Debbie Knaan

Ms. Knaan has been a Deputy District Attorney since 1996. From 2004 to 2006, Ms. Knaan served as a city commissioner on the Board of Commissioners that manages and sets policy for the Department of Animal Services, the agency responsible for Los Angeles’ six city animal shelters. In 2006, Ms. Knaan was given a leave of absence to serve as the Assistant General Manager of Operations for the Department of Animal Services. In her position as Assistant General Manager, Ms. Knaan oversaw the day-to-day operations at the city animal shelters. In addition to supervising the kennel staff, Ms. Knaan also supervised the field officers, who conducted animal cruelty investigations. In 2007, Ms. Knaan returned to the District Attorney’s Office to become the Office’s first Animal Cruelty Case Coordinator. As the Animal Cruelty Coordinator, Ms. Knaan is responsible for overseeing the prosecution of animal cruelty cases within the District Attorney’s Office, as well as training both Deputy D.A.’s and animal control and law enforcement agencies on how to investigate, file, and prosecute cases in which animals have been mistreated.

This past Thursday, Ms. Knaan helped introduce new state legislation, AB 243, into the California Assembly–this bill would allow a judge to bar a felon convicted of animal cruelty from owning animals for a certain period after their release. She is currently working on a program designed to encourage reporting of animal fighting and a program intended to educate those who have failed to properly care for their animals.

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