Last week I had to pinch myself to make sure I was awake and not dreaming. After having been working out of the country for most of the last two months I returned to Baldwin Park and for a moment thought I had somehow ended up in some sort of weird parallel world where everything was the opposite of the real world that I inhabited. The reason for this confusion on my part was in two weeks the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control’s leadership had actually managed to do several constructive things without, to use a common expression that may be impolite but aptly fits when dealing with the DACC, “fucking up”.
The DACC actually listened to its staff and volunteers and replaced a veterinarian at the Carson Shelter who had some rather controversial theories of shelter medicine to say the least and had proved herself to be ill suited for the job.
The DACC reassigned Danny Ubario, a genuinely nice human being, from running the much maligned Lancaster shelter to a position where he will build up the innovative program that the DACC is launching with PetSmart to turn one of their stores into an adoption center. Danny will also be contacting less-crowded local shelter systems to see if they will take some of our dogs. This is monumental because most of the reaching out work had been done by volunteers; evidently the DACC management did not previously consider this to be a priority.
The DACC finally acknowledged that the microchips they had switched to were not doing their job (the company providing them had no recognized national database) and has switched back to Avid microchips. Although this has forced them to charge an extra $15 per pet adopted, it is definitely worth the price to have peace of mind knowing that should your pet be lost you have a good chance of being reunited with him/her.
Subaru, a rare company with ethics, compassion and a sense of corporate responsibility donated a brand new crossover vehicle to the DACC to be used to facilitate mobile adoption efforts and the car is already being put to use at Baldwin Park!
And the DACC has decided to auction off DACC head bureaucrat Marcia Mayeda for one day to the shelter which raises the most money for charity. The winning shelter gets Ms. Mayeda as a kennel attendant for one day (cynics have claimed that prize was limited to one day because no one could tolerate her presence for longer, but we are keeping an open mind). I am pleased to announce that Baldwin Park is pulling out all the stops to win Ms. Mayeda’s services. We relish the opportunity to have her do hands-on work in the kennels and learn firsthand how understaffed and overworked our staff are, how her ill-conceived policies have hampered adoption and rescue efforts, and the needless misery caused to the shelters’ pets, and we hope to film this journey of discovery. We hope our shelter’s networking efforts will make moot the question of whether Ms. Mayeda, whose ill conceived policies have doomed so many animals, will be forced to personally participate in the euthanasia process.