Monthly Archives: October 2013

Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your help!!!`


On June 10th 2012, a seven year old Labrador Retriever, A3597897, was turned in at the Lancaster shelter.  The dog was determined to be suffering from seizures and needed veterinary attention.   Because Marcia Mayeda refuses to staff the shelters with veterinarians on weekends, the shelter’s officer in charge filled out an “ETF” (Emergency Treatment Form) and at 3:30 P.M. assigned a staff member to take the dog to an outside veterinarian for treatment.    The outside temperature was 91 degrees and the assigned officer loaded the dog onto his truck and promptly never made it to the veterinary clinic.  For 8 hours the dog went through convulsions in the back of the truck while the officer found better things to do than take the dog to the veterinarian.   Sometimes the air conditioning may have been on – but much of the time it wasn’t and the inside temperature of the truck was most likely well over 100 degrees while the officer took other calls, went on several breaks and just plain hung out at the shelter.  It was not until the next shift came on at midnight that the dog was discovered and was finally brought to the veterinarian.  The officer involved had reportedly repeatedly engaged in such conduct and had been suspended previously for other misconduct.  Today he is not only still employed by the DACC,  but has a job working the “graveyard” shift in Lancaster interacting with animals without any oversight whatsoever.

In 2009 KCBS reporter David Goldstein aired a report on Channel 2 showing Officer Felix Reyes dragging a dog who had just come back from an outside veterinarian with a hip injury.  As a family of five walked by in the tape, Reyes dragged the dog on a rope across the floor and then yanked him over the threshold and deposited him inside a kennel.   Reyes was suspended, and thankfully no longer works at the Baldwin Park Shelter.  However he still has a DACC job and works at the call center in Downey.

Nearly all of the employees at the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control who come into daily contact with pets care deeply about the animals they work with and for.  They pride themselves on the care and compassion they provide not only to the pets unfortunate enough to end up in the shelter system, but to the public at large.   When an employee does something egregious to the animals they take great offence because they know it is all too easy for the public and rescues to see them as all the same – and unjustly disdain them for something they find morally repugnant.

What makes it even more galling for many of these employees as well as the public is that Marcia Mayeda, who has fired people capriciously for lesser offences, knows about these transgressions and has kept these employees on the county payroll.

Life goes on as usual for the high paid leadership of the DACC – for the shelter pets – not so much.


Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help


Being an animal control officer, or kennel worker in the Los Angeles County Shelter system is not a glamour job.  If you are in the field your job includes picking up injured animals who have been hit by cars and transporting them to emergency veterinary clinics, or if they are dead bringing them to the facility for disposal, investigating cases of animal cruelty and making the tough call as to exactly when someone has crossed over the line of providing inadequate care for their pets, and picking up stray pets and bringing them back to a shelter where you know the pet may be euthanized due to lack of space.   For this work you can make between $33,864 as a starting salary and if you are there long enough and get every promotion max out at $60,615.24 per year before taxes and union dues.

If you are a kennel attendant your life is even less glamorous.  Your job description includes cleaning kennels, assisting the public in turning in unwanted and dead animals, and the worst job of all, taking healthy pets to the back of the shelter and holding them while they are killed and then placing their carcasses in barrels inside a freezer so they can be transported to a rendering plant.  For this job the starting salary is $30,426.60 and you can rise through the ranks to a salary of $41,943.24 per year before taxes and union dues.

These under-appreciated shelter workers have not had a raise or cost of living adjustment in over four years.

You can only imagine the emotions of these hard working people when they discovered last week that Marcia Mayeda, the head of Animal Control received a hefty raise last week – while they didn’t receive one cent.  Mayeda, who in many of their opinions has as well as ours has done a piss poor job of running the shelter system, makes over $200,000 a year in salary and benefits, while a kennel worker has to support his or her family on a salary that has seen it’s buying power dwindle precipitously over the last four years.

It’s inexplicable and unjustifiable, but business as usual at the DACC.