Former California Governor Pete Wilson signed SB1785 popularly known as the “Hayden Act” into law on September 22, 1998. The bill has never been repealed, yet Los Angeles County’s head of the Department of Animal Care and Control, Marcia Mayeda has routinely treated the law with the same contempt and disregard that she has shown both to the pets entrusted into her care and to the public.
SP1785, Sec 12. 31008. 2 (b) reads:
Any stray dog that is impounded pursuant to this division shall, prior to the killing of that animal for any reason other than irremediable suffering, be released to a nonprofit, as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, animal rescue or adoption organization if requested by the organization prior to the scheduled killing of that animal.
The Hayden Act does not give Mayeda the right to determine which 501(c)3 rescue groups are approved to pull pets from her agency. However the beleaguered bureaucrat routinely breaks the law by refusing to release impounded pets at her shelters to groups who have gone through the byzantine process of becoming “Los Angeles County Adoption Partners”. Consequently Buddy, A4856978, a two year old Chow Chow, who has been deemed rescue only – despite his having never bitten anyone, is scheduled to have his life snuffed out at her Carson shelter on Tuesday, even though there are legitimate rescues who have asked to take him. Normally rescues such as the one I pull for would immediately step up and rescue the dog and transfer the pet to the other rescue, but with the draconian restrictions placed by Mayeda on rescues transferring pets to other rescues, we would be risking our own pull privileges to save this dog.
Turning a blind eye to the law is nothing new to Mayeda and her cronies at the DACC. Last year one of her top deputy’s dog bit a neighbor. Rather than investigate the incident by interviewing witnesses, having a bite report filled out, quarantining the dog, and having the dog tested to see whether it was aggressive before he/she could be released – the investigation was halted before it could be started on the orders of the very same deputy who owns the biting dog. It seems that the DACC has one set of rules for its higher ups and another for the public. We will be exposing the name of the offending official next week and the DACC’s hatchet man, David Hou, should be happy because for once he won’t have to drive all the way to Lancaster to not perform his job. This time he can save the commute and merely walk down the hall – before his investigation is thwarted by his masters.
Meanwhile the DACC’s crumbling empire was rocked by the revelation that there is a new plaintiff joining the case of DeVitt vs the County of Los Angeles and Marcia Mayeda, the case arising out of the fatal mauling of jogger Pamela DeVitt. The DACC failed to impound these dogs despite their multiple prior attacks – and then tried to coverup its failure to do so through a series of post-dated notes. Mayeda and company maintained they had escaped this lawsuit on a technicality – because the six month statute of limitations had passed to sue the County. However the DACC’s spurious argument became moot when Ms. DeVitt’s son, Master Sergeant Tad DeVitt joined the lawsuit. Tad DeVitt was on active duty defending his county and was not discharged until three months ago in April. For active members of the military there is an exception in the statue of limitations provisions which doesn’t start the clock until their time of discharge. So now the case will likely be tried in front of a jury solely on its merits – and we, the County taxpayers, had better brace ourselves for a large payout at our expense for Mayeda’s misdeeds and coverup.