LA Animal Services Urges Pet Owners Not to Leave Furry Friends in Hot Cars


A message from the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services:

When the temperature increases outside, the danger of leaving your pet in a vehicle increases. LA Animal Services urges people not to leave their beloved pet behind in the car, informs residents about the law and gives steps that can be taken if you find a pet in danger in a parked vehicle.

What you expect to be a quick stop at the store could mean your pets are suffering or being injured by excessive heat, even if a window is cracked open. An animal in a hot car could suffer brain damage or death.

“Many people just don’t know about this risk,” said Brenda Barnette, LA Animal Services (LAAS) General Manager, “We’re trying to get the word out and prevent needless tragedy so pet guardians do not thoughtlessly or unknowingly leave their companion animal behind in a hot parked car.”

If you are not going to be able to take your furry friend in with you every time you get out of the car, make the safe choice and leave him at home. A quick stop may feel like no time at all to you, but it’s too long to leave your pet in a vehicle unattended on a warm summer day and endangers the life of your pet.

Not only is the well-being and safety of your pet at risk, leaving your four-legged family member in the car can also be a legal issue for you. In fact, someone accused of leaving an animal in a hot car could face heavy fines, be charged for animal cruelty, and face jail time.

In December 2017, the West Valley Animal Services Center received a report from a citizen that there was a dog inside a vehicle in heat distress. An LAAS Animal Control Officer responded and found the temperatures inside the vehicle ranged from 119-123 degrees. The Officer rescued the dog, named Cali, from the vehicle and transported her to the West Valley center. Once there, an LAAS veterinarian diagnosed the dog as hyperthermic and was able to successfully cool her down. The dog owner has been charged with animal cruelty and their case is currently pending prosecution.

What can you do if you see a pet suffering in a parked car? Good Samaritan bystanders are legally allowed to break into cars if they feel there is imminent danger to the animal inside. Anyone in that situation should first call 911 or any of the six LA City animal shelters at 888-452-7381 and ask to speak to the Officer in Charge.

If the animal is in immediate danger, the car is locked, and law enforcement is not arriving quickly enough to save the animal’s life, the law provides immunity from civil and criminal liability to a person causing vehicle damage for the purpose of rescuing the animal.

If you see a pet in a hot car:

  1. Immediately take down the vehicle’s model, make, color, and license plate number. These can be used to report the owner for neglect or irresponsible behavior, and also to identify who the owner is.
  2. Go into the local businesses or buildings nearby and notify a manager or security guard. Insist that they make an announcement over the intercom with the license plate number to inform the owner of the dire situation.
  3. If you can’t find the owner, call the authorities. Call the police or the closest animal shelter in the area to come and assess the situation.
  4. Do not leave the scene. Signs of heatstroke include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, and lack of coordination. Keep a close eye on the pet for these symptoms, as it could mean that the situation needs to be acted upon very quickly.
  5. If the authorities take too long, take action. If you very honestly believe that the pet is in bad condition and showing symptoms of heatstroke, assess the situation and remove the pet from the heat immediately and wait for the authorities to arrive. Check to ensure the car is locked and cannot be opened, break a window if needed but do not use more force than necessary during the rescue.
  6. Take proper steps to care for the animal. When the pet is removed from the hot car, the situation isn’t necessarily over yet. Get the animal into air conditioning as soon as possible and give him cool water to drink. Continue to stay with the pet until law enforcement arrives.

Anna-Rose Mathieson Featured on the SCOTUSBlog!


In a recent post on the SCOTUSBlog, one of the terrific attorneys who has spoken at our seminars, Anna-Rose Mathieson, was highlighted as being a leading U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief filer during the 2017-2018 term! Ms. Mathieson had previously spoken for us at our 2017 and 2018 Advanced Appellate conferences in San Francisco, and our attendees loved her presentations and advice both times. Congratulations Anna-Rose!

You can find Anna-Rose’s biography here.

Foster a Pet for the 4th of July and Save a Life!


An important 4th of July message from LA Animal Services:

Every year around the 4th of July, LA Animal Services Centers fill beyond capacity with terrified lost pets. This means that available shelter space can be the difference between life and death for our shelter guests who have been with us past the required hold period. YOU can make that life-saving difference by fostering for four days or more or adopting. 

In Los Angeles, daily dog and cat admissions at the six LA Animal Services Centers increased by 5.1% from July 2 to July 6 in comparison to the average daily intake in 2017. The loud sounds of July 4th fireworks frighten dogs and cats. If they get out of the house or yard, they run in fear. Then these frightened dogs and cats can’t find their way home and end up at our city shelters. These pets are counting on us to help reunite them with their families. 

We need YOUR help right now to create life-saving space in our crowded city shelters.

“While many people are out celebrating, the shelters will be flooded with scared pets,” said Brenda Barnette, LA Animal Services General Manager. “Our hope is that animal lovers in Los Angeles will open their home and hearts to help orphaned pets. If you aren’t ready to adopt, fostering is a great way to see what it’s like to have a four-legged addition to your family.”

We have hundreds of wonderful dogs and cats of all ages, breeds and sizes waiting to be your temporary companion or best friend forever. Adopt or foster a shelter pet today. By giving an abandoned pet a new home or letting them stay with you for a short time, you are saving two lives, the one you are caring for and the one who now has room at the shelter. 

Every pet is spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and ready to be placed in a good home. Additionally, to help maximize space during this critical time, the Pet Care Foundation is helping us reduce $50 on our adoption fees this weekend, June 23rd and 24th, during their biannual CHI-PITTY-KITTY adoption event. Cat and kitten adoption fees are $26.00 and pit bull terriers and chihuahua adoption fees are $72.00 (includes $20 city license). Click here to view our adoptable pets.

To volunteer to foster, print your application at LAASFostering or go to your nearest animal services center and ask for a Foster Volunteer Application. Please drop off your completed form to your nearest center as soon as possible so we know we have you as a resource during our busiest time. You can pick up a pet to foster right away or we can reach out when we need the most help.

The shelters are open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are closed on Mondays and the 4th of July. To find the shelter nearest you, visit LAASlocator or call (888) 452-7381.

Together, we can save more lives in the City of Angels! Our heartfelt thanks will be nothing compared to the lifetime of memories and unconditional love you will get from your furry friend.

Donate to help animals in the city of Los Angeles!

Cannabis Legal Expert & Pincus Seminar Speaker Expands Law Firm to NorCal


Ariel Clark’s law firm are experts in Cannabis law – in Washington, California and elsewhere. She spoke at our June 2017 Marijuana Law 101 seminar (where she received great evaluations) and is expanding her practice to Northern California!

We wanted to pass on the Recorder’s article about her firm’s expansion, Women-Owned Cannabis Law Firm Expands in Northern California by Xiumei Dong.

After hiring three new associates to accommodate increased demand for legal services in the recreational cannabis businesses, Clark Neubert has opened offices in Sacramento and Santa Cruz. Congratulations Ariel!

Associate Joanna Hossack will head the firm’s office in Sacramento, while senior associate Nicole Laggner will head the firm’s Santa Cruz office.

Hossack specializes in the recently-passed Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, and California’s evolving regulatory processes for cannabis. Laggner’s expertise is on cannabis business formation and compliance.

“Demand for legal services is skyrocketing as cannabis businesses get licensed and enter the adult use market,” said Ariel Clark. “This is an exciting but complex time for business owners. We’re growing to ensure our clients have every resource they need.”

We will be diving into the laws on the Marijuana business at our upcoming two-day conference on November 1st and 2nd in Los Angeles.

Social Justice Collaborative’s 3rd Annual Benefit Dinner

social justice

Social Justice Collaborative (SJC) will be hosting its 3rd Annual Benefit Dinner at Piedmont Veterans’ Memorial Building on October 21, 2018.

This evening event includes catered dinner, beverages, and passionate individuals speaking on behalf of immigrant families.

Save the date and join SJC for a night of celebration and honoring the work of pro bono collaborators.

To avoid fees, you can mail a check (with an email address) to:

Social Justice Collaborative
420 3rd Street, Suite 130
Oakland, CA 94607

Hot Weather and Pet Safety


LA Animal Services Offers Tips to Help Keep Your Pets Safe in the Hot Weather

Remember when it is hot for you, it is even hotter for your four-legged friends. Dogs and cats do not sweat through their skin. They cool themselves by panting or rapid breathing, which means dogs and cats must work extra hard to stay cool.

Too much heat can be extremely dangerous or even fatal for companion animals. LA Animal Services reminds pet owners about the hazards of hot weather and how to keep your furry loved ones healthy and comfortable. Here are some pet safety tips:

Never leave your pet alone inside a vehicle

If your pet cannot go inside at every stop with you, they are safer at home on hot days. Car interiors heat very quickly, even with the windows open. If it is 90 degrees out, temperatures can top 160 degrees faster than you can walk around the block. In fact, it’s against the law to leave an animal in a vehicle if doing so endangers the health or well-being of the animal.

Give your pet extra water

Always make sure that your dog or cat has plenty of fresh water to drink. A bucket that holds a gallon or more of water will stay cool longer than water in a shallow pan. Some dogs consider ice cubes a treat, and you can add a few to the water bowl.

Care for your pet’s coat

Longer coated dogs and cats who are brushed regularly have natural insulation from the heat. However, if the coat has gotten matted, a clip will make your buddy much more comfortable. Newly clipped and lighter coated pets, especially white ones, are at higher risk for skin cancer and they are more susceptible to sunburn.

Don’t leave your pet outdoors for a long time

If your dog has to be left outdoors for awhile, make sure they have plenty of access to shade such as trees, a covered patio or cool spot under the porch. Apply a pet specific or hypoallergenic sunscreen on sensitive areas like the nose, tips of ears and belly especially if they have light or thin fur.

Avoid hot ground surfaces

While walking your dog outdoors, play particular attention to the pavement, sidewalks or sand. Check the temperature with your hand, if it’s too hot to touch then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.

Know the signs of overheating

If your dog or cat begins very rapid, noisy breathing, has trouble swallowing and looks very distressed, they could be having a heatstroke. Get the animal out of the heat. Apply cold, wet towels to the back of the head. Place cold packs wrapped in towels or plain wet towels between the back legs and on the belly. Cool off your pet and take them to the veterinarian immediately.

Remember, companion animals want to be with you. They will be safer and cooler inside with you, where they can spend their time doing what they do best: being your best friend.

CA Attorney Re-Fingerprinting


Reported on the State Bar of California’s website, the Supreme Court issued a new California Rule of Court effective on June 1st, which will require re-fingerprinting most active California attorneys.

Starting June 1, 2018:

  • The State Bar will issue instructions, FAQs, mandatory re-fingerprinting forms, a schedule, and other relevant information
  • Email notifications with more detailed instructions will be sent on a rolling basis until early August
  • Any attorney can begin the re-fingerprinting process by logging into their My State Bar Profile even if they have not received an email
  • Attorneys should not undergo re-fingerprinting until this information is released

The deadline to submit new fingerprints without penalty will be April 30th of next year.

Lowest February Bar Pass Rate Since 1951


Looks like California’s law students need to hit the books. According to an article posted by Cheryl Miller on The Recorder, a mere 27.3% of would-be lawyers passed California’s bar exam in February. Based on records dating back to 1951, this is the all-time lowest pass rate according to test data released this month.

The low scores reflect a national trend for the winter sitting of the exam. The average score on February’s multi-state bar exam fell 1.3 points from 2017’s scores to 132.8. This makes it the lowest average score in over a decade, and marks the fourth year in a row the month’s average score declined.

First-time test-takers of the February 2018 exam continued to do better than repeat test-takers with a 39% pass rate. Graduates of American Bar Association-approved law schools from California performed the best of any group, with 46% passing.