopefully some people will now see that it’s not all of us that don’t take care of our animals, it’s just a few bad seeds. If I don’t stick up for my real culture, no one will.

  15. I say HB has a promising future in Animal Control. Climbing roofs, luring in stray dogs to muzzle them up. maybe you can volunteer your time and help the dog issue in EP, just like that Hispanic dude with the tattoos on his face is helping clean up Sunset Blvd out of his good heart……

  16. There are some people out there that shouldn’t have two things: kids & dogs.

    You have to pass a test to drive a car…… why not pets?

    Pass? Puppies for you!

    Fail? GTFO!

  17. Why don’t one of you catch the dog and keep it yourself, safe in your home? It seems the owner wouldn’t care.

    • Excellent suggestion, Ruby!

      If not that, then the dog would be better off if he were taken to the animal shelter. At least he will be safe, warm and well fed. Yes, they euthanize dogs if they aren’t adopted (and who knows……the owner might even redeem him and take care of him?) but at least that’s a less tragic fate than being hit by a car!

      On the subject of how people treat their pets…..I have been a dog trainer in LA for more than 30 years. During that time, I have dealt with pretty much every ethnicity and economic level, from the very wealthy to the extremely poor. It is impossible, in today’s multi-cultural LA world, to accurately predict how a pet will be treated based on pointing to any one group. As an example……..you will see that most ‘homeless’ people treat their pets with great love and kindness. It would be a great kindness if someone in the neighborhood would step up and help this old dog.

      • Hi Sandy,

        I have to disagree here. Clay is a much loved and cherished member of his family. He is in no way aggressive. He has mananged to defy all reason in his ability to escape 6 foot fenced yards. I have driven him home on numerous occasions after he has exhausted himself journeying through Elysian Park. I am not endorsing animals roaming, however someone who “takes Clay home” will find out quickly that he will escape and find his way back to Lucretia.
        His owner travels alot, and the dogsitters sadly are not providing Clay the exercise he needs to stay home. Eric and his wife are home now and Clay will be getting more regular romps in the Park and will be disinclined to wander….

        worst case scenario if someone finds Clay, email me, , and I will come and get him. He is a very special dog, and warts and all, a good one.


  18. THIS DOG IS AGGRESSIVE! This dog tried to bite me in Elysian Park one afternoon. It was walking along the dirt path all by itself and it seemed to have a hurt leg, so I stopped to see if it was OK or if it had an identifying tag on. I got within a couple feet and it snapped and snarled at me. Since then I’ve seen it walking around Magic Gas and near the top of Morton Ave. This dog needs be in a fenced yard. What kind of pet owner would let their aggressive dog roam the neighborhood?

    • Just so you know Oh Henry, wounded animals do tend to appear aggressive due to fear and (probably I don’t know, PAIN) so keep that in mind. It was nice of you to try and help.

  19. There are two strays in our neighborhood atop the hill on Allesandro at Whitmore, first spotted around New Year’s Day. One is a peach-colored little mutt with a red leash around his neck. The other is a mixed breed whose coloring resembles that of Petey, the dog in Hal Roach’s “Little Rascals” series, white with patches of black and a large black patch around his left eye. Both dogs, as one commenter said, seems to follow an established pattern of roaming everywhere, and the latter is very “vocal” when spoken to directly.

  20. Just drive around south LA and witness the number of stray and unmonitored dogs walking the streets, of course the maltreatment of dogs is cultural, South LA looks no different to Mexico City and Puebla now.

  21. It’s fine! Leave the dog alone and go about your business.

  22. To the commenter with the neighbors with howling dogs. Please document with videos and photos and a log. The officers are incorrect and trying trying to get out of their responsibility. Start asking for help with this particular situation to blogs. Rescue organizations and neighbors. Try talking to the owners. Try something but do not feel helpless to so something. But please realize that if the owner takes these dogs to the shelter they will most probably be killed since the Kill rate is so high locally at our Los Angeles shelters. Also reach out to echo park animal alliance for help. Try everything. B

  23. I just want to pass this along as an example that not everything is so black and white:

    It’s a recent story about animal rights activists in Mexico City protesting the treatment of stray dogs there after a terrible event occurred, bringing these views to a head.

    Here you have a group of people condemning the treatment of animals and another that turn a blind eye, in Mexico. My point being, as many others have already stated, these things happen regardless of nation. Instead of arguing, let’s band together and educate! Dogs are amazing creatures!

    That is all.

  24. The owner well knows this dog, Clay, roams and is in danger – daily – Cp007.
    The entire area of Lucretia has to hear him at 6 in the morning yelling his dog’s name.
    He lets the dog out. Witness after witness have mentioned it.
    No, not friendly people at all. In fact, often rude.
    Clay is older than Joan Collins now, and has slowed his roll. He used to chase and beat up coyotes. Now he sits early morn @ Chango with coffee, and his Kindle.
    Ironically, when owner was out of town, he had someone else care for Clay. Strangely, Clay did not “escape” once on that woman’s careful watch.
    I am not really sure why this turned into a cultural debate.
    The owner is as white as all the stucco that covers the 36 on Echo luxury afartments.

    Let’s all just keep our animals safe, and not make them someone else’s problem, issue, or tragic victim.

    • You are right on the nose with your comments, woofster.

      Clay’s dog parent has been getting away with this negligence for at least a decade, at the expense of Clay and the countless neighbors who spend far more time worrying about his dog than he does.

  25. On my street, within about a 500 foot stretch, there are about 4-5 different houses with dogs that are neglected behind gates and bark like crazy whenever anyone passes them by. Often times, the owners (who would be better suited as “companions” if they understood at all what that entailed) will forget to close the gates and the dogs will roam up and down the block harassing and intimidating passersby. I’ve seen firsthand one of the dogs hit by a car when it was loose. I’ve also seen two of them corner a visibly intimidated dog-walker in nearby Elysian Park- at least he had his dog on a leash, which many people don’t seem to do (read: illegal). I’ve been followed multiple times by aggressive, wildly barking curs without once having an owner intercede. It’s a sad state of affairs when people don’t have enough respect for their pets or neighbors to provide decent care and supervision of their animals. A cultural issue? Well, it’s more of a city-wide issue that isn’t limited to a specific ethnic group; it comes down to how people prioritize care for themselves, their community and those four-legged citizens who don’t have much beyond bark to let themselves be heard.

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