Realizing that here is a deep partisan divide in government these days, pragmatic people try to find a common ground which will unite them – without respect to political affiliation. It is these common core fundamental values that unites us as a country. I like to think that one of these common values we all share is that we all want our government to be built on compassion for its citizens. I am a liberal Democrat, but I am almost positive even the most strident Republican does not want a government built on hate and contempt for its citizens.
It is this common principle which binds us as a society and what makes the conduct of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal ‘Care’ and Control’s leadership so galling and offensive in the case of JoJo, the German Shepherd who bit two juvenile delinquents who taunted and tortured him by throwing concrete blocks at him.
Not only has the DACC refused to obey the very clear terms of the Hayden Act and immediately release JoJo to 501(c)3 rescue groups who offered him sanctuary, but when the world renown Best Friends Animal Society offered sanctuary, the DACC rather than accept it without qualifications – put so many restrictive clauses that you would think they were dealing with Hannibal Lecter rather than a family pet trying to protect himself from being tortured.
JoJo’s family was intimidated into signing a document releasing their ownership of the dog, by being told that the DACC would kill him if they refused. To add injury to insult this financially strapped family had to pay nearly one thousand dollars, twice their monthly income to the DACC to save his life. Once the DACC received the money, coincidentally the Los Angeles County Sheriffs department embarked on a bumbling but highly effective strategy to harass JoJo’s family, banging on their doors early in the morning, and chasing them away from the Lancaster facility where JoJo was being held. Denise Wheeler, one of JoJo’s owners, and a mother to an infant daughter became so distraught from the strain of the DACC’s constant barrage of attacks and threats and the Sherrif’s harassment that she attempted suicide.
Marcia Mayeda, the head of the DACC, not only wants to kill JoJo, but through her reprehensible conduct she nearly had the hopefully unintentional effect of nearly destroying his family. Is this compassion? Is this morally tolerable? Is this the governmental conduct we want to subsidize with our hard earned tax dollars?
We hope not.