Many employees of Los Angeles County Department of Animal “Care” and Control have joined volunteers, members of the rescue community and the general public in wondering how Marcia Mayeda could have hired Pat Claerbout to run the Baldwin Park Shelter given her horrific track record which is easily accessible to anyone with Google. As one DACC insider opined, “Perhaps Mayeda hired Claerbout to distract everyone from examining Mayeda’s own appalling record.”
Certainly Claerbout misdeeds can be distracting. The DACC uses the designation “BOFFICE” for pets who are missing. When we checked today, Baldwin Park was missing an incredible 65 cats and 20 dogs. Where are these pets? According to DACC employees it is the largest number of missing pets in recent memory.
Ms. Claerbout, an avid reader of my blog, reacted to a recent post criticizing her for not bringing enough dogs to the Bow Wows and Meows Super adoption. Evidently Ms. Claerbout does not want to get criticized again – so she has promulgated that Baldwin Park not send any dogs on transports to no kill shelters until after the NKLA Super Adoption on November 8th and 9th. Although she has 249 dogs listed as being in the shelter, Clarebout apparently is clueless at multi-tasking and cannot find thirty dogs to go to the NKLA event, where they may or may not be adopted, while still sending 50 dogs on transport to guaranteed safety. It was only three years ago that her predecessor managed to bring 100 pets, all of whom were adopted, to the NKLA event – and he still had pets ready for transport both the preceding and following weeks. It’s the difference between good and poor management and clearly Pat Claerbout falls into the latter category.
Today, 51 of the 192 dog kennels at Baldwin Park are empty, yet Ms. Claerbout is still ordering staff to draw up euthanasia lists. The live release of pets, as repeatedly demonstrated at her previous employment stops at Stockton and Sacramento, has never been too high a priority with Claerbout. Perhaps that explains why both cities discharged her from her duties, and why Sacramento’s top animal control officer, Jaleh Janatpour, resigned citing poor treatment of the animals at her shelter and Claerbout’s indifference to improving the live-release rate. The shelter’s veterinarian, Cindi Delaney, resigned too, because of the shelter’s poor leadership and lack of interest in saving animals, saying, “The newer idea is to have people who have a heart and save the animals, not just kill them to save public money. I thought this was not what a shelter should be doing in this day and age.”
Here’s a memo to Ms. Mayeda: Standing next to the ugliest girl in the beauty contest is not going to make you any prettier. You hired Pat Claerbout knowing full well what you were getting. It was a deliberate middle finger salute to your critics, but like most of your edicts the people you intended to harm were only enraged. It’s the unfortunate pets trusted into your care who are suffering.
On Tuesday Los Angeles County voters have the opportunity to elect two new members to the Board of Supervisors. Bobby Shriver has made a campaign promise that he will investigate and reform the DACC. The only way to reform the DACC is to fire Marcia Mayeda and her cronies. Because of this alone, Bobby Shriver has won my vote and endorsement.