Marcia Mayeda, the embattled head of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control has firmly signalled to Los Angeles’ volunteers, staff and rescue community that the word ‘Care’ needs to be removed from the department’s moniker with this week’s hiring of Pat Claerbout as the new head of the high-intake Baldwin Park Shelter.
It was with great dismay that we read the results of a Google search on her name. The first entry is from Sacramento’s local television Station KQCR which investigated her tenure as director of the Stockton Animal Shelter and concluded “a months-long investigation into the Stockton Animal Shelter finds laws were broken…” and that she euthanized pets in violation of the Hayden Act. The second story is headlined “Pat Claerbout killed 996 animals her first month on the job, and in a television interview said that will continue.” The third story is an article from the Stockton Record from January 2014 detailing her stewardship of the Stockton Animal Shelter.
The oft-criticized Stockton Animal Shelter is under fire again, this time from three local citizens and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a national advocacy organization that is preparing to take its grievances to court.
The organization alleges in a 27-page complaint an “ongoing pattern and practice of abuse” that has resulted in “the unnecessary and wrongful killing of numerous impounded animals in direct contravention of Stockton’s municipal code and the laws of the State of California.”
Our search showed multiple petitions seeking to remove her (which might make her a kindred soul to Mayeda – since there are plenty of well-deserved petitions demanding Mayeda’s ouster) and not one flattering story. Marcia Mayeda must have done her due diligence before hiring Claerbout. She knows and approves who and what she is bringing into her shelter system.
We would like to keep an open mind about Claerbout’s hiring – but the available information makes us doubtful at best.
In other Baldwin Park news, rumors are swirling around the shelter that Mayeda is trying to demoralize the shelter staff and will soon be implementing transfers to break up the committed, proactive team. Her alleged reason for instituting the transfers is that the shelter, under its popular previous manager, was getting too much positive recognition nationally and not just within the community it serves.
Temporary Baldwin Park Shelter manager Gayle Miley, who has worked diligently to alienate staff and volunteers at Baldwin Park, is rumored to have been tapped by Mayeda to head up the Carson shelter which leaves the fate of Carson’s manager Gil Moreno in question.
This all coincides with the city of Bradbury terminating its relationship with the DACC and hiring another agency to handle its animal control, and with the city of La Puente allegedly also dissatisfied and looking to leave.
When asked about the developments, a DACC insider who is not a member of the Marcia Mayeda fan club reminded me that all new hires are subject to a six month probationary period, and urged everyone to make their opinions of Ms. Claerbout’s performance known not just to Mayeda, but to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and every Mayor and City Council member that the Baldwin Park Shelter serves, before shaking her head and wondering aloud, “I think it’s time to teach Marcia how to use Google. I know it works on her computer the same way it does on yours and mine!”