A gang member who tied a puppy’s tail in a knot, dropped her in a vat of boiling water and repeatedly zapped her with a Taser gun was the first felony conviction by the city’s new Animal Cruelty Task Force, officials announced Tuesday. Aaron Jones, 26, of Los Angeles, was sentenced to three years in prison for abusing Sheila, his girlfriend’s German shepherd-mix puppy, which managed to survive despite her injuries. “We are putting the clamps, we are putting the leash, on animal cruelty in this city,” Councilman Tony Cardenas said at a news conference at North Valley Animal Shelter in Cypress Park, where a fresh and frisky Sheila appeared for cameras. “Talk about damage – we’re gonna do damage to any community that does damage to animals.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The Animal Cruelty Task Force, founded last summer to stem a growing number of dog- and cockfights often associated with gangs, includes four Los Angeles animal control officers, two police detectives and a deputy city attorney. It aims to not only prevent animals from being mauled in blood sports, but prevent a culture of human and domestic violence that can stem from cruelty to animals. The task force, hatched by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, was launched by Cardenas and Los Angeles Assistant Chief Sharon Papa and follows the lead of such cities as Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. Since July, the team has investigated eight dog-fighting incidents and claims to have saved the lives of 14 dogs. In addition, it has seized 180 fighting roosters. Investigations have resulted in two felony arrests, one felony prosecution and five felony filings. Task force detectives last month seized 60 fighting chickens in Sun Valley and another 60 in Panorama City, for which a man faces charges of animal cruelty and illegal breeding and training of fighting birds. “It’s really tough to catch these guys,” said task force Animal Services Capt. Wendell Bowers, of the secretive community of dog- and cockfighters. “If they don’t know you, you’re not in.” It was Los Angeles police Officer Gloria Fanning who responded to deadly weapon assault call and found Sheila traumatized by her wounds. An investigation found that Jones had tortured his girlfriend’s dog, which Fanning has since adopted. Dana Bartholomew, (818) 713-3730 [email protected] To report animal fights or abuse call the Animal Cruelty Task Force at (213) 847-1417. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!