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.