The veterinarian is taking on several ex- and current Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials for allegedly fabricating and re-dated a memo in order in order to hide the murder of a black bomb-sniffing Labrador called Spike that overheated inside the unattended vehicle of a patrol.
It was written in the late year of 2020. it claimed the Doctor. Yolanda Cassidy told officials that she conducted an examination of the dog, but could not discern what had killed him. In her lawsuit, which was filed Thursday Cassidy declared that nothing is true and said the Sheriff’s Department memo was “fraudulent.”
She told me she didn’t even look at the dog or talked to authorities about the circumstances that caused his death and was not working that day.
The report is also in contradiction with a vet study reviewed in The Times last year, in which it was the case that this animal “most likely passed of heat stroke.”
In the suit filed on the day before, Cassidy said the Department was fabricating the memo for two years after the fact, in an apparent attempt to conceal the true cause of the dog’s death when the matter finally was scrutinized by the public at the end of 2022.
The reason, as the lawsuit states, was helping the former Sheriff Alex Villanueva avoid bad press in a tense reelection campaign.
“It’s disappointing that LASD hasn’t fixed this mess and taken any steps to clear Dr. Cassidy’s name,” her lawyer, Vince Miller, told The Times on Thursday. “We’re hoping to see a change in the culture of the department, and we haven’t seen that yet.”
It is a county that usually doesn’t speak out about litigation pending and did not respond immediately with an explanation. None of Villanueva or any other officials, both former and present, identified as defendants replied to similar inquiries late on Thursday.
In a statement sent via email on Thursday night in an emailed statement Thursday evening, the Sheriff’s Department did not weigh on the allegations of Cassidy, or whether the memo is fake.
“The tragic death of our beloved Department K-9 named ‘Spike’ is unfortunate,” the statement stated. “Due to litigation pending which is pending, we are not able to give further information as of now. We can however say that the supervisory inquiry took place in the year 2020, and preventative steps are being implemented to make sure that these events will not happen in the near future.”
The issue were discovered in the early morning on September. 29th, 2000 in which Sgt. Dan Tobin left the 6-year-old dog, trained to smell out explosives and accelerants in the patrol vehicle while they went into the station for perform his duties. In the following, and now undisputed memo that was released, The Sheriff’s Department said that, while Tobin did not roll the windows open, he also had air conditioning in the car. After returning to inspect the dog at midday, the animal appeared well.
However, when he came back shortly before 1 p.m. according to the memo stated that the interior of the car was very hot and Spike was in a state of unconsciousness. The police officer took the dog into the East L.A. Dog and Cat Hospital which is where the team attempted to bring him back. Then, instead of returning the pet’s body to the vet for an autopsy, Tobin allegedly took it along with him. This, is claimed by the lawsuit could be “presumably to cover up evidence of Spike’s death.”
In the event that Lieutenant. Joseph Garrido, one of Tobin’s supervisors discovered the news of Spike’s passing, he disclosed his findings to the captain in charge above Tobin, who reportedly pleaded with him to look into the situation thoroughly and be sure that nobody tried to conceal the fact. After that, Garrido sent an email to his entire dog unit that they should be cautious not to allow the dogs overheat.
After a few months for a number of months, the Sheriff’s Department refused to address the questions from The Times about the death of the dog, but they did confirm that the dog had was dead and that there were no employees who were punished as a result. The cause, as a spokesperson claimed at the time could not be ascertained from “medical personnel.”
According to the suit the department has never conducted an investigation. Instead, it scuttled the investigation to prevent “bad media.”
The authorities did launch an investigation on Garrido and his wife, who had one more affront to his name: he’d apparently irked the top officials with his making a donation of $1,500 for the reelection effort of Villanueva’s opponent.
The inquiry into him was focused on the claim of Garrido “stole gasoline” when driving his business vehicle from Arizona claims which could easily be disproved through the vehicle’s odometer. To counter Garrido filed a lawsuit the month of October in 2022 and accused that the county was retaliating against Garrido.
After the case was made, Cassidy alleges that then-Cmdr. Joseph Williams reached out to her and advised her to avoid Garrido in order to stay out of the growing scandal.
“Do you know what f–ing Garrido is doing?” Williams claimed. “He’s talking to the L.A. Times about the dog that died.”
Cassidy informed him that she was unaware of anything about Spike because she’s had never met or walked Spike She also reaffirmed her wish that she wouldn’t be entangled in anything.
However, a couple of days after, Villanueva and his team responded to Garrido’s suit in a statement that called Garrido’s claims “blatant and demonstrably false lies” in a post published on the department’s official Facebook page. It was also included a link to the memo, which is currently in dispute that was issued on Oct. 6 in 2020.
The memo states that Cassidy has examined the dog and concluded that “heat, aspiration, and underlying medical conditions could have caused the death and that she could not exactly determine” why the dog died. animal.
According to Cassidy her, she didn’t see the dog in any way.
“I wasn’t there,” she said to The Times last year, then suggesting it was the Sheriff’s Department might have written the letter in the event that the department “expected me to cover them.”
In the end, she explained she was able to tell that another person at her place at East L.A. Dog and Cat Hospital looked over the dog, and then wrote the report.
In the event that The Times reviewed one page of the report earlier in the year the report was not clear on who had signed the document. However, it was evident that its contents were not compatible with department’s own memo.
The people who wrote the department’s memorandum “fabricate quotes from a veterinarian, Plaintiff Yolanda Cassidy, whom they falsely state saw and treated Spike,” Cassidy’s complaint states. “The memo fabricates Plaintiff Dr. Cassidy stating that the dog might not have died just from heat, but also perhaps from vomiting, and possibly from a preexisting condition.”
The document goes on state that sheriff’s officers conducted an interview with Cassidy in the animal hospital and she outlined the her medical procedure she’d completed in a meeting that she denies ever happened.
She also disputes the certain aspects from her lawsuit as well. Sheriff’s Department memo. In the department’s account of the events, Tobin believed that he had left his dog at the rear of the County-issued Chevy Tahoe, he had set the engine to “secure idle” with the air conditioning on and the warning of heat activated. Only the following day that he went to an auto mechanic to find out that the cooling system had blown over Freon.
Cassidy’s lawsuit brought that in an issue. “This story doesn’t hold water,” the suit states. “If the car’s air conditioning system was truly low on freon, the sergeant would have noticed the air conditioner was struggling and not cooling the car well long before Spike died.”
The suit instead charges Tobin of omitting to turn the car’s air conditioning on before emptying the vehicle’s Freon in order to cover the mess. However, since the lawsuit is not a case of him writing the controversial memo Tobin was not listed as a defendant in the suit. In an email exchange on Thursday afternoon, he refused to discuss the matter in light of the lawsuit in the process and instead directed all inquiries towards the Department.
The moment Cassidy was notified of the memo, which was discovered in the month of October 2022, she made it public to deny the contents of the memo and tell the media that it was a fake. Yet, as her lawsuit claims that the incident caused her to lose her standing as a vet. The plaintiff is seeking 10 million dollars while also insisting on the county’s investigation of this matter further.
“At a certain point, LASD needs to start holding people accountable for misconduct,” Miller said to The Times. “You can have officials at the top writing an untrue memo, it’s criminal. There’s no sign that anyone from the county investigates the matter at all.”