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Animal advocates shot at during protest

By jim Published: October 16, 2009

Members of an animal rights group were the victims of sniper fire during a protest and are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the shooter.

The Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) staged a protest in front of the Aquarium & Pet Center to protest the retailer's alleged sale of "puppy mill" dogs, or purebred pups that have been bred in inhumane conditions. That's when the shots rang out.

Three protesters were hit with what was later determined to be brass pellets fired from a high-powered air rifle. The protesters suffered minor injuries, said Sgt. Jay Trisler with the Santa Monica Police Department, which is asking for the public's help in identifying the shooter.

[...]

Davis said the attack occurred at a time when there is a "highly charged atmosphere" when it comes to animal rights. The Santa Monica City Council recently voted in favor of banning cat declawing and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have put caps on the number of animals used in puppy mills, becoming the only governor in the six states where puppy mill legislation passed this year to override it with a veto. Jeffrey Prang, a City Councilman from West Hollywood, which has also banned cat declawing, is working on an ordinance to ban the re-selling of any pets except bred or rescued animals in that city.

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