FEB. 25, 2016 UPDATE: Tiffini Tobe, the driver of the car and apparent owner of the dogs, died earlier this month after she jumped from a moving bus, NBC4 reports.
City of Long Beach Animal Care Services is looking for rescue groups to take Tobe’s dogs, which are still at the shelter. (KCAL reports that one dog has been adopted.) The three adult dogs “are loving females who seem to enjoy human interaction and likely get along with most other dogs, considering they all came in together,” according to the services’ Facebook page. If interested, call 562-570-7387 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It seems like police pursuits occur almost on a weekly basis here in Los Angeles. I don’t get why drivers don’t just stop and pull over, since it’s inevitable they’ll run out of gas or just give up. And what I really don’t get is why anyone would do something so dangerous with family members as passengers — particularly four-legged family members.
But it happens. In February 2015, a man who led police on a chase through the San Fernando Valley, with his small dog beside him in his truck, shot himself to death after an hour-long standoff. The terrified dog ran from the truck and was eventually caught by animal control officers.
In September, a man shot a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer after a high-speed chase in Riverside County. A Husky puppy who was found in the shooter’s SUV was rescued by animal control and named Chip in honor of the wounded officer, who survived the shooting. More than 75 potential adopters wrote essays explaining why they would be the perfect pet parents for Chip. The winner was Mike Ventura, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Yet another incident happened again last night. After CHP officers approached a car parked on the side of the 710 Freeway, the driver, Tiffini Tobe, took off, leading officers on a slow-speed chase. It ended in Long Beach when officers used the PIT (precision immobilization technique) maneuver to make her car spin around and stop.
When Tobe got out of her car, so did three of six dogs, who appeared to be Pit Bull mixes. After approaching and being pushed away by Tobe, who was lying face down on the freeway, the dogs started running around, their tails wagging. They were joined by the other three dogs who’d been left in the car with the window open.
Fortunately, the police officers had stopped traffic on both sides of the freeway. Also fortunately, officers from City of Long Beach Animal Care Services were able to corral all six dogs. (Kudos to those police officers, considering that some cops would probably have pulled out their guns and shot the dogs as they ran toward them.)
“This gives a whole new meaning to the term PIT maneuver,” ABC7 cleverly wrote on its Facebook page.
The dogs were taken to the Long Beach city animal shelter. Hopefully they’ll all find forever homes with more responsible pet parents.
Driver Previously Charged with Animal Abuse
It turns out that Tobe, the driver of the car and owner of the six dogs, was charged last year with animal abuse, the Los Angeles Times reported Jan. 21.
In June, Tobe was charged with a misdemeanor (!) count of failing to provide veterinary treatment after it was discovered that one of her dogs had chewed the skin off a rear foot, exposing the bone, and was not seen by a veterinarian for six months. The 4-year-old Pit Bull was suffering from hypertrophic osteopathy and had to be euthanized.
Tobe was ordered at the time not to have any pets.
When she failed to show up for a hearing earlier this month, a warrant was issued for her arrest. After Monday night’s car chase, Tobe was charged with a felony count of reckless driving and misdemeanor counts of DUI, resisting an officer and driving without a license. Today she pleaded not guilty to all charges. She is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 28 for a pretrial hearing.
Her six Pit Bulls corralled after the car chase, including three puppies, their mother and two other dogs, had “no obvious signs of significant injury or illness,” Ted Stevens, manager of Long Beach Animal Care Services, where the dogs remain in custody, told NBC Los Angeles. “So far they’ve shown no aggression. They appear bright, alert, responsive, friendly.”
The dogs may eventually be available for adoption or released to a local rescue. “I think any dog that ends up away from their home and family is a bit stressed,” Stevens said. “We’ll do our best to keep stress to a minimum.”
Photo via YouTube