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Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help


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Sometimes I feel like I should start this blog with a greeting of “Hi Marcia and Pat” since it is apparent that the two worst employees of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control are such avid readers of this blog!

On October 23rd the DACC sent an e-mail to Baldwin Park Shelter volunteers signed by Director of Volunteer Services, Rohmi Reed disputing claims made in my blog of last week about Pat Claerbout’s  management of this once well run shelter that has skidded woefully off track during her brief stewardship. The first part of Reed’s e-mail addressed the DACC’s handling of cats and was one of the most disingenuous pieces of unadulterated bull that the Mayeda regime has come up with in quite a long time.   Reed arbitrarily selected the feline statistics from October 11th to October 23rd 2014 and compared it to the same 12 day period from 2013 to show that they euthanized 26 fewer cats during the corresponding period.  The problem is that Clarebout ordered a mass killing of 64 cats on September 30th who were conveniently not included in her conveniently manipulated statistics.  Secondly Reed goes on to claim that the DACC has instituted a new protocol ‘isolating new cats for 14 days to observe them for signs of {panleuk} infection.” When you consider that the average hold time before an impounded Baldwin Park cat is killed is less than ten days you can immediately understand how this is just another DACC smokescreen.

The second part of Reed’s e-mail deals with Pat Claerbout, the new Baldwin Park Shelter manager who obviously did not read, “How to Make Friends and Influence People” judging by the number of disgruntled employees and departed shelter volunteers. Reed claims that the results of Google searches on Claerbout’s name are unfair and that she is an innovative leader. Memo to the DACC: Claerbout was fired from her job at Stockton. If they thought she was competent and innovative, logic would dictate they would have kept her in their employ.

Under previous manager Lance Hunter’s watch, Baldwin Park led all Los Angeles metropolitan shelters in the number of mobile adoptions held each month. Mr. Hunter’s philosophy was since a vast majority of the public are scared to come to the shelter then he would bring the shelter to them. Since Claerbout took the reins at Baldwin Park there have been virtually no mobile adoption events. Under Hunter, the shelter had monthly volunteer training classes and both new and old volunteers were made to feel welcome. Under Claerbout’s “innovative” leadership there have been no volunteer training classes and volunteers have quit in disgust at her barely hidden antipathy towards them. Mr. Hunter involved the local communities in the shelter and was able to get many needed items donated which his budget couldn’t afford. Amongst these items were blankets for the pets to sleep on, which Claerbout has announced are no longer required, and food to supplement what he was given by the DACC. After being chastised for not using the donated food in last week’s blog, Ms. Claerbout instructed shelter workers to put the food in wheelbarrows outside the shelter with a sign saying “free donated food which the shelter can’t use”. Even if we accept the unrealistic premise that the shelter couldn’t directly use this food, an innovative shelter would have done what the well run Animal Friends of the Valley Shelter in Wildomar did and kept the food on hand, to be donated to low income citizens who were turning in their pets because they could afford to feed them.

Finally Ms. Reed hypocritically states “Sadly, some people involved in animal advocacy choose to demonize other people, rather than work cooperatively together towards our common goal.” The DACC leadership has steadfastly stifled collaboration or working together with its stakeholders to improve its woeful live release rates. Employee, volunteer and rescue groups concerns and suggestions are unwelcome. Anyone, employee or volunteer who questions the DACC command is fired. Does anyone remember the DACC ever having an open town hall meeting to openly discuss its policies – or has there been any governmental or civilian oversight over Ms, Mayeda’s horrific performance?

I agree  we should be working together towards our common goal of improving the lives and prospects of shelter pets. This of course can only happen when Marcia Mayeda and her appointees, including Pat Claerbout are fired.

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This entry was posted in Dog Rescue