If one believes that government’s function is to serve the best interests of its people, the County of Los Angeles is woefully lacking. With Los Angeles mired in an historic drought, and fires sweeping across the county, the sale of fireworks is legal in 41 Los Angeles County communities. It seems like every street corner in Baldwin Park has a stand selling fireworks and the same can be said for other cities including Azusa, El Monte, La Puente and Downey.
During the weeks leading up to and following July 4th, legalized fireworks turn Los Angeles County’s communities into mini-Syrias as explosions punctuate the night. Scores of children will be maimed by fireworks, and the toll on pets will be even higher. With so many of these communities’ residents believing that pets should be kept outdoors, thousands of terrified pets will be frantically escaping their yards. The lucky ones end up being brought into the municipal shelters like Baldwin Park and Downey, the unfortunate ones meet gruesome end being hit by cars.
Less than 25 percent of all pets impounded by the Baldwin Park Shelter have collars with attached identification tags or microchips – and the shelter’s overall return to owner rate is only ten percent. The influx of unclaimed pets will lead to large scale euthanasia throughout the Los Angeles County Shelter system. This is especially true at Baldwin Park, which is down to 48 kennels as a result of renovation. The renovation is proceeding at a snail’s pace because Los Angeles County government’s corrupt and lazy Internal Services Division (ISD) is in charge of the construction – meaning that the taxpayer funded project will cost at least three times as much and take five times longer than the same construction would if performed by private sector contractors.
There is no accountability in Los Angeles County government. Local news coverage has been filled with scandals and criminal indictments in the sheriff’s and child services departments. The Court system is a mess, our school system is a failure, and this column has operated for four years exposing the daily scandals involved in the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control.
Nothing will change between now and July 4th. Our government will fail to be proactive and deliver the message in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese – the most popular languages spoken in the Baldwin Park service area – that people need to bring their pets inside for the next month while the government sanctioned madness of fireworks erupts. Dogs and cats will flood the shelters – and the shelters’ freezers will be full of barrels of freshly euthanized pets.
It’s totally preventable madness, if only our elected government would show something approaching civic concern for their constituency’s welfare.
In the meantime, children will be maimed and pets will suffer. It’s business as usual for Los Angeles County.