After a few months of being mysteriously unavailable, the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) suddenly decided to allow its dismal euthanasia statistics to be published again on its web site. The DACC tried to explain the statistics’ absence as being due to “technical difficulties” but, like anything that the Marcia Mayeda led agency states, no one believed them. Mayeda’s obsession with secrecy and penchant for obliterating and erasing any records of both her agency’s and her own poor performance has been frequently noted on this blog and other outlets. Whether the restoration of the euthanasia statistics was due to this blog, other shelter activists barbs and threats of lawsuits, or whether the agency’s computers finally were magically fixed is immaterial.
The fact is the agency’s statistics suck big time and abjectly illustrate how piss-poor Mayeda’s job performance is. Baldwin Park’s kill rate is 45 percent, the brand new Palmdale Shelter which was supposed to be the model shelter is at 41 percent and the overall kill rate throughout the County is 37 percent.
The DACC’s impounds dropped to a low of 37,855 animals in the current fiscal year 2016-2017. They killed 14,040 of these pets. Most major animal control agencies have much better rates. New York City only kills 10 percent of its pets, Chicago kills 27 percent, Detroit dropped its euthanasia rate three fold in 2016, and other major animal control entities saw similar successes. Meanwhile Mayeda’s department failed miserably.
Further offending both this reporter’s and most DACC employees’ and volunteers’ sensibilities is the new DACC website feature “Meet the Director”. The highly white-washed four page bio starts with the story of little 5th grader Marcia Mayeda being offended by conditions at a pet store near her home in Illinois. She supposedly called the local humane society and a few weeks the pet store was closed. Fast forward to the present, and if grown-up Marcia Mayeda called her own agency to report animal cruelty she would have had her call ignored and “no timed” – the DACC euphemism for not responding to calls. Over 5,000 calls to her South County Shelter Call Center were ignored last year alone.
The bio goes on to claim “Marcia and her staff have transformed DACC from a traditional animal control operation to a progressive agency that maintains public safety and animal life saving as its top priority. She credits the outstanding work of DACC’s staff and volunteers for this achievement. “Although I have established a vision of how our agency should operate, this would not be attainable if it weren’t for the dedication and team work of DACC staff and volunteers”.
Whoever wrote this must have been choking on their own words. The DACC is the agency that repeatedly “no timed’ calls and failed to impound a pack of pit bulls in Littlerock who later fatally mauled jogger Pamela DeVitt. To hide their involvement Mayeda and her cronies backdated computer records to make it appear that they had responded to repeated complaints about the pack of marauding dogs. This is the same Mayeda who has repeatedly ordered her staff to ignore California law and has refused to release pets to 501(c) rescues as mandated in the Hayden Act. This is the agency that has steadfastly refused to give its veterinarians the diagnostic equipment to save lives, and routinely kills pets for having minor, easily treated ailments which could be easily cured. This is the agency that routinely fires volunteers for not putting in 8 hours a month unpaid labor at their facilities.
This is the agency that can even fail when it tries to upgrade its own facilities. Rather than start a badly needed renovation of the Downey Shelter during the low impound season which starts after Labor Day, Mayeda elected to start renovations on the first of March. These renovations will see Downey losing one kennel building for at least six months – including the high intake period between Memorial and Labor Days. With the loss of 40 dog kennels euthanasia will increase dramatically as there will be no space for this high intake shelter’s impounded pets.
As one high ranking DACC official told me after reading Mayeda’s bio, “If Mayeda was held to the same standard as her volunteers she would be fired for not putting in enough hours… but she is like Trump, she knows she is lying and doesn’t really care if anyone notices, because she can and will crush any internal investigations into her own misdeeds.”