Citing the recent death of 10-month-old puppy at the Carson animal shelter, the national No Kill Advocacy Center has sued Los Angeles County, alleging unlawful and abusive treatment of thousands of dogs and cats at its six shelters, officials said Friday. The lawsuit alleges that the county Department of Animal Care and Control kills thousands of healthy and treatable animals before their state-mandated holding period expires, misclassifies animals as “ill” or “injured” in order to kill them before the holding period ends, and kills lost animals without making reasonable attempts to find the animals’ owners. It also alleges that the county fails to provide adequate veterinary care, nutrition, water, shelter and exercise to animals and refuses to release animals to rescue groups. The lawsuit follows the Dec. 5 death of a puppy at the Carson shelter. Animal advocates allege that the puppy died as a result of exposure to cold weather and was found frozen to the ground. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson“We’ve received ongoing complaints that Los Angeles County animal control has failed to follow California law as it relates to the care and release of dogs and cats impounded in their facilities, and specifically killing thousands of animals before their state-mandated holding period expires,” said Nathan Winograd, director of the San Clemente-based center, a national nonprofit organization. The center’s Los Angeles attorney, Sheldon Eisenberg, of Eisenberg, Raizman, Thurston & Wong, said he filed the lawsuit on behalf of the center to address “what we perceive to be the massive and systemic violations of state law that are taking place in the county shelter system.” The Department of Animal Care and Control was closed Friday and Director Marcia Mayeda could not be reached for comment. Officials in the County Counsel’s Office did not return calls for comment. James Bolden, spokesman for Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, said he couldn’t comment on the lawsuit. But he said the supervisors on Tuesday ordered Mayeda to report in January on the puppy’s death and steps to improve conditions. The supervisors recently gave Mayeda’s department $5 million for new medical treatment and surgery wards at the Lancaster, Carson and Baldwin Park shelters. Other shelters are in Agoura Hills, Castaic and Downey. “There is a lot of money going toward these shelters and she wants to make sure the money is going toward the right improvements,” Bolden said. “The problem isn’t just focused on Carson. It’s a countywide problem. She wants to make sure everybody is coming to the table to agree on what needs to be done.” The lawsuit, which was joined by Rebecca Arvizu, an animal rescuer, is based on violations of the 1998 Animal Shelter Law, which sought to reform state shelters that were unnecessarily killing animals in the face of lifesaving alternatives, Winograd said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!