Being an animal control officer, or kennel worker in the Los Angeles County Shelter system is not a glamour job. If you are in the field your job includes picking up injured animals who have been hit by cars and transporting them to emergency veterinary clinics, or if they are dead bringing them to the facility for disposal, investigating cases of animal cruelty and making the tough call as to exactly when someone has crossed over the line of providing inadequate care for their pets, and picking up stray pets and bringing them back to a shelter where you know the pet may be euthanized due to lack of space. For this work you can make between $33,864 as a starting salary and if you are there long enough and get every promotion max out at $60,615.24 per year before taxes and union dues.
If you are a kennel attendant your life is even less glamorous. Your job description includes cleaning kennels, assisting the public in turning in unwanted and dead animals, and the worst job of all, taking healthy pets to the back of the shelter and holding them while they are killed and then placing their carcasses in barrels inside a freezer so they can be transported to a rendering plant. For this job the starting salary is $30,426.60 and you can rise through the ranks to a salary of $41,943.24 per year before taxes and union dues.
These under-appreciated shelter workers have not had a raise or cost of living adjustment in over four years.
You can only imagine the emotions of these hard working people when they discovered last week that Marcia Mayeda, the head of Animal Control received a hefty raise last week – while they didn’t receive one cent. Mayeda, who in many of their opinions has as well as ours has done a piss poor job of running the shelter system, makes over $200,000 a year in salary and benefits, while a kennel worker has to support his or her family on a salary that has seen it’s buying power dwindle precipitously over the last four years.
It’s inexplicable and unjustifiable, but business as usual at the DACC.