When the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) fails to respond to an emergency call or follow up on an investigation, they reflexively cite lack of staffing as the justification for their failure to adequately protect Los Angeles County’s citizens and their pets. Several times in the past when the shelters have killed pets despite having plenty of empty kennels, shelter managers have claimed that they did not have sufficient staff to operate their shelters at full capacity. What makes this so galling and offensive is the revelation that Marcia Mayeda, the $238,000 a year civil servant running the DACC, has been earning bonuses for keeping her headcount low. There are plenty of unfilled staff positions that Mayeda has routinely refused to fill so she could earn extra money – which she probably used to try and teflon coat her body since nothing ever seems to stick to the feckless bureaucrat. Not only have cats and dogs been dying, but it has been alleged in a lawsuit that jogger Pamela DeVitt was killed because Mayeda cares less about her duty to keep the community safe and adoptable pets alive than she does about how much money she can personally siphon from Los Angeles County taxpayers’ wallets.
Meanwhile at Baldwin Park there are 192 dog kennels and most kennels used for small dogs are shared by three or four pets. Baldwin Park’s canine population was under 190 dogs earlier in the week, yet new Baldwin Park Shelter manager Sherri Koenig ordered her staff to kill dogs despite a plethora of empty kennels. One of those killed was a dog that one of Baldwin Park’s veterinarians wanted to spend his own money to operate on and then place into foster care so the pet could recover and be adopted. Several Baldwin Park staff members were nervously calling this reporter to complain, wondering why after two months of tranquility and progress under Danny Ubario’s leadership, Marcia Mayeda had allowed the shelter to apparently backslide back to the bad old days of Pat “Google Me” Claerbout. As more than one Baldwin Park staffer angrily stated, “The only justifiable reasons to kill are for irremediable suffering, dangerous behaviour and space – and very few of the dogs we killed fit into any of these categories.”
The news was no less disturbing at the Downey Shelter where a gorgeous eight month old plush coat German Shepherd puppy vanished into thin air one evening last week from the Downey Shelter. Strangely many other purebred puppies who could easily be sold for more than the shelter would charge the public to adopt, have disappeared late at night from Downey and coincidentally it has always been when the same employee was the only person on duty. Rumors of drug use and debts surround this particular employee – yet he still has a job.
Finally in a rare bit of good news, Baldwin Park Lieutenant Eileen Hill was ordered back to work last Thursday after Marcia Mayeda and her vassal, Pat Claerbout, conspired to try and have the hard working and uncompromisingly honest Lieutenant fired for a series of trumped up charges, when the real reason for her being in hot water was her having pointed out the DACC’s violation of California and OSHA regulations. We cannot wonder if our mentioning Lieutenant Hill’s being paid her full salary for the last six months while being wrongfully disciplined had anything to do with her reinstatement or if it had to do with possible overdue impending discipline being meted out to a senior Baldwin employee who has routinely been misappropriating donations and harassing female staff and thereby leaving Baldwin Park rudderless, but either way Marcia Mayeda’s headcount is up one person at Baldwin Park – for now…