Monthly Archives: January 2014

Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help


State Senator Jan Peavey represents the 27th District in Sacramento and sends out monthly newsletters to her constituents and we were pleased to see her give a shout out to the volunteers at the Agoura Shelter for their service in her January 2014 newsletter. What was even more interesting is her quote “Volunteers help with the countless chores that have helped to make the Agoura Hills Animal Care Center no-kill facility one of the best.” This coincides with  statements – overheard by lower level DACC employees – made by Los Angeles County Department of Animal ‘Care’ and Control Deputy Director Derek Brown claiming the Castaic shelter is no kill as well.  Where did Senator Peavey get the idea that Agoura was no kill? From the DACC of course.

The only problem is that both shelters are killing. According to statistics published on the DACC’s website, Agoura killed 83 dogs and 160 cats in the last year, while Castaic snuffed out the lives of 208 cats and 192 dogs before sending their bodies to rendering plants. Although we suspect that the Agoura Shelter’s statistics are grossly misstated and that the DACC is manipulating their statistics to make the Lancaster shelter appear to be doing better than it is at the expense of Agoura and Baldwin Park in particular, these numbers prove our contention that when the DACC speaks, to use polite bureaucratic terminology, “they misspeak”, which translates into English as “they f@#king lie”.

Speaking of the Lancaster, the shelter’s staff are being ordered to clean up their act and everything else so that Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich can pay a visit to the shelter on January 26th without having to see any of the reality of pets being left on sweltering trucks, pets being deprived of water and several employees being AWOL from their shifts. We are sure DACC officials, who rarely come to this or any other of their shelters, will be there proudly guiding Supervisor Antonovich through a sanitized facility, where he will be told that Lancaster is the highest adoption shelter in the County. The pity is that Antonovich may actually believe them.


Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!


       One thing that nearly everyone across the pet rescue spectrum agrees upon is that there is an over abundance of dogs and cats in Southern California shelters.  Even the most entrenched and malevolent bureaucrat and the most fervent no kill advocate can agree on this.   To solve this problem we need strong and enforceable spay/neuter legislation, something which unfortunately has stalled at the state level due to opposition from the American Kennel Club, the National Rifle Association and their cronies in the Republican party.

       Because our municipal shelters are generally poorly funded  (and often mismanaged by the public servants in charge) they have not been able to open their spay/neuter clinics and provide free, or even low cost, altering service to the general public.    Private veterinarians charge between $79 to $350 to provide spay/neuter services, which is often more than what many members of our community can afford.

        Thankfully there are private individuals who are willing to use their own money to try and make a difference.  I am extremely gratified to be working with Carrie Ann Inaba, of Dancing with the Stars fame, who has reached into her own pocket to pay for 200 free spay neuters at Morgan Park in Baldwin Park on January 18th.  When you consider in six years, one non-spayed female dog and her un-spayed offspring can theoretically produce 67,000 dogs, and in seven years an un-spayed female cat and her un-altered offspring can produce 420,000 kittens in 7 years, Ms. Inaba could literally be preventing several million pets from ever entering the shelter system.  

              If we had more Carrie Ann Inabas in this world and more responsible governments who were willing to both pass spay/neuter legislation and pay now to fund spay/neuter clinics rather than having to pay later to care for, or kill, their resulting offspring  in our municipal shelters, the lives of pets and animal rescuers would be infinitely better.

Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!


    In a dramatic case of glasnost the bureaucrats running the Los Angeles County Department of Animal ‘Care’ and Control (DACC) posted their euthanasia statistics on their website this past week.  We applaud the decision to make their statistics public, but as usual with anything promulgated by Marcia Mayeda when you examine it closely the document proves hard to believe.     

    According to the document Marcia Mayeda’s shelters are killing 35.66% of all dogs, and 73.6% of all cats brought into her shelters, or 53 percent of all pets entering the system.  These statistics are, in our opinion, believable.  Ms. Mayeda’s minions then break it down on a shelter by shelter basis, and this is where the DACC’s credibility takes a major hit.   According to the DACC 83 dogs and 160 cats were killed at the Agoura shelter, or 30 percent of all intakes.   According to the Agoura volunteers (who tend to know every animal brought into the shelter), these figures are incredibly overstated and the shelter killed far less.  They find it difficult to believe that the shelter has killed even 30 dogs this past year and the number of cats killed, including ferals, was probably no more than 70.

              According to the statistics Lancaster, which has worked hard to achieve the status of being the highest kill shelter in the county, is actually killing fewer pets than Baldwin Park, who have the best reputation in the county shelter system amongst the high intake centers.  When you examine the Baldwin Park numbers which show only 1,322 dogs, or 110 dogs a month, rescued at Baldwin Park the numbers become even harder to believe, given that the Best Friends Pup My Ride Transports take an average of 100 dogs a month from Baldwin Park, the Jason Heigl Foundation takes an average of 25 dogs a month on their transports, and United Hope For Animals takes at least 20 dogs a month from the shelter and that is before all the other rescues step in.    While we can believe that the shelter kills on average 4 dogs and 10 cats a day, the adoption/rescue statistics just do not seem plausible.

              We asked DACC insiders – the ones who aren’t too scared to talk to us – about these statistics and they started giggling.  Evidently the DACC purchased at considerable expense, borne by us the Los Angeles taxpayers, a new tracking system – which to no one’s surprise doesn’t work too well.   Furthermore, our sources added, there is a conscious decision to prop up Lancaster’s performance to avoid all the bad publicity that surrounds this high kill shelter – bad publicity which is about to crescendo in the next month when details of the amount of missing money, missing animals, and AWOL personnel become public.

              We don’t have the answers to all the questions raised by these statistics but we do know that the managers of several shelters are now paying closer attention because they don’t want to be judged on heavily manicured numbers that undermine their performance.