Marcia Mayeda, the failed bureaucrat running the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control has steadfastly refused to provide proper veterinary care for the unfortunate pets impounded in her shelters and as a result of her contempt for the pets, Baca, A4779267, a two year old Australian Shepherd impounded at Carson on September 18th is dead.
It is not the quality of the veterinarians working at the shelters that is the problem. Downey’s veterinarian, Dr. Carissa Jones is a fabulous veterinarian who I would take my own pets to, and there are several other dedicated, caring and knowledgeable veterinarians at other DACC Shelters. The fault lies in Mayeda’s staffing. Each of her four high intake shelters – Carson, Downey, Baldwin Park and Lancaster – have two veterinarians; but both of these veterinarians work Monday – Friday shifts from 7 A.M until 3 P.M. If a pet comes in after 3 o’clock on a Friday he/she will not be seen until 7 A.M. on the following Monday. There are RVT’s on staff but they are not allowed to administer medications that have not been prescribed by a veterinarian.
When there is no veterinarian on duty the shelters have the ability to send animals to contracted private veterinary clinics, but they are only allowed to authorize $75 in medical treatment. As any pet owner knows $75 does not buy you much in the way of treatment. There is an exception to this $75 minimum which allows shelter managers to authorize up to $300 in treatment – but this rarely occurs because shelter managers work either Monday – Thursday, or Monday – Friday depending on what week it is.
Baca was impounded on Friday, September 18th and there is a note in Chameleon, the shelter tracking program, diagnosing the dog to be suffering from peritonitis. He was placed in Kennel C324. On Saturday, September 19th there was no veterinarian on duty and a concerned rescuer named Krista Place, observed through the kennel bars that Baca was in great pain and struggling for life. Ms. Place dutifully reported it to staff. Carson’s staff paid no attention to Place’s report and there are no notes showing that anyone checked his condition. The next note in Chameleon was made the following morning on September 20th, when a member of the public reported to the that Baca was dead in his cage. It is poignant to stress that no staff member, either kennel attendant or RVT had noticed the dog was dead in his kennel – it had to be reported by a member of the public. He could have been dead for more than 12 hours.
If this was one isolated incident at a Los Angeles shelter it would be merely tragic and perhaps someone would be disciplined for their failure to act and their failure to notice. However this happens routinely at DACC shelters. It does not take a proposition from Wittgenstein to understand that the DACC could easily solve this problem by having one veterinarian work Tuesday – Saturday and the other work Sunday – Thursday. Anyone with common sense could come up with this easy solution, but Marcia Mayeda has nothing but contempt for the pets entrusted into her care and Baca is dead because of this.
Given the constant scandals her lack of leadership has caused, it is anathema that the Board of Supervisors keep Marcia Mayeda as head of the DACC. Her failure to do her job causes pets – like Baca and the infamous Zephyr before him to suffer and die; and it also kills people, specifically jogger Pamela DeVitt. How many more pets and people need to suffer and die while Supervisor Mike Antonovich and his four colleagues play ostrich, keeping their collective heads buried in the sand. ignoring the cancer that is Marcia Mayeda? The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor’s failure to remove Mayeda as head of the DACC makes them equally culpable. The blood of Ms. DeVitt and the countless number of Bacas is squarely on the Supervisor’s hands – and they need to be held accountable for their misdeeds.