CALIFORNIA—On August 22, Los Angeles Police Department responded to a call about a dog set on fire at a park nearest 88th and San Pedro Streets in South Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Inmate Roster noted that 24-year-old Brandon Jerold Smith was booked at the Montebello Jail on August 28. He was later arrested and booked at the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) 77th Street Jail on a Class F felony.
A volunteer from A Purposeful Rescue stated on social media that she found the dog chained to a fence and badly burned. Witnesses told reporters they reported the suspect for animal cruelty, for burning animals in the past.
Smith was seen walking into the park with his dog named Hennessey which he had since a puppy. He left the park without the dog.
Graphic video details the horrors the dog endured. Volunteers relayed that the dog was responding to them with tail wags and expected her to survive, but the animal did not.
According to reports, his ex-girlfriend, Serena Prentice has a restraining order against Smith. Prentice, who has a child with the suspect, told reporters she left with her child when Smith started exhibiting violent behavior toward her, and the dog. She said the dog was a family pet.
Prentice claimed Smith posted videos on social media of catching birds on fire and shooting at dogs through fences.
According to West’s Annotated California Codes, Penal Code. Part 1, 597 Cruelty to Animals, the statute reads:
“Anyone who maliciously and intentionally maims mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally kills and animals is guilty of an offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine of not more than $20,000 or both the fine and imprisonment, or, alternatively, by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than $20,000 or by both the fine and imprisonment. The statute also defines specific forms of torture and mistreatment that qualify as a crime under this section.”
— George Gascón (@LADAOffice) September 8, 2021
A Class F Felony can be punishable by a fine of no more than $20,000, a 3-year prison sentence with it being more severe if the cruelty ended in the death of the animal.
Canyon News contacted the LAPD Southeast Division, and emailed Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon’s office twice, and emailed Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for more information, and clarification, but did not hear back in time for print.