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.