Here is the latest on JoJo, the two year old German Shepherd mix who Marcia Mayeda, the head of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal ‘Care’ and Control (DACC) wants to kill because he bit two juvenile delinquents who had been tormented him by throwing concrete blocks at him. The DACC has put out a statement on their website trying to explain their reasoning for wanting to kill JoJo. It of course ignores all evidence put forth by JoJo’s defense team and all evidence put forth by witnesses from the community where JoJo lived, as well as any evidence put forth by qualified “expert” witnesses who have examined JoJo, such as that offered by Dr. Richard Polsky, a well recognized dog behaviorist – and to date, the only behaviorist with any recognized credentials to examine JoJo. In his opinion Dr. Polsky eviscerates the DACC’s designation of JoJo as being vicious, criticizes their designating him as a Pit Bull/Rottweiler mix when he is clearly a German Shepherd mix, and further points out the unfairness of the way the DACC has handled this case.
Mayeda and the DACC finally offered to accept the world famous Best Friends Animal Society’s offer of sanctuary for JoJo – but put on odious restrictions which basically made JoJo a canine version of Hannibal Lecter, a family dog who had to be kept cooped up without any public interaction with anyone other than certain staff members and no chance of being adopted. The Michael Vick fighting dogs, who Best Friends rehabilitated had no such restrictions and many of them actually met the legal definition of vicious – unlike JoJo.
According to the DACC, some, as yet unidentified, people made threats to forcibly remove JoJo from their Lancaster facility where he had been sitting in a kennel for 73 days (and between 1 and 4 dogs were dying daily at Lancaster because the kennel occupied by JoJo was not available for their use). As a result they asked the Lancaster Sheriff station to “protect” their facility and the police acted by harassing JoJo’s owners, Travis and Denise as well as anyone who were a “Justice for JoJo T-shirt”. This pattern of harassment explains why the United States Justice Department has been conducting a Civil Rights Investigation of the Sheriff’s station in the Lancaster/Antelope Valley region. Despite the questionable legality of the harassment it was very effective, and on Monday Denise who was already despondent over losing her beloved pet, attempted suicide. Thankfully she was found in time and rushed to a hospital – where she was successfully revived.
Who are we to believe, the DACC or our version of the above events? It all comes down to credibility, who has more? Marcia Mayeda who admits ordering the deaths of over 549,000 pets through December of 2012, or JoJo’s defense team composed of rescuers who have dedicated their precious time and financial resources to save pets from Ms. Mayeda?
Meanwhile JoJo has been moved to an undisclosed kennel, where JoJo’s defense team has been unable to interact with him – and had to pay $1,000 for his kenneling, while the Best Friends settlement agreement is negotiated (a mediation on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday). Interestingly enough when the DACC impounds a dog they charge the public $18 per day. We are assuming by this extortionist fee that the DACC wants to hold on to JoJo for another 55 days.
Despite Justice for JoJo’s lawyers, led by the incredible Talitha Wegner, doing the case on a pro bono basis, we have already had to spend $14,000 and have exhausted our funding. Anyone who wants to make a tax deductable donation to help JoJo and help set a precedent against bullying and kangaroo courts conducted by Mayeda can do so by clicking here: http://www.gofundme.com/40nyjs