“Congratulations to Marcia Mayeda” is not a phrase you would expect from this writer, but yes, there it is starting off my weekly blog. Mayeda has finally launched a new Los Angeles County Department of Animal ‘Care’ and Control website and it is pretty good. We’re not going to quibble about the new site taking three years longer than Mayeda promised (and in the interim hundreds of pets were killed because of her stubborn refusal to fix flaws in the old site), the new website is a vast improvement.
One of the interesting things which was not migrated over to the new website was the DACC’s mission statement, particularly the following paragraph “As the agency responsible for animal-related public safety, our mission is achieved through shared county values including professionalism, responsibility, compassion, commitment, integrity, accountability…” Evidently one of the DACC’s pit bull lawyers must have warned Mayeda about laws pertaining to fraud and truth in advertising.
‘Responsibility’, ‘compassion’, ‘integrity’ and ‘accountability’ are not words used in sentences involving the DACC, as recent incidents at the Lancaster shelter recently proved. On July 28th, Marley A4506684, a ten month old Labrador Retriever was impounded. Marley had been owned by a woman named Sabrina, whose son was hospitalized for cancer and required constant care. Sabrina gave Marley to a friend to take care of while she was indisposed. Unfortunately Marley and the caretaker’s puppy did not get along and the caretaker took Marley to the Lancaster Shelter on July 28th. Marley had been originally adopted from the Lancaster shelter and had a registered microchip number 981020007252000. This chip was registered to Sabrina.
The DACC’s written policy mandates all incoming pets to be scanned to see if they have microchips. If a microchip is found, the chip is to be traced and the shelter is supposed to verify that the person relinquishing the animal is the pet’s registered owner. If not, a phone call is to be made to the registered owner, and if they do not answer the call, a registered letter is to be sent to the owner’s address notifying them of their pet’s whereabouts and giving them ten days to claim their pet.
The Lancaster shelter never scanned Marley and never sent a certified letter. On August 5th Sabrina discovered that Marley was at the shelter and tried to reclaim him. She was told that Marley had attacked another dog and killed him (this information was false) and that he was rescue only. The owner reached out to one of Lancaster’s stellar volunteers to help her reclaim the dog. The Lancaster volunteer called Sgt. Chavez of the Lancaster shelter on August 6th and told him that she was working on getting the dog out. On August 7th Lancaster gave Marley a Marcia Mayeda cocktail and killed him. The Lancaster volunteer was so revolted by this and other Lancaster misdeeds that she resigned after 14 years of service.
There were so many criminal errors committed by the shelter on this matter. They never scanned the dog upon impound, they never scanned the dog upon killing him. They never went through the formal notification process, and most importantly they knew Marley was going to be rescued.
Harry Truman is revered for his “The Buck Stops Here” quite, taking responsibility for everything happening under his administration. With Marcia Mayeda when you’re talking about Buck’s stopping, all you get is a dead dog named Buck lying dead on the side of the 105 Freeway.
It’s time that a civilian oversight commission be established to watch over Marcia Mayeda and the DACC, because clearly this out of control agency is not willing or trustworthy enough to watch over themselves.