Traditionally the worst two months for the Los Angeles County Shelter system are June and July, where the shelters get inundated by a tidal wave of pets being surrendered by owners who move and are too lazy to take their pets with them and pets being impounded due to the shelters’ service areas allowing the sale of fireworks and the resultant chaos which ensues when you have a population that leaves its pets outside without collars or microchips.
When overcrowding occurs in the Los Angeles County shelters, upper respiratory disease (URI) among its occupants are rampant. The county’s head veterinarian, Dr. Salcito, proudly and continually cites her record as the shelter veterinarian at Lancaster – where she quite rightly claims URI was minimal under her watch. The problem was that her solution to fighting URI is to euthanize, and as we all know Lancaster has had the highest kill rate of any of the county shelters. The last week has been particularly brutal at the Downey and Baldwin Park shelters. “Marcia Mayeda cocktails” were served in abundance and the barrels inside the shelters’ freezers are filled with dog and cat carcasses awaiting shipment to rendering plants where their carcasses will be boiled and the fat drained to produce lipstick and other cosmetics.
We think there are better ways to fight URI, such as thoroughly cleaning kennels between dogs being taken out of the kennels for adoption or lately for killing, and new dogs replacing them in the same kennels.
However when you start killing as much as the shelters have, kennel attendants have a curious habit of coming down with strange illness and call in sick. Baldwin Park only had three kennel attendants on duty Friday morning, curiously after killing so many pets the day before. When you couple that with an abysmally run volunteer program run by the woman who wins our award for the laziest and most ineffective bureaucrat in the entire Los Angeles County government – you just don’t have the manpower to keep the kennels clean.