Monthly Archives: July 2013

Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help


The last two weeks have been the worst two weeks in recent memory for the unfortunate animals impounded at the high intake Baldwin Park and Downey shelters. Overcrowding has been severe as adoptions have tapered off while the tidal wave of surrendered and stray animals has not abated in the least. As a result far too many pets have been taken to the back and given Marcia Mayeda cocktails – the widely used nickname for the lethal drugs used to dispatch these unfortunate souls to their deaths.

Can we fault the shelter system for the carnage? The Baldwin Park Shelter only has 192 kennels and despite all the people who say they want Los Angeles County to become no kill, not one of these no kill advocates has come forward with an address where the excess pets who cannot be stuffed into the kennels can be dropped off.

However, this does not remove the shelter system from a partial share of the blame. Even in the winter months when the Baldwin Park Shelter routinely had forty to fifty empty kennels the shelter was ordered to kill. The reason given was the shelter did not have adequate numbers of kennel attendants to take care of the dogs who would have inhabited these kennels. Compounding this Marcia Mayeda’s head veterinarian, Dr. Salcito, has divined that on the 22nd day of incarceration pets become inexorably depressed and want to be euthanized – and she is only too glad to accommodate their wishes.

The lack of personnel to take care of the pets is particular appalling – and the word “Care” in the Department of Animal Care and Control has become an oxymoron. The Castaic shelter recently did not have enough personnel to feed or clean their cat cages – and the cats went hungry for a day. Notwithstanding the financial drain that Marcia Mayeda’s bloated salary takes, and frivolous spending – such as the money wasted by requiring volunteers to watch a collection of irrelevant training videos which cost the DACC fifty dollars per person to view. However the best way for the DACC to raise money is to hire more canvassers to walk the streets of Los Angeles County and enforce licensing requirements and concurrently educate people on the need for spay/neutering their pets. It is estimated that only ten percent of all pets are properly licensed in Los Angeles County. According to our sources, the average canvasser pulls in approximately $3,000 per day in revenue. Yet these canvassers cannot possibly cover the whole Los Angeles County area and are not being directed into affluent communities. The positive revenue brought in by the canvassers could pay for animal care and fewer pets would die.

A drop in the killing would be welcome. It’s time to put the word “Care” back into the DACC, and the only way that will happen is with a change of leadership at this bloated government agency.


Moreno Valley Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

I am pleased to announce that United Hope For Animals has now expanded our networking program to the Moreno Valley Shelter,  located in Moreno Valley in Riverside County.  This well maintained, but small shelter, is a high intake public shelter filled to capacity with highly adoptable dogs and cats, who urgently need your help.  The shelter’s management has signaled that they would like to do anything possible to improve their adoption and rescue rates, and have graciously provided us with access to photograph and video their pets.

Our Moreno Valley networking team is going to be led by two of our favourite people, Audrey Pusey and Rhonda Baiz, Moreno Valley shelter volunteers who will be working tirelessly at finding adopters and rescues for the shelters pets.  Audrey can be reached via e-mail at

To see the Moreno Valley Shelter networking list please click here:



Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!



Traditionally the worst two months for the Los Angeles County Shelter system are June and July, where the shelters get inundated by a tidal wave of pets being surrendered by owners who move and are too lazy to take their pets with them and pets being impounded due to the shelters’ service areas allowing the sale of fireworks and the resultant chaos which ensues when you have a population that leaves its pets outside without collars or microchips.

When overcrowding occurs in the Los Angeles County shelters, upper respiratory disease (URI) among its occupants are rampant.  The county’s head veterinarian, Dr. Salcito, proudly and continually cites her record as the shelter veterinarian at Lancaster – where she quite rightly claims URI was minimal under her watch.   The problem was that her solution to fighting URI is to euthanize, and as we all know Lancaster has had the highest kill rate of any of the county shelters.   The last week has been particularly brutal at the Downey and Baldwin Park shelters.  “Marcia Mayeda cocktails” were served in abundance  and the barrels inside the shelters’ freezers are filled with dog and cat carcasses awaiting shipment to rendering plants where their carcasses will be boiled and the fat drained to produce lipstick and other cosmetics.

We think there are better ways to fight URI, such as thoroughly cleaning kennels between dogs being taken out of the kennels for adoption or lately for killing, and new dogs replacing them in the same kennels.

However when you start killing as much as the shelters have, kennel attendants have a curious habit of coming down with strange illness and call in sick.   Baldwin Park only had three kennel attendants on duty Friday morning, curiously after killing so many pets the day before.  When you couple that with an abysmally run volunteer program run by the woman who wins our award for the laziest and most ineffective bureaucrat in the entire Los Angeles County government – you just don’t have the manpower to keep the kennels clean.


Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!



Those of us involved in pet rescue in Southern California are upset with the various shelter systems.   Bureaucratic inefficiency, lack of resources, failed policies and out of touch shelter leadership plagues the various municipal shelters.

SEAACA is so afraid of scrutiny that they won’t even allow potential adopters to take pictures of their animals – presumably because they fear that the poor care they afford their pets might go viral in this day of YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Ustream.   The San Bernadino and Devore shelters are viewed by most as death camps, Brenda Barnette has alienated nearly everyone in the Los Angeles City system and is running on paranoid, and Marcia Mayeda, the beleaguered head of the Los Angeles County shelter system, is the poster child for failed bureaucrats everywhere.

Is it merely a case of bad people being put in charge of the various shelter systems?  I’m sure when Marcia Mayeda looks in the mirror, she doesn’t think of herself as evil, and Brenda Barnette does not start each day by kicking a dog on her way to work.    I would argue instead that these shelter bureaucrats were once decent people and got frustrated by the lack of support they received from their superiors, and the problems of dealing with an underpaid unionized staff who do not relish that part of their job involves killing unwanted and sick animals.   The shelter heads do not set out to do bad things, but they see how hard it is to change the bureaucracy they are thrust into.  They realize there is no room for advancement, and no pleasing everyone.  They become frustrated and burn out, figuring that no one really cares and nothing they do really matters much in the grand scheme of things.  Then they become complacent and interested only in saving their $200,000 a year jobs.  To preserve those jobs they must silence critics and avoid oversight – and that sums up the mess Southern California shelter systems are in today.

Only after our elected officials decide they want to solve the pet overpopulation problem by enacting and enforcing spay/neuter legislation, modifying the “one size fits all” policy of allowing people to have only three dogs no matter what size property they have, legislating and enforcing mandatory microchipping and giving the shelters the ability to fine people who abandon their pets will we have any chance to re-motivate these burned out bureaucrats to use their positions to do good, rather than be the self-serving autocrats that they are today.


Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!


A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a potential adopter who was devastated that Rosemary, A4578777, an affable and well trained two year old black female German Shepherd/Pit Bull mix,  was euthanized at the Baldwin Park Shelter.   She had been following Rosemary on the Los Angeles County Department of Animal ‘Care’ and Control’s official website for weeks, and was sure she wanted to adopt her.  However Rosemary was listed in the website’s “Lost and Found” section from the moment she was impounded on May 18th until she was killed on June 18th.  Rosemary was never moved over to the “Adoptable Animal” section of the website and her potential adopter assumed she was not yet available for adoption, and as a result this highly adoptable friendly dog is dead.

The reason this dog is dead is because the Los Angeles County Shelter system’s program called “Chameleon”,  designed for inventorying pets does not automatically move pets from “Lost and Found” to “Adoptable” once the pet’s stray period is over.  Los Angeles City’s Shelter system uses the same Chameleon program and has an update which automatically transfers pets from stray to adoptable.

As I write this there are 342 dogs listed as strays at the Baldwin Park Shelter on the County’s website.  Of these 342 dogs over 200 of them are actually now available for adoption.  The frightening aspect of this is that so many people who visit the County’s website only check the adoptable list, and if they do not see the dog they want, a dog who could easily be still erroneously listed as a stray, they go elsewhere – to another shelter if we’re lucky, but often to Craig’s list or a backyard breeder.

Marcia Mayeda has known about this glitch in the system for five years, but has done nothing to fix it.  According to a programmer at Chameleon, to add the line of programming would have cost less than fifteen minutes of computer programming time.   Instead of allocating less than $100 of her budget to fix this problem, Mayeda claimed the county was going to develop a new software program and did nothing.  Her new computer program is still not functional and for five years pets have been dying needlessly  which is just another example of her callous disregard at best, and coldhearted contempt, she has for the lives of the pets entrusted into her care.

I know we can’t save every pet that comes into the shelter system – because there are just too many.  However Rosemary did not need to die, and her death lies squarely on the shoulders of Marcia Mayeda.  One can only ask how long the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will allow her mismanagement to continue.