Monthly Archives: November 2012

Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!



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.


Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

Traditionally the number of discarded pets found on the streets in Los Angeles County lessens as we hit the fall season. However volunteers and workers at the Downey and Baldwin Park Shelters have not noticed any reduction in intakes as our county’s residents have not grasped the importance of spaying and neutering their pets. Sadly the shelter system has a finite amount of kennel space and once that number is eclipsed the trail of tears leading to the back of the shelters is a well worn path and far too many friendly and adoptable pets are being euthanized.

Bringing down the unacceptably high euthanasia rates in not only Los Angeles County but throughout California, is not something which can be done overnight and is not something we can entirely blame on the poor management shown by Marcia Mayeda.


If the utopia of the no kill shelter is to be reached in Los Angeles County, the public has to force the state legislature to pass three pieces of legislation:

1.) Enforceable spay/neuter legislation must be passed. Yes we will have to compromise with the American Kennel Club and allow their breeders to continue producing purebreds, but backyard breeding must be ended – and the only way backyard breeding is going to be impacted is through legislation.

2.) We need to pass a law requiring all pets to be microchipped, and have the right to fine people who refuse to come and get their pets. In northern Italy there are severe fines for abandoning an animal – and we need to penalize irresponsible people who do not take care of their pets.

3.) We need to pass a law requiring landlords to allow pet ownership. Roughly thirty percent of all pets surrendered at shelters are the result of landlords refusing to allow pets in their buildings.

If we could get these three pieces of legislation through we might have a chance to bring our euthanasia rates down. Until then we will be nothing more than little Dutch boys trying to insert our fingers into dykes to stop the incoming tide and prevent the levee from being breached.