There would be no one happier than me if I woke up tomorrow and discovered that Los Angeles County’s shelter system had decided to go no kill. I would also be delighted if I won the Power Ball lotto. The odds for me to win Power Ball are, according to statisticians, one chance in 175,223,510. The odds of Los Angeles County going no kill aren’t much better.
It’s a simple problem to understand- too many animals coming into the system, and not enough going out. Until someone can reduce the intake numbers, which will only happen with strong spay/neuter laws, microchip laws, a ban of puppy mill dogs being imported into our community, and landlords being refused the right to discriminate against pet owners, we have no chance.
However even if I can reluctantly condone something I abhor, the killing of innocent pets by the government – I can do so only if it is done for cases of irremediable suffering, pets who are dangerous (and so called “dangerous” pets need to be evaluated far better than they are now) and when the shelters are so overcrowded that it is the only way to alleviate the condition. However when a shelter has forty empty kennels, there is absolutely no justifiable reason to kill a healthy pet.
For the last two months all of the Los Angeles County Shelters have had the smallest number of impounded pets since we have been able to tabulate the shelter populations on the internet. Baldwin Park, Downey, Lancaster and Carson shelter volunteers have been reporting record numbers of empty kennels – yet the shelters are being ordered to kill – and the barrels in the shelter’s freezers are full of carcasses.
If anyone asks DACC officials why they are ordering pets to be slaughtered, they are accused of demoralizing the staff and threatened with dismissal if they are a volunteer. However when one talks to the staff they tell us the only thing that is demoralizing them is that they are being ordered to kill pets who don’t need to be killed.
In a follow up to my last week’s blog about Downey’s failure to microchip pets, Marcia Mayeda in e-mails to activists accused me of lying. She was then sent just a few of hundreds of impound numbers of pets (A4278450, A4386464, A4485782, A4465980, and A4560366) who were verified by DACC officials to have been released without microchips by Downey. Ms. Mayeda has to – no one’s surprise – neither apologized nor responded. We predict that she will blame the problem on an underling and discipline them – because with Mayeda the buck never stops here – it’s always someone else’s fault.
The DACC has published a mission statement on their website. This mission statement says, our mission is achieved through shared county values including professionalism, responsibility, compassion, commitment, integrity, accountability and community partnership.”
When you prove yourself to neither have responsibility, compassion, integrity nor accountability as Marcia Mayeda has demonstrated with this and hundreds of other incidents, you create a crisis in confidence amongst the public and your employees – and the only way to ameliorate the situation is to discharge the perpetrator. If she had any integrity Marcia Mayeda would resign. Since she doesn’t want to give up her $200,000 a year job and won’t go on her own – it’s time for the County Government to restore credibility and fire her.