Only two years ago, the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center was perhaps the best run municipal shelter in Southern California. It was a model rehoming center, where pets were treated kindly, the public was treated fairly and the staff and volunteers shared a camaraderie with the rescue community as they were empowered to try anything within reason to save the lives of impounded pets. In two short years things have changed and the once proud facility could be sued for fraud for describing itself as either a “Care Center” or a “Shelter”.
For years the shelter’s former manager, Lance Hunter, spent countless hours cultivating relationships within the economically challenged community which the shelter primarily serves. Because of his compassion, corporations like Walmart, Petco and Petsmart would routinely donate soon to be expiring bags of food to the shelter. As anyone who does the least bit of research knows, expired food is still nutritionally good for at least a year past its date. Yet as you see in the picture below, the shelter’s inept kennel manager ordered an enormous quantity of usable food to be thrown away last Monday – instead of donating it to the countless number of people who surrender their pets because they can no longer afford to feed them – or to local food banks serving the public.
It’s not just food that is being wasted. The facility has 192 dog kennels and its population has been hovering around 150 dogs for the last month meaning that there are a minimum of 42 empty kennels – and in reality closer to 70 empty kennels as many, if not most, small dogs always share kennels. Adoptions and rescues have been high at Baldwin Park and other Los Angeles County shelters due to the ongoing special $15 adoption fee, but a good deal of the empty kennels can be accounted to euthanization. A perusal of recent euthanasia logs showed that 39 dogs were killed in a ten day period and only 7 were for medical reasons. The other 32 were killed for “behavior”. Were these all bad dogs? Absolutely not. A4908865, Mortimer was a reserved but friendly nine year old Corgi/Chihuahua mix who was described as “Low key”, “friendly” and “calm” by the shelter’s volunteers on their networking list yet he was killed for behavior. Betty, A4909861, a two year old Pit Bull who had passed her shelter given temperament test and was described as “happy” and “joyful” by the volunteers was promptly killed for behavior three days after having being added to the networking list.
Meanwhile Baldwin Park’s cat population is at an historic low. The ASPCA is funding a transport program and has offered to save nearly every adoptable cat at Baldwin Park – and unfortunately has been unable to fill the demands of no kill shelters who would like to receive these pets. Yet Sherry Koenig and her minions were killing cats with a vengeance, in a recent week claiming that 47 of Baldwin’s cats were feral. Odd then, that over half of these cats were socialized enough for shelter workers to determine their sex and vaccinate them.
According to Baldwin Park staff, the facility has adopted a new policy that dogs who fail temp tests will be killed the following day. Who is assessing the behavior of animals and determining that they should die? It is unconscionable that there is not one certified animal behaviorist in the employ of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control. Temperament tests given by Baldwin Park (and all other DACC shelters) are poorly designed, frequently poorly administered and graded subjectively by people who are unqualified to give them. A few years ago Baldwin Park volunteers challenged the temperament test results of 10 dogs who failed their temp test during the period of one month. All were retested and 8 of them passed their retest.
To further anger volunteers and employees, Baldwin Park’s senior staff has decided that it is holding on to injured dogs too long. Even though there is plenty of kennel space the lives of highly adoptable dogs with fractured limbs or pelvises are now in danger.
Baldwin Park has become a senseless animal slaughterhouse under the failed leadership of first Pat “Google Me” Claerbout and now Sheri “Goldilocks” Koenig – both hired by the morally bankrupt DACC head Marcia Mayeda. Mayeda has a fourteen year track record and a body count of over 600,000 pets and one 63 year old grandmother, Pamela DeVitt, to prove she has nothing but contempt for the public and the animals she is sworn to protect.