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Stolen Van Contained Family Dog Too

A homeless man was arrested yesterday in Studio City after he stole a minivan that was left running in the area of Ventura Boulevard and Whitsett. Nobody seemed to care about the van being stolen. What got the community up in arms was the fact that the van had the Mateo family dog sleeping in the back. It was a hot day in the Valley and the owner said he had stopped to pick up his wife and child at a local store. Mateo left the dog in the car with the engine running and the air conditioning on. It was ninety plus degrees in the Valley.

When Mateo and his family returned to the car it was gone as was their ten year family pet. Police recovered the vehicle two days later with the dog still in the back. Only now the dog was dead of dehydration. Mateo and his family were devastated by the loss of their pet.

The suspect, transient Danny Fis was arrested for felony animal cruelty – and I assume, grand theft auto and was being held in lieu of $45,000 bail. When asked by reporters gathered at the scene of the arrest if he knew the dog was in the car he nodded in the affirmative.

As a defense attorney I am required to keep an open mind and do everything I can to advocate for my clients. I do my best to do this with each and every client. Sometimes I am disturbed by certain sets of facts to the point where I am unable to represent certain clients for any fee.

Mr. Fis, you fat slob, you disgust me on so many levels. Could you have let the dog out of the van? Could you have given the dog some water? But yes, even you are entitled to be represented by a lawyer. And this is why there are public defenders. Good luck with yours. And, yes, that was sarcasm because you are not likely bright enough to catch it.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of crime there may be money or other resources available to you. If you need help navigating the criminal justice system in any way, call me:

Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or email me at: or visit me: and

Categories: Criminal Defense, Felony
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Law Office of Jeffrey S. Vallens - San Fernando Valley Criminal Defense Attorney
Located at 16030 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 470, Encino, CA 91436.
Phone: (818) 783-5700.
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