Echo Park man reunited with stolen dog

Dog stolen in scam | LAPD

Fannie reunited with owner| LAPD

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ECHO PARK – An Echo Park man whose dog Fannie was stolen by two women posing as animal cruelty officers was reunited with his pet after police arrested one of the suspects, reports ABC7.

51-year-old Jenny Smiles was arrested on multiple felony charges involving the April 24 theft, first reported in The Eastsider, after a person told police she had overheard the suspects discussing the incident.

A reader comment posted on The Eastsider’s story on the dog theft appears to be from the person who identified the suspects:

On April 15 … I was at Center Sinai animal hospital on Venice & Overland. I was sitting in the lobby and a woman came inside holding this dog. I am a volunteer with Perfect Pet Rescue . Myself & the owner of our rescue were speaking to a couple wanting to adopt one of our rescues. this woman who was holding this white dog kept interrupting our adoption process. That, of course drew our attention to this woman. Later, still holding this white adorable dog, she began to tell me she rescued this dog from a man in Los Angels who was reportedly abusing this dog. She told me she & her friend had jumped the fence into the security building & knocked on his door and told this man he must surrender his dog or immigration would be called. Her female friend works for animal control & had a badge or name tag on & was in a jumpsuit. She was bring this dog to Center Sinai for a wellness check and taking her to a foster home. I am sure this is the dog. She told me her name was Jeanine or Jeanie. I cannot quite recall. My heart aches for this man.

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  1. Perhaps then these ladies hearts where in the right place but unfortunately didn’t have the law on their side to save this animal in the way that they did.
    I understand the feelings of sadness that are felt when you see how people treat their pets. I just moved to Glassel Park, after checking out the surrounding neighborhoods I can honestly say that a lot of the local residents treat and look after their pets terribly. Driving up Division reminds me of my trip to Puebla, MX, dogs freely running the streets with matted coats in such terrible condition, very sad.

    • Paul – nothing wrong with Mexico – go back to the Westside if you don’t like brown people . I have lived on this side of town for 15 yrs and stuck up white people like you moving here and judging are why I am selling and moving away. Yuk!

      • Chill out mpjay. Paul’s observations are hardly cries of bigotry. We have all races in our family, and the Mexican and Asian family members will all attest to the fact that a lot of the way animals are treated in their countries is because it’s a cultural thing. The adoration of pets that we have in the US isn’t like it is in most places (except maybe among the upper classes) in these countries. My mother, who is Korean, abhors the idea of an indoor pet. She is also highly unlikely to be someone who spends hundreds of dollars on vet visits. To her, animals are animals. Not pets. She doesn’t hate them. She just tends to look at them as one would livestock. My stepfather, who is Mexican, is the same way. I am horrified at how both would treat animals because of how I view pets, but it doesn’t make them bad people. They just don’t humanize animals the way that we do.

        Now your response is pure bigotry. Interesting how you do exactly what you accuse others of and deem it o.k. because it’s against someone who is white. Insanity.

  2. So glad the owner has been reunited with his dog. If the woman’s friend really did work for animal control then this would have been handled properly by animal control.

    • I have been told that the dog was kept in a tiny carrier outside all the time and the neighbors reported it to animal control a few times. AC took a look but on that day, the dog seemed fine. These women took the situation into their own hands, to save the little dog, and their hearts were in the right place, just not on the right side of the law.

      • I’m not surprised. Animal control is the most dysfunctional agency in the entire city, even worse than LAPD.

  3. Fannie Echopark

    Thanks a lot “dog lovers”. I’d almost escaped my hellish existence. After being spoon fed a clever fable, you rushed to the aide of my brutish owner and now my wretched life resumes – countless lonely hours spent confined to a small cage, forgotten and neglected. I’ve spent years peering through the bars of my crate yearning to be the dog at the end of your leashes and as you passed out of view, I longed to be spoken to lovingly and walked around the neighborhood like the other dogs.
    There were a few occasions when officials and concerned humans came by to check on me but my hope for help quickly faded when the door closed and I was quietly returned to a tiny bathroom or stuffed back into my cage.
    Don’t I deserve your sympathy and a television news crew? Where’s the battle cry on my behalf? Without your thoughtful contemplation or a proper police investigation into the true reasons behind my unconventional rescue, I’ve been forced to return to an owner indifferent to my needs for companionship, activity and basic healthcare. On so many different levels you failed to solve the true crime.
    At a time when local police departments are desperate for positive coverage, you didn’t stop to realize that the notorious LAPD division’s lazy armchair investigative techniques and reliance on meddling social media types only uncovered a small piece of the puzzle and cost me a likely adoption into a loving home.
    It seems so long ago when I was suddenly and unexpectedly whisked away. For a short time my prayers had been answered but whose “heart will ache” for me now?

  4. Dear Fannie, I am so sorry we all failed you. Between Animal Control and LAPD you never had a chance. I pray that you get an advocate who can get you a home where you can be the dog you are meant to be. Animal abusers are so good at covering their tracks, they know the system better than the system knows itself, and if you didn’t seem abused, I am sure it’s because your rescuers took such good care of you in your short time away from the person who claims to are for you – yes I bet the “wellness” exam was probably the first time you’d been to a vet. I wonder if LAPD checked your microchip and are you licensed? Did they make sure you were spayed and that you were in good health? They were so happy to get a feelgood story on the news they never even mentioned your wellbeing. Thank you for telling us how you feel because if you hadn’t everyone would have quickly forgotten. All the news people talked about was your owner, as if is the only thing that mattered. If someone had to do to such great lengths to get you out of there what does that say about our society? How incompetent are we all? Fannie, your story is one of many neglected animals all over the world – ownership trumps everything here, sadly you are just a piece of property and what goes on behind closed doors will continue on.. Your rescuers may have broken the legal law, but they exalted moral law and LAPD and AC should hang take a look at themselves and try to figure out how next time they won’t go wrong and wrong and wrong. again and again.

  5. Dear Fannie, Next time, potential rescuers need to document potential abuse and get interviews with neighbors, etc. PETA might have some ideas about how to go through the process more effectively.

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