On July 20th the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) formally opened its new twenty million dollar Palmdale Shelter to much fanfare. It was only fitting that outgoing Board of Supervisors member Mike Antonovich was there to deliver the dedication:
“This is a state-of-the-art facility—one where 90 percent of animals found roaming around and brought here will be adopted, which is remarkable,” Antonovich claimed as his stooge and extremely close friend, DACC Director Marcia Mayeda, stood by smiling.
Fast forward to two weeks later and the Palmdale facility secretly sent a truckload of six Pit Bulls to the Lancaster Shelter to be euthanized – because the DACC did not want to expose the truth, that this poorly located facility was merely a monumental waste of taxpayers’ money. The truth is that the Palmdale Shelter will be a high kill facility – just like Baldwin Park. It serves a community that dumps, rather than adopts pets. Many people are naively discarding their pets at Palmdale believing that this shelter is Agoura – where nearly all pets are adopted – and the word needs to get out that Palmdale is just another Mayeda killing field.
Meanwhile at DACC headquarters rumors are rife that several agency executives have been polishing up their résumés and looking for jobs at better run animal control departments outside Los Angeles County. One high ranking executive has been spotted interviewing in San Diego and others have been contacting other Southern California shelters looking for a chance to escape the endless incompetence and brutality that is the trademark of a Marcia Mayeda run department.
At Baldwin Park the lack of respect for shelter manager Sheri Koenig is beginning to rival that of her predecessor Pat “Google Me” Claerbout. Several staff members have grown so tired of working at the poorly run shelter that they have repeatedly come down with mysterious illnesses and have not reported to work as they wait for the transfer papers they have recently filed to be processed. This past Sunday so many staff members called in sick that there were no officers in the field handling emergency calls and pet care at the shelter was minimal at best.
A responsible DACC leader would never have allowed Palmdale to be built. A responsible leader would have used the Palmdale money to build satellite adoption centers in or near communities where adoptions regularly occur – like Agoura, Malibu and Calabasas. A responsible DACC leader would have sufficiently staffed her shelters so they could function properly. A responsible DACC head would never have allowed morale to get as low as it has in all the DACC facilities.
Instead the DACC is left with its sad troll at the helm, Marcia Mayeda, a woman who has managed to keep her $238,000 a year job solely because she has an unusually cozy relationship with Mike Antonovich. We eagerly await Antonovich’s departure later this year and hope for the good of Los Angeles County’s pets that he takes Mayeda with him.