Fri, Feb 09, 2007 - Page 23 News List

Starving dog rescued from Sacramento star's mansion

AP , SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA

Animal services officers have seized a Great Dane from the mansion of Sacramento Kings star Ron Artest, saying that the dog was underfed.

Neighbors complained for weeks that the dog -- named Socks -- appeared to be starving inside a gated area on Artest's US$1.85 million estate in rural Loomis, according to a county report.

On Jan. 30, animal services officers visited Artest's home and issued a "pre-seizure" notice, warning him that the female Great Dane would be taken into custody if the animal care didn't improve.

Placer County animal services officers returned to Artest's home on Monday and removed Socks.

Artest has 10 days to request a hearing, county spokeswoman Anita Yoder said.

Artest's publicist, Heidi Buech, declined to comment when reached by reporters on Wednesday.

The episode has so upset neighbors in Artest's gated community that the homeowners' association plans to hold a vote next week on guidelines that would require members to properly care for their animals.

Artest signed with the Kings last January for US$7.15 million this season and US$7.8 million in 2007-2008, with an US$8.45 million player option for 2008-2009.

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