• 2014
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Yearly Archives: 2014

Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

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The high intake Los Angeles County shelters have either two or three licensed veterinarians on duty. These veterinarians work eight hour shifts from Monday to Friday.   There are Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVT’s) on duty seven days a week. Veterinarians are able to prescribe medication while RVT’s are not.

If a sick or injured pet is impounded after three o’clock on a Friday afternoon the shelters either ignore the pet’s suffering until a veterinarian can examine the pet on the following Monday, or the shelters have the option of sending the pet to an emergency veterinarian through a system known by the acronym “ETF”.  Often the high intake shelters don’t have an officer available to leave the field and take the sick or injured pet to the outside vet clinics (the average ETF call involves approximately 2 hours of an officer’s time), and the dog or cat will sit in a kennel – in pain if injured or potentially infecting the shelter’s other pets if having a communicable disease – for three days until a veterinarian is on duty.

When a pet is sent to an emergency center, outside veterinarian has authorization to provide $75 in treatment costs. As any pet owner knows $75, even with preferential veterinary rates, does not provide much in the way of treatment.   However at the discretion of each of the shelter managers they are allowed to authorize $300 to treat a sick or injured pet.   From Friday afternoon to Sunday – shelter managers do not work – and many of them are entirely unreachable if the shelter calls – so for wont of funding, these pets are euthanized rather than treated by the outside veterinarians.

How difficult is it to stagger shelter veterinarians’ shifts and have one veterinarian work from Sunday to Thursday and the other from Tuesday – Sunday? In Los Angeles City’s shelter system – a shelter system which in no way serves as a paragon of good management – they have been able to do this for years. However for Marcia Mayeda, the apathetic despot running the Los Angeles County Shelter system this has been a challenge.  Challenged on this issue for at least the six years since I first came in contact with her poorly run shelter system, she has done nothing.

Three years ago Mayeda rebranded her facilities from “shelters” to “care centers”.   To use the term “Care Center” it implies that you provide “care” on a consistent basis. If Mayeda was held to truth in advertising laws, she would have to change the name of her facilities to “occasional care centers” or to be totally honest, “pet warehouses.”

For the Los Angeles County shelter system to even be considered “Care Centers” Veterinary care must be provided 7 days a week – and the term “Care Center” would be even more appropriate if Marcia Mayeda was unemployed.

 

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Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

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This past week I drove 90 miles to the high intake, open admission Animal Friends of the Valleys Shelter in Wildomar, California in southern Riverside County. I was pleasantly surprised! The facility was the cleanest, best run and most innovative shelter I have ever seen. Entering the facility you walk into a modern reception area that looks like an upscale veterinary clinic rather than a shelter.

A large percentage of the dogs are located in clean air conditioned suites with nice dog beds rather than in runs with bars. Every pet is walked, the shelter uses play groups to socialize their pets and the shelter appears to receive more volunteer hours than all four high intake County shelters combined. Also the shelter runs a food bank that provides food for pets whose owners might be down on their economic luck and might otherwise have to relinquish their family members. Additionally Animal Friends of the Valleys has built a large community room for local groups to hold meetings and by so doing, learn that the shelter is a friendly place – rather than a pet concentration camp.

Willa Bagwell, the affable and charming Executive director’s office is at the shelter and she is there on a daily basis. Mrs. Bagwell intimately knows what is going on at her shelter. Mrs. Bagwell’s charisma, compassion and accountability is contagious and the shelter’s staff is efficient, motivated and perhaps the most rescue and adoption friendly group of people ever assembled in one place. Leadership starts from the top.

Driving back home, I stopped at two Los Angeles County shelters. I asked the employees when was the last time they saw Los Angeles County’s shelter head Marcia Mayeda. They laughed and said the only time they see Mayeda is when there is a photo opportunity. If I was masochistic enough to want to see Mayeda I would have to go to the DACC’s office in Long Beach – seven and one half miles away from their nearest shelter in Downey. I then visited a Los Angeles City Shelter and asked when the last time their staff saw Brenda Barnette, and was met with the same derisive laughter and told a similar story.

One of the biggest and easiest solvable problems the Los Angeles County and City animal shelters have is that their executive staff need a road map to find their shelters. They are out of touch and don’t understand the havoc and carnage their failed policies cause. Pets have become faceless statistics to be manipulated rather than sapient beings who need saving. Employees and volunteers have become anonymous inconvenient peons who occasionally need to be disciplined rather than prized assets who could provide valuable insight while rescues have often become targets rather than adoption partners.

Los Angeles’ County and City governments would be well served both from a financial and a humanitarian perspective  to look at Riverside County for lessons on how to run their Animal Control departments Animal Friends of the Valleys – as well as their counterparts at Riverside County Animal Control – get it. Their executive directors and senior staff are headquartered in their shelters. Their shelters are set up to facilitate the live release of pets rather than to dispose of them.

It is time for Los Angeles County and City to save millions of dollars and close their costly Animal Control administrative offices in Long Beach and on North Figueroa Street and to repatriate their hopelessly out of touch directors and staff back to their shelters.

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Baldwin Park and Downey Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

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I am constantly amazed by the disdain the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control under its horrific leader, Marcia Mayeda, has for not only the poor animals entrusted into its care, but for its employees and its volunteers.

At Baldwin Park shelter workers and volunteers are shaking their heads on a daily basis at the number of dogs being killed while there are literally forty empty kennels. According to the official DACC Policy and Procedures manual it “is the policy to adopt out all adoptable animals.” This sounds like a laudable goal – but when left to the interpretation of the burned-out bureaucrats who run the DACC and its Baldwin Park Shelter, the word ‘adoptable’ can easily be misconstrued. Dogs known to staff and volunteers to be friendly were suddenly and mysteriously relabeled “aggressive” and minutes later were given lethal Marcia Mayeda cocktails and their carcasses stuffed into barrels inside the shelter’s freezers.

Anyone who works the relinquishment window will tell you that a significant percentage of the people who dump their dogs at any shelter lie about their reasons. They don’t want to lose face by admitting that their own shortcomings caused them to discard their pets. Instead they transfer the blame to the pets and will often claim they are aggressive or destructive. So we were shocked to hear that new Baldwin Park manager Pat Claerbout instructed that all dogs labeled “aggressive” by their former owners are to be killed, without bothering to temperament test the unfortunate pets.

Ms. Claerbout has a long history of being aggressive in her killing. When one volunteer mentioned the dismal results of a Google search on Claerbout’s name to her, Baldwin Park’s new shelter manager acted furtive and distressed and asked the volunteer why she would perform such an internet search, in much the same way an ex-con would be upset when you discovered he had served time for robbery.

Meanwhile our attention turns to the criminal trial of Alex Jackson, the owner of the dogs who fatally mauled Pamela DeVitt on May 9th of 2013. According to the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Ryan Williams said “animal control officials ‘dropped the ball’ on Jackson’s case prior to the fatal May 2013 attack”. What amazes us is that despite Williams’ allegation that multiple previous attacks were attributed to Jackson’s dogs, these attacks are not reflected in the DACC’s computerized records. Marcia Mayeda sent an e-mail on August 9, 2013 to Attorney David Casselman stating

“We never received complaints from Jackson’s neighbors regarding his pit bulls (that killed Mrs. Devitt). We received two complaints from horseback riders, one just a few weeks before the attack. We attempted to get this person to complete a statement THREE times so we could pursue a community hazard case. She never did it, until after the attack. We made several visits to Jackson’s home to find the dogs but never saw them. He told us they were a stray pack, and we had no proof to the contrary”.

Someone is lying, either the prosecution or Marcia Mayeda. One of the two has to impress a jury. The other has yet to impress anyone.

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Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

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Having spent the last six months providing logistics for the Wings of Rescue/Shelter Me/Bark Avenue transports, which have flown nearly a thousand pets – from 21 different high intake shelters in twelve Southern California shelter systems – to safety in 10 different northwestern no kill shelters, has been a real eye opener for me.   Interacting with the different shelters’ staffs has shown that there are shelter directors out there who are doing everything possible to save pets, and that nearly every shelter worker I’ve met is underpaid and underappreciated for their long hours working to save lives.

Some of the highlights have been watching shelter directors like Ted Stevens from Long Beach and Willa Bagwell from the Animal Friends of the Valleys shelter in Wildomar not only personally driving their pets to the airport and helping load the planes, but then asking how they could work even more closely with us.   Working with the Downey Shelter has been an absolute pleasure as we’ve watched the entire shelter, from manager Danny Ubario and Lt. Maria Rosales to veterinarian Carissa Jones and lead volunteer Debbie Tittle, leave no stone unturned to get over 400 of their pets to safety. East Valley’s Veronica Perry embodies everything that is right with municipal shelters and I was particularly pleased that Seaaca’s head, Sally Hazzard, not only came to our big Long Beach transport but then thoughtfully offered constructive criticism that will make our team even better. Carson’s Kat Rosales has been a dream to work with and we give full marks to Orange County’s shelter for their eager ‘can do’ attitude.

All of these people from so many different shelter systems are working together to try something new and save their pets.   Even Marcia Mayeda, whose natural tendency is to make it difficult to save the pets in her shelter system, deserves thanks for staying out of the way and letting her staff rescue pets, which is the job they thought they signed up for when they entered her employ

Unfortunately one particularly shortsighted shelter system’s director has one set of rules for pets taken by national fundraising organizations and another for local rescues, but this could not hamper what has been a great experience for shelter workers and rescues working hand in hand together to save lives.

The problems facing Southern California shelter systems – an overabundance of strays, lack of spay/neuter laws and enforcement, and a poorly educated public – aren’t going away any time soon, but when we all work together and do our utmost to get pets into loving homes we can make a difference.

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Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

Nearly every open admission Southern California municipal shelter is overcrowded and looking for help in placing their pets.   Supply considerably outstrips demand – and the public does not adopt as many pets as they dump at the shelters.   The 501(c)3 rescues have to step in and try and help where they can, but most of these well intentioned rescues are underfunded and beyond full.   When everyone is full the only way the shelters know how to solve the problem is to kill their excess inventory.

No one likes people who kill cute pets.   Killing pets is abhorrent and those who kill are vilified.   Some shelters react to this by saying they are trying to evolve to a no kill policy, but disingenuously obfuscating the English language and claiming that “No Kill” means you are adopting ninety percent of your animals.   Some SPCA’s drive their “unadoptable” animals to municipal shelters or private vets to kill them off premises so they can cling to the myth they are no kill.  I may not be an expert on the English language but from my layman’s perspective “No Kill” means you aren’t killing anyone, anywhere, ever.  Anything less than that is a fraud and an outright lie, akin to George Bush claiming Mission Accomplished in Iraq.

Adherents of the No Kill movement are, like me, very vocal in their criticism of municipal shelters.  However as much as I believe in the Utopian goal of no kill, I realize it is an elusive myth and not about to happen in present day Southern California except in small, extremely well run shelters like the SPARC shelter in Santa Paula, no matter how many billboards are erected, how many Nathan Winograd books are sold, and how many t-shirts are sold.  Until adoptions can catch up to impounds it just isn’t happening.  I hate that shelter management orders their workers to kill, but I battle the demon of understanding their rationale while still not quite being honest enough with myself to admit that I condone it.

So rather than debate how close we are to getting to fake no kill standards I would rather focus on how we can save as many pets as possible who are in the shelters.  To maximize rescue efforts we as the general public need to perform due diligence and ask where our donations are going.  You have the right if not the duty to ask what percentage of your donations is actually going to saving pets and how much money is going into salaries and fundraising.  Is the animal welfare group that sends out brochures and maybe runs a few late night advertisements showing sad shelter animals using all their donations to save shelter animals?

I’m proud that every dollar donated to Wings of Rescue/Shelter Me/Bark Avenue Foundation rescue flights has been used to save pets.  Not one cent in donations has been spent on salaries, t-shirts, billboards or advertisements.  I’m equally proud of all the small rescues who are teetering on the edge of financial ruin as they try to save every pet they can, without taking a penny for themselves.   These rescuers who are toiling in obscurity working one miracle at a time are the real heroes in this never ending struggle and the animals they save day in and day out are the proof in the pudding.

We need to work together to help municipal shelters do better, think better and work more innovatively to increase adoptions and rescues.  We do not need to be spending our time and money making “No Kill” into some perverse form of an oxymoron.

Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

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I often wonder if Marcia Mayeda, the widely maligned head of the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control, stays up late at night trying to figure out what new ill-advised policy she can implement which will lead to increased euthanasia at her shelters. While municipal shelters like SPARC in Santa Paula (the only truly no kill open admission shelter in the Los Angeles metropolitan area), Riverside County, Long Beach City and even Camarillo are trying to do everything possible to reduce euthanasia by bringing in rescue groups to save their pets, Mayeda is hellbent on making it harder for rescues in her shelters.

As I predicted last month in my blog, Mayeda sent out a new FATwa adoption policy which included the following language (Please note “AP” stands for “Adoption Partner”):

DACC only allows registered APs to adopt under the AP program. APs may not extend their adoption privileges to third parties, who may be adopting for private purposes or for another rescue organization not registered with DACC as an AP

The intent of this poorly worded adoption policy is to prohibit DACC approved rescues from transferring pets ownership to other rescues. For instance I will no longer be able to pull young German Shepherds and send them to a rescue group in Colorado who trains the dogs to detect and warn children with severe peanut allergies of the presence of peanuts. These cherished dogs not only save these children’s lives on a daily basis – they also allow these children to live normal lives. No longer will we be able to work with out of state rescues who can take Chihuahuas, the number one most euthanized breed in California, to rescue groups throughout the northwest and Canada where there is a shortage of small dogs. When you consider that rescue groups save approximately 75 percent of the pets released from DACC facilities – I predict at least 5,000 to 6,000 dogs’ lives will be snuffed out each year because of this ridiculous policy.

Besides being myopic, the new DACC policy clearly violates California State Law. In SB1785 Sec. 12 (b), popularly known as “The Hayden Act”, the law states:

Any stray dog that is impounded pursuant to this division shall, prior to the killing of that animal for any reason other than irremediable suffering, be released to a nonprofit, as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, animal rescue or adoption organization if requested by the organization prior to the scheduled killing of that animal.

California law does not grant the DACC the right to impose restrictions on rescues cooperating with each other.  Mayeda’s latest promulgation restricts the transfer of property – and therefore is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment.

Rescue is collaborative. To save one pet you will often have three or four rescues involved, some of them County adoption partners and others not. Several rescue groups have already notified us of their intention to stop pulling pets from the DACC. The ones who will suffer from this are the pets in need of rescue.

The DACC does not impose restrictions on the transfer of pets from a private adopter to another party.   Therefore I suggest that the most likely workaround to circumvent Mayeda’s latest in a long line of follies, is for rescues to outright “adopt” dogs to individuals at their partner rescue organizations – rather than “transfer ownership” . Mayeda will then have to choose between outright banning rescue groups from being able to adopt out their pets – or to sit back and realize that she is suffering from an acute case of rectal cranial inversion.

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Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

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Last week I reported on the Baldwin Park Shelter’s hiding stray dogs from the public’s view in the facility’s fenced off, closed to the public, Building 4.   There are no kennel cards for the unfortunate dogs kenneled in this isolated building and currently Champ  (A4732235), a stray from our new networking list is being secreted in Building 4 with no possibility of his family ever finding him should they come to look for their dog.

However Baldwin Park is not the only County shelter secreting dogs upon the orders of Marcia Mayeda.  On July 15th, a gorgeous and well trained purebred unaltered male Great Dane named Harley was found in Lynwood without a collar or microchip and assigned the impound number of A4734024, and kenneled in Building 2, one of Downey’s two buildings that are off limits to the public.  Harley’s owner Nachito Meija, came to the shelter every day looking for his dog but could not find Harley as he was hidden from view.  However Great Pyranees rescue, who evidently also take Great Danes into their rescue, were tipped off to his presence and put a CTA on Harley and quietly pulled him on July 23rd after his stray hold was up.  Coincidentally this same rescue reportedly is the group that adopted two purebred Great Pyranees to Marcia Mayeda as her cherished personal pets.

It would have been the end of the story had our networking team not photographed Harley for their July 19th networking list and, since the dog was still an anonymous stray they named him “Magnus”.  When Harley a/k/a “Magnus” was rescued his picture was posted on their Facebook page, under the caption “The Friends of the Downey Shelter are pleased to announce that Magnus has been rescued.”   Nachito Meija saw this post and immediately went into action trying to get his dog back. Getting no satisfaction from the DACC who said Downey had followed the correct procedures, Meija called County Supervisor’s Gloria Molina’s office who took his side.  Molina’s office called Marcia Mayeda and ordered her to return Harley to his rightful owner.  Even though Mayeda knows the rescue personally, rather than pick up the phone herself, she ordered the Downey Shelter to try and reclaim the dog.  At last report the shelter had left a message on the rescue’s voicemail and were waiting for a return call.

Of course Meija was negligent in not having his dog licensed and microchipped, but the real issue here is why is the DACC hiding dogs?  They claim they are trying to shield dangerous dogs from the public.  However many of the dogs in these buildings are not dangerous – some are strays, some are sick, and others are dogs awaiting transport.  The obvious solution to appease the DACC’s safety concerns and still allow the public access to viewing these dogs is to build a clear Plexiglass barrier between the kennels and the public.  Of course that would be the sensible and morally correct thing to do.  But “sensible” and “morally correct” are not words in Marcia Mayeda’s vocabulary.

Next week we will be telling you about a blockbuster lawsuit that is being pursued against the DACC and Marcia Mayeda personally.   The suit alleges Marcia Mayeda and the DACC were negligent when a pack of Pit Bulls mauled and killed jogger, Patricia DeVitt on May 9th, 2012 in the Lancaster suburb of Littlerock.   Mayeda and the DACC tried to cover up the evidence of their misdeeds but all their efforts went for naught as a few months ago the agency’s computer logs were leaked to Ben DeVitt, the jogger’s widower. Evidence showed the DACC had been notified of the dogs’ prior attacks on people and horses and failed to impound the dogs.  The DACC is trying to stonewall saying that the statute of limitations has passed on the matter, but there is an exception to the law allowing the clock to be restarted on the case when crucial evidence was withheld.  If this case is permitted to go to trial the anticipated verdict could cost the County of Los Angeles and Mayeda millions of dollars and finally give the impetus for the Board of Supervisors to remove Mayeda as head of her scandal plagued agency.

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Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

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Anyone who has driven in Southern California has seen billboards with the NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles) logo.  Some of us even have the commemorative T-shirts.  It’s an effective marketing slogan.  It’s impossible to be against the cause.  Who wants to openly advocate killing shelter animals?  I doubt even Marcia Mayeda would be so callous as to publically endorse the practice.

According to their own statistics in the Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Los Angeles County impounded 37,522 dogs and killed 11,179 or just under 30 percent.  They impounded 27,018 cats and killed 19,466 of them or just under 70 percent.

Why is Los Angeles County failing so badly and killing so many?  Of course the lack of mandatory spay/neuter laws is a huge factor.   The cities most contributing to shelter impounds – Lynwood, Azusa, West Covina and El Monte – lack spay/neuter laws.  While doing this week’s Downey shelter networking list we noticed that over 60 percent of the dogs on our list came from Lynwood.   El Monte, West Covina and Azusa generally contribute over 50 percent of the strays at Baldwin Park’s shelter.

When the shelters are out of kennel space, we realize they will have to resort to killing, and no amount of our wearing NKLA t-shirts is going to save a pet from having its life snuffed out in the back of a shelter.

This brings us to the issue of the 48 kennels in Building 4 at the Baldwin Park Shelter.   Earlier this year Building 4 was placed off limits to the public as management decided to use it to house quarantined dogs, sick dogs, and dogs being sent out on transport.   The problem is that the shelter does not have anywhere near 48 kennels worth of dogs in those categories, and as a result many of the dogs warehoused there, hidden from public view, are either large dogs or pets the shelter has forgotten about.   Right now a very cute Pomeranian named Macaroon (A4730415) is stuck in limbo in Building 4.  He isn’t quarantined, sick or scheduled for transport – he’s just stranded out of view where no one will see him and adopt or rescue him.  He is but one of many in this half empty building where there were an average of 25 open kennels last week.

Despite the empty kennel, shelter manager Pat Claerbout was ordering dogs to be killed because she deemed the shelter to be overcrowded.  Ms. Claerbout is also reported to have told staffers that all owner surrenders whose owners said they were aggressive were to be killed – despite the fact that she, and everyone else who works in a shelter, knows that owners often lie about their reasons for turning in dogs because they don’t want to appear to be the ones at fault.

If we ever want to get to no kill new management is necessary at the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control.   Until then Marcia Mayeda cocktails with Pat Claerbout chasers will keep the barrels overcrowded in the back of Baldwin Park’s kennels.

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Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Need Your Prayers & Downey Pets Need Your Help!

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The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control’s policy and procedure manual clearly states “It is our policy to adopt every adoptable animal.”   This policy was rigorously adhered to by the Baldwin Park Shelter until its popular manager Lance Hunter resigned four months ago.   Since then it has been painful to watch the Shelter’s rapid decline from a fairly low kill facility where pets were being quickly adopted and rescued to the high kill slaughterhouse that it is now.

As the overall economy improved, the number of impounds has dropped from the corresponding periods from previous years, but the euthanasia rate has dramatically risen in the last month.   What has changed?  Plenty.

First Marcia Mayeda installed Pat Claerbout as shelter manager.  Anyone with access to Google will quickly be sickened to look up Ms. Claerbout’s resumé.   Her prior stints in Sacramento and Stockton left a trail of carcasses and a series of investigative reports from Northern California television stations that do not picture her flatteringly.

Under Lance Hunter’s administration, the shelter volunteers’ networking list which had become the gold standard amongst shelters throughout North America had triggered 8,000 adoptions and rescues, with a 98 percent adoption rate over the preceding two years.   During Mr. Hunter’s tenure, networking pets were given a minimum of 10 days to be adopted or rescued and the networking list averaged 60 new dogs and 10 new cats every two weeks.  The shelter’s philosophy for the networking and non-networking dogs alike was “let’s give the dogs as long a time as we have kennel space to get them out safely.”

Now comes word that Claerbout and Mayeda want to curtail if not end the networking program completely.  Volunteers have been told they could only have thirty pets with 10 day holds and even then the holds might not be honored.   In the last two weeks 12 dogs and 10 cats from the latest networking list were taken to the back of the shelter and given lethal Marcia Mayeda cocktails with a Pat Claerbout chaser before having their carcasses stuffed into barrels and placed inside freezers until a heavily used truck from the rendering plant can come to remove the evidence of their existence.

Meanwhile well placed DACC insiders have told us that Mayeda is about to issue a fatwa, I’m sorry I meant promulgate a new policy, against rescues.   This new policy prohibits rescues from working with each other to save pets, and bars them from transferring pets from one rescue to another.   If implemented I will no longer be able to pull young German Shepherds and send them to a rescue group in Colorado who trains the dogs to detect and warn children with severe peanut allergies of the presence of peanuts.  These cherished dogs not only save these children’s lives on a daily basis – they also allow these children to live normal lives.   No longer will we be able to work with out of state rescues who can take Chihuahuas, the number one most euthanized breed in California, to rescue groups throughout the northwest and Canada where there is a shortage of small dogs.    If rescues are prohibited from cooperating with each other I estimate at least 5,000 to 6,000 dogs’ lives will be snuffed out each year on the orders of Marcia Mayeda.

What is Mayeda’s motivation for these policies?  There have been a few rescues who have not done sufficient due diligence and transferred pets to bad situations.   However these cases are isolated and small.  Instead Mayeda wants to throw the baby out with the bathwater and end the cooperation between rescues and squash any attempts to save lives.  That could be her only motivation for hiring Pat Claerbout.

If Mayeda attempts to do this, of course there will be legal challenges – and clever workarounds will be implemented to circumvent her draconian policies.

Is this bloodshed necessary?  Is it humane?   Marcia Mayeda has clearly given the Baldwin Park Shelter a third finger salute – and is about to extend this to all animals unfortunate to enter her six county gulags.
We can only strongly urge each and every reader of this blog to call and write not only the Board of Supervisors, but the mayors and city councils of each of the cities that comprise Los Angeles County to protest Ms. Mayeda’s decision making ability.  The fate of the shelters pets hinge on our actions.

 

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Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

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Pat Claerbout has been on the job as the new Baldwin Park Shelter manager for only a week and has already permanently disqualified herself from receiving any “Miss Congeniality” accolades.  As anyone with access to Google knows, Marcia Mayeda’s new hire arrived with a lot of excess baggage  and a dismal reputation from her past stints as head of the high kill Stockton and Sacramento shelters.

In her first week on the job Claerbout has been overheard complaining that there are too many rescues coming to the Baldwin Park Shelter.  She has also made it known that she thinks the shelter is keeping pets alive for too long.   For those who follow the plight of the networking dogs at Baldwin Park – seven dogs from the most recent list were euthanized last week – the highest number ever in the five and one half year history of our networking lists.

Someone needs to remind Ms. Claerbout that the Los Angeles Department County Department of Animal ‘Care’ and Control’s policy and procedures manual specifically states that “it is our policy that all adoptable pets be adopted.”   The term ‘adoptable’ may be debatable to some people.  Some might define the term as pets who aren’t sick or injured.  Others might define it as pets who are not aggressive.   Perhaps Ms. Claerbout’s definition can be summed up best as “pets I haven’t killed yet.”

Like all new Los Angeles County hires, Ms. Claerbout is subject to a six month probationary period during which she can be fired for any reason.  We are hoping that Baldwin Park’s needlessly rising euthanasia rate and Ms. Claerbout’s apparent antipathy towards the rescue community will be protested loudly and often and lead to both her and the person who hired her being dismissed.

The best way to register your complaints is to vote for Bobby Shriver for the 3rd district Board of Supervisor’s seat, and to call your local mayor and city council members if you live in the Baldwin Park Shelter’s service area and bombard the sitting Los Angeles Board of Supervisors with written complaints demanding an investigation of how Ms. Claerbout was hired in the first place – given the results of any Google search on her name.

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