Monthly Archives: July 2014

Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

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.

Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

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.

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

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.