Normally this blog consists of our exposing the dirty secrets that the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) don’t want you to know. We’ve brought to light DACC Director Marcia Mayeda’s role as an accomplice to murder in the death of jogger Pamela DeVitt, her failure to provide needed food for her shelter’s pets, her hiring a known serial abuser of animals to run the Baldwin Park Shelter and her numerous violations of the Hayden act.
Mayeda is a sadist who delights in destroying her employees’ lives. One life Mayeda is in the process of destroying belongs to whistleblower and former Baldwin Park kennel attendant Erika Valles, the employee who exposed the systematic starvation of shelter animals under Mayeda hire, Pat “Google Me” Claerbout.
We will let Ms. Valles tell the story from here:
My name is Erika Valles and for seven years I worked at saving lives at the Baldwin Park Shelter. I had good performance reviews and an even better reputation for loving and caring for all animals. I fostered hundreds of kittens, quite a few puppies, baby birds, a litter of skunks, and an opossum all of whom otherwise would have been euthanized at my shelter. Things changed when Los Angeles County’s Director of Animal Control hired Pat Claerbout to manage my shelter.
Claerbout arrived at Baldwin Park with a well documented career of killing and abusing pets – which can easily be researched by doing a Google search of her name. One of the first things Claerbout did upon taking the job was to order my colleagues and myself to reduce the feeding of the shelter’s pets as a cost saving move. I noticed the pets weren’t getting the proper nutrition. So started photographing them to prove what I saw. When Claerbout found out she looked forways to retaliate against me.
I was fostering a one month old unweened kitten who came to the shelter without her mother. One day I noticed the kitten wasn’t quite herself and I decided to bring her in with me to work so I could get one of the shelter’s veterinarians to give her a check-up. When I arrived at work, my co- workers told me that there was an outbreak of panleukopenia, a deadly disease that all too often afflicts shelter cats. Baldwin has had a problem with paneleuk for years and it is nearly always fatal. It was a cold day, and because of that I decided to keep the kitten in a warm place in my car where she would not be exposed to any panleuk germs. Claerbout found out that I had the kitten with me, and chose that opportunity to exact her revenge. She broke into my car, removed the kitten and ordered it euthanized. Shortly thereafter Claerbout claimed that I had caused the kitten to come down with panleuk and threatened me with criminal charges if I did not immediately resign. Frightened at the prospect of being unjustly accused of being a criminal and without consulting a lawyer I reluctantly agreed to resign. That same week at Baldwin Park, over 100 kittens were euthanized because they had panleuk and they closed the cat building to the public for a month. Claerbout then reneged on the deal and filed criminal animal abuse charges against me anyway. It is worth noting that no one else was threatened with criminal charges nor were they fired or disciplined in any manner for the other shelter kittens (who were under Claerbout’s direct care) dying. It was only because of my whistle blowing that I was singled out.
Shortly after I was fired, 90 percent of the Baldwin Park Shelter’s staff signed a petition demanding Claerbout be removed for her mismanagement, gratuitous killing of animals and her bullying employees and volunteers. Shortly thereafter Claerbout was removed – and it became the third shelter that she was driven out of for abusive behavior. I have lost everything because I took a stand against animal cruelty at the hands of Pat Claerbout. Now I need to defend myself in court. I cannot afford a lawyer and I need your help. It’s time to stop the bullying and coddling of the real abusers. Please donate to my defense fund so I can clear my name and help stop the bullying at the hands of Pat Claerbout and Los Angeles County’s Department of Animal Control.
Claerbout was hired by, and served as a proxy for, Marcia Mayeda. If you would like to help Erika Valles and stop Marcia Mayeda from shattering another life please help Valles exonerate her name by clicking here: