Monthly Archives: February 2015

Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

The mismanagement of the Baldwin Park “Shelter” under the feckless team of Marcia Mayeda and her tragic hire, Pat “Google Me” Claerbout is an affront to human decency.   It’s not just the unjustifiable slaughter of dogs that outrages us – it’s the lack of care and opportunity for public adoption given to the pets who Claerbout permits to live that makes us apoplectic.

On February 10th Baldwin Park had 71 empty kennels. Sam, A4161086, a four year old spayed female Shepherd mix was being moved by staff into the ready for adoption kennels in Building 2.   The dog was scared from being suddenly moved and refused to walk.   Anyone with the least bit of knowledge of dog behavior knows that dogs will often freeze when put into new situations, but rather than either patiently coax the dog into a new kennel, or carry her, Baldwin Park’s management ordered Sam to be dragged to the back of the facility and killed.

Baldwin Park does not have a single trained dog behaviorist on their payroll – yet they continue to have unqualified people deciding whether a dog should live or die based on momentary behavior.   Being scared of hulking employees in loud environments should not mandate a death sentence. These same employees conduct poorly designed and administered temperament tests to determine whether certain dog breeds will be made available to the public or killed.  If a pet’s life is being evaluated on behavior, we at least owe the pet that the evaluator has been adequately trained to understand the behavior he or she is observing.

Last year Mayeda chose to fence off Baldwin’s Building 4 and place its 48 kennels off limits to the public.   Building 4 now houses dogs that are being quarantined for bites, dogs who are pregnant, injured and sick, as well as dogs being held for transport to low kill shelters.   The rationale for kenneling transport dogs in Building 4 is to keep them healthy as there had been complaints that Baldwin Park dogs were frequently arriving with upper respiratory disease (a/k/a “Kennel Cough) and contaminating the receiving shelters. So Mayeda’s genius solution was to keep the transport dogs that they are trying to keep healthy (the question of why all dogs shouldn’t be kept healthy notwithstanding) kenneled next to dogs who are already sick! These quarantined transport dogs, usually the cutest and most adoptable dogs at Baldwin Park, are hidden from owners who may be looking for them and from potential adopters. If these dogs get sick and are rejected for transport, which happens frequently, their lives are at risk because rescues and the public aren’t aware they exist.

Claerbout and Mayeda have teamed up to put the building housing the shelter’s cats off limits to the public for the last four months, because of a panleukopenia outbreak that killed hundreds of the shelter’s cats.   Although there has not been a reported case of panleuk at the shelter for several months and the disease is not carried by humans, the cats are still being hidden – and cat adoptions are dramatically down and cat euthanasia is dramatically up from previous years.

There are many viable solutions to reducing euthanasia and increasing adoptions at Baldwin Park.   All of them necessitate the removal of Marcia Mayeda and her disastrous minion, Pat Claerbout.

Meanwhile in a follow up to last week’s DACC news. The Lancaster employee who refused to leave the shelter to answer a call to help an injured dog who subsequently bled to death, allegedly tried to alter the timestamp in the shelter’s tracking software to make it look like the call was properly responded to. However the employee did not learn anything from the fatal Pamela DeVitt mauling case and failed to realize that all entries into the record are time stamped. Somehow even with all this evidence, Marcia Mayeda still has neither fired nor suspended the employee and he still comes into regular contact with shelter pets.

Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

According to well placed DACC insiders, Marcia Mayeda, the beleaguered and morally challenged head of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control, is losing it.  Already a defendant in a lawsuit for her alleged role in allowing a pack of vicious dogs to fatally maul Pamela DeVitt and for conspiracy in trying to suppress the investigation, Ms. Mayeda is said to be a little bit testy lately. Her top deputies have let it be known that Mayeda’s administrative meetings have disintegrated into their boss “going off the deep end – yelling and ranting and demanding things be done, one way or another she doesn’t care how just do it.” The deputies are scared because, as more than one of them has admitted, the last thing they want is for David Hou, a DACC Human Resources employee pressed into service as chief Mayeda hatchetman, knocking on their door.

David Hou is perhaps the one DACC employee with the most job security. A civil servant with a law degree, his always-in-demand services have been redirected by Mayeda. On February 11th at 8 o’clock in the evening the Lancaster shelter was notified that a dog had been seriously attacked ten minutes from the shelter and required emergency treatment. The incident number was A15-009068. The sole Lancaster field officer on duty was deployed over an hour from the incident, so they asked the Officer in Charge at the shelter to respond. He declined saying he had better things to do, and three hours later the shelter received a call telling them that the dog had bled to death. The Officer in Charge has a rather unspectacular resume including leaving dogs on trucks in 100 plus degree heat…yet David Hou hasn’t paid him a visit.

Mr. Hou has, however, been ordered to go after employees who have not done anything wrong.   He’s been a frequent visitor to Baldwin Park, where he recently served their hardworking Lieutenant, Eileen Hill, with papers announcing that she was placed on administrative leave pending termination for “insubordination” and was forbidden to talk to any DACC employees pending her case’s outcome. Ms. Hill’s crime? She was a whistleblower and reported that the DACC was violating OSHA safety regulations and sending DACC vehicles on the road with drivers who were not licensed to operate them. Mr. Hou was also brought in to intimidate popular Baldwin Park kennel attendant Erika Valles into resigning after a kitten she was fostering came down with panleuk. According to Valles, she was summoned to a meeting with Pat “Google Me” Claerbout and Hou and threatened with jail if she did not resign. The real reason Valles was fired was she too was a whistleblower – and was photographing emaciated dogs who were losing weight at the shelter after Claerbout ordered a reduction in pet feeding.

Meanwhile Baldwin Park is abuzz with the news that new supervisor Hilda Solis dropped by the facility and was not impressed. We hope she will be sharing her observations with Marcia Mayeda, who this time will not be able to solve her problems by ordering David Hou to get into his car and go fire the whistleblower.

Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

Over the last month we have been privately auditing the Baldwin Park “shelter”. Our analysis has confirmed our worst fears – that Baldwin Park has been transformed from the most rescue friendly ‘shelter’ into perhaps the worst animal facility in Southern California. As of today, 74 dogs and 166 cats are either designated as “BOFFICE”, “BVET”, “BClinic” or “BFoster”. We have only included “BFoster” animals who have been fostered for more than the maximum three months allowed by the DACC. We have not included in this number recent fosters who are hopefully safe and accounted for.

Many of these 240 pets have been missing for nearly a year. This painfully high number does not include the considerable number of pets that Baldwin Park took out of their active inventory to dodge red flags which might cause potential audits by the Los Angeles County Auditor. All of these pets have been lost by the horrific facility manager, Pat “Google Me” Claerbout, who was hired with malice of forethought by Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) head Marcia Mayeda.

Claerbout has worked diligently to win the title as the worst shelter manager in Western Civilization: as of yesterday the “shelter” had 67 empty dog kennels, but was still killing dogs for “time” -amongst them two dogs from the Baldwin Park volunteers’ networking list. Killing a dog when there is no need to do so is not euthanasia – it is premeditated murder and potentially a felony under California law. Anyone who does a Google search on Claerbout will see that bumping off dogs for sport, rather than exigency is nothing new to Mayeda’s minion, the Baldwin Park manager, who is being publicly touted as a “innovative” leader by the DACC’s chief apologist, Chief Deputy Betsey Webster.

Meanwhile the shelter is at war with its staff and volunteers. Personal vendettas are now rampant against employees who have maintained exemplary disciplinary records until Claerbout arrived to destroy Baldwin Park and all animals who enter the facility. The well-respected and compassionate 28-year veteran of DACC, Eileen Hill, has been suspended – yet again – on trumped up charges. The real reason Lt. Hill is suspended is because she follows the law and reports violations. Marcia and her minions don’t like sunlight shined upon their mistreatment of animals and DACC’s multiple violations of both OSHA safety regulations and California law. .

Kennel attendant Erika Valles claims she was illegally threatened and forced to resign, when she started taking pictures of emaciated Baldwin Park dogs, who were victims of Claerbout’s order to reduce feedings of the pets entrusted into her care. To make things worse Claerbout has waged war against Valles by allegedly phoning other municipal shelters and trying to blackball her to any that would consider hiring the popular former employee.

When I recently visited Baldwin Park, I was swarmed by employees wanting me to publicly air their grievances and telling me of Claerbout’s vendettas against both the pets and the ‘shelter’ workers. Court referrals, people who have been sentenced to community service rather than jail for committing crimes are now wearing vests saying “Staff” and handling pets. It’s bad enough that Claerbout is allowed to handle a pet, but do we want convicted criminals coming into unsupervised contact with the facility’s animals?

Back to the missing pets! Where are the missing pets? No one knows – and Claerbout’s negligent care is being swept under the rug by her protector and benefactor, Marcia Mayeda. Anyone who has access to Google knows Claerbout’ prior history of inhumane treatment of shelter pets, staff and volunteers. Last time we checked, Google is not a blocked website on DACC computers, yet Mayeda chose to hire Claerbout anyway.
Albert Einstein’s famous definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results comes into mind. We must conclude that Mayeda welcomes this controversy and the dismantling of her former flagship shelter. The reason? Several DACC insiders have opined that Mayeda wants to deflect the public’s attention away from both her own abysmal record and her upcoming trial concerning her alleged recklessness and negligence that resulted in the death of jogger, Pamela Devitt. She is gambling that shelter activists will instead focus on Pat “Google Me” Claerbout. Mayeda’s thinking has one fundamental flaw: Mayeda knowingly, willingly and deliberately hired Claerbout despite her appalling reputation and that is a fact that no one can deny or forget – and by “no one” we include the Los Angeles County Auditor.