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Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!


Four years ago when I first walked into a Los Angeles County shelter I was stunned by the number of highly adoptable dogs being euthanized every day because they were “invisible” – not marketed, often without viewable photos on the website and never actively brought to the attention of potential adopters. The shelter workers were resigned to the fact that an impounded dog would most likely be euthanized in four days because Marcia Mayeda, the bureaucrat running the County shelter system (DACC), was only interested in making her budget work and showed no inclination to ameliorate the problem by encouraging rescue, adoption or transports of animals from her shelter or launching educational programs to promote spay/neuter and animal welfare in the numerous communities the DACC serves. Hundreds of invisible dogs died in quiet obscurity in the back of the shelters because no one knew about them or cared.

Four years later and I’ve seen a radical change at Baldwin Park, Downey and Carson. Baldwin Park was the first Southern California shelter to make the affirmative decision to be transparent in their actions. The shelter’s outstanding leadership empowered their volunteers to make a difference by marketing the shelter’s impounded pets through the social media websites of Facebook and YouTube, something which had previously been discouraged (SEACA, another Southern California shelter system, still prohibits photographing of its pets). It was tremendously successful and Baldwin Park’s “live releases” increased exponentially. The Downey shelter implemented a similar program in January and last month Carson came on board. We are making huge progress.

Marcia Mayeda has done nothing. She has missed every opportunity to show leadership in trying to get pets out of the shelters. While volunteers work around the clock to partner with no kill shelters throughout North America and transport large numbers of dogs to those shelters, Mayeda has done nothing – unless you count making it more difficult for legitimate 501(c)3 rescues to adopt pets.

In any private sector business a chief executive who continues to deliver bad results quarter after quarter is replaced by the shareholders. When politicos disappoint their constituents send them packing on election day. Mayeda holds a position appointed by the five elected members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors – Gloria Molina, Mike Antonovich, Zev Yaroslavsky, Don Knabe and Mark Ridley-Thomas. It is time to hold these officials accountable and insist that in exchange for our votes that they dismiss Marcia Mayeda.


Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!


The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) is a lot like North Korea.  The leadership regime issues heavily manicured proclamations – which can never be taken at face value – telling of their great successes, their leader is inaccessible to the public and travels with security, and the true statistics showing how badly the DACC is doing are guarded as state secrets.  But what reminds me of North Korea the most is the way that the DACC markets the product it is supposed to be ‘selling’ – the sad pets who found themselves impounded in the county shelters.

Two months ago the DACC started its own Facebook pages for the Baldwin Park and Agoura shelters.  Full of pictures of glorious leader Marcia Mayeda, the DACC has only managed to attract 69 followers (many of whom are employed by the DACC) on its Baldwin Park page and 45 followers on its Agoura page because it forgot to include one essential element.  There are no pictures of the shelters’ pets!

Promoting pet adoption and marketing their pets is one of the essential functions of a shelter.   The DACC is failing miserably at this, not just on Facebook – but in every facet of its operations.   Last year the marketing geniuses at the DACC staged an event at their shelters where they actually advertised, ‘come visit our shelters – so you can see an actual animal control truck’!  Needless to say the people stayed away in droves – but the staff and pets didn’t mind – as the county had the shelters provide food for the guests that didn’t come – and the employees and some lucky pets had a free lunch – courtesy of Mayeda and company.

The DACC needs a leadership change at the top.  People who understand the importance of marketing and being in touch with the communities they serve need to be brought into the agency and then, and only then, do we have a chance of getting to the utopian goal of operating no kill shelters.


Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!


It is difficult to establish a definitive measuring stick to judge whether Animal Control is doing a good job.  Most of us just look at the body count – the number of pets being shipped off in barrels to rendering plants.   In the eleven and one half years that Marcia Mayeda has run the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control,  the DACC has – according to their own numbers – killed 549,430 pets or nearly 131 pets per day.   In my opinion you have to go far beyond this dreadful number to really judge a shelter system.   You need to see what Animal Control is doing to reduce the number of intakes, so it can reduce the number of pets euthanized.

Is the shelter system effectively reaching into the community it serves and promoting spay/neuter?  Is it enforcing the law in communities where spay/neuter laws have been enacted?  Is the shelter maximizing efforts to collect licensing revenues?  Is the system doing an effective job of marketing its impounded pets?  What is the opinion held by the public, volunteers and staff?

There is no way to subjectively quantify these measurements and it comes down to a variation on former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous quote on pornography, “I know it when I see it.”  What I see when I look at the DACC is abysmal.  Too many deaths, too much of its budget squandered, the agency is wracked by bureaucratic inertia and is often at war with its volunteers and employees.  Without independent oversight, the numerous complaints filed against the DACC are handled by the DACC and are often answered by form letters.

If the DACC was a publicly held company the stockholders would have revolted and demanded change.  It cannot be fixed from within and only a complete overhaul of the agency will improve its unacceptable performance.

Every two weeks volunteers from the Baldwin Park Shelter and United Hope for Animals gather at the shelter to photograph and video the shelter’s pets.  Attached is the latest networking list.  Anything you can do to help by adopting, rescuing or networking these fabulous pets is appreciated and urgently needed.


Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!


Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”   Using Einstein’s definition, objective analysis of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control would lead you to believe that the bureaucrats running the County’s shelter system are most likely insane.   For years the DACC leadership has been more interested in preserving their jobs and their turf than implementing new solutions to the problems facing the shelter system, and have been content to use the same failed strategies.  The results have always been the same – way too many dead animals in barrels, inside freezers waiting to be transported to rendering plants.

It is time to end this insanity and make some real inroads into improving the shelter system.  In this –  the fourth and final part of my recommendations to improve the DACC – I am proposing a radical makeover of the way the Los Angeles metropolitan area approaches its animal control problem.

First it is time for the head of the DACC to go to both the Board of Supervisors and the individual municipal governments and lobby them to allow residents to have more pets if certain conditions are met.  Presently the law throughout most of Los Angeles is residents are allowed to have three dogs.  Some people live in apartments, others live in homes on small plots of land, others live on larger plots of land.  If someone lives in an apartment perhaps three is the right number, but if you live on an acre of land you should be able to have more pets.   Governments should allow a fourth licensed dog to property owners who apply for an exemption and pay for an inspection of their property to see if it would support an additional pet.  All pets on the property would need to be altered, and the fourth license should be more expensive.  This would create more licensing revenue for the DACC, as well as reduce the shelter intakes as people would not have to surrender as many pets.

It is time to merge the Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City shelter systems.   I live in the City of Los Angeles, but I pay my property taxes to Los Angeles County and there is no reason that the two governments cannot work together to implement this.    If we merge the two shelter systems not only would we achieve a more cohesive and understandable policy throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area, but there would be substantial savings.  Administrative redundancies can be eliminated and the money could be used to put more workers in the kennels and in the field throughout both the City and County.  The more people who are in the field the better enforcement will be, and tickets can be issued for unaltered and unlicensed pets – all of which reduces the number of pets coming into the shelter systems.   Money that would have been spent on redundant bureaucrats could be used to develop pet education and retention programs – trying to head off pets before they end up at the shelters’ doors.

The DACC has a pretty good sounding mission statement, “…our mission is achieved through shared county values including professionalism, responsibility, compassion, commitment, integrity, accountability and community partnerships.”  With the changes I have outlined perhaps it might become more of a reality and less of the empty slogan it is now.


Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!


The  Road to Improving the DACC (part 3)

The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) is underfunded and understaffed. The following is Part 3 in a series suggestions are offered as ways to better use available resources without increasing costs.

Volunteers:  Tax revenues have fallen and the budgets and staff of governmental agencies including the DACC were cut.   Volunteers can help fill in the gaps, The shelter volunteer program is more important than ever.  Yet on January 24th the DACC notified more than 70 volunteers from the Baldwin Park Shelter alone that they had been placed on “inactive” status and advising that “…you will no longer be an active volunteer in the program and may not from this point volunteer”.  This was because the DACC’s records indicated that these volunteers had not participated for a period of 90 days.  This was erroneous – a number of the “inactive” volunteers had served during that period but their login records seem to have been misplaced.   Volunteers are donating their time, and the DACC pays lip service to their value, but DACC management seems to view them as either adversaries or employees. Treating volunteers as the valuable resources they are would significantly help the overburdened shelter staff.

Foster/Bottle Baby Program:   Under DACC policy all unweaned puppies and kittens are to be immediately euthanized unless released to a foster who has attended the applicable DACC training class.  I was a volunteer at the Baldwin Park Shelter from January 2009 – December of 2012, during which period the required class was not offered.   Other county shelters report similar stories.   A well-organized foster and bottle feeder program would save the lives of thousands of puppies and kittens.

Best-Price Purchasing:  We all have a legitimate aversion to government waste of tax dollars.  The DACC is currently required to purchase supplies and services – from kennel keys and computers to truck repair and shelter renovation – through the county’s government purchasing system, County Internal Services Department (ISD) at vastly inflated prices.  If a light bulb burns out at my house I go to the store and buy a pack of light bulbs, with the cost per bulb somewhere around one dollar.  If a light bulb burns out at one of the DACC shelters, they are only authorized to purchase a replacement bulb through ISD  – at a cost of $250.  If I need to copy a key, I trot down to the nearest hardware store, pay between two and three dollars and walk out with a brand new shiny and working key two minutes later.  If I work for the DACC and need a new key, I fill out several forms, submit them, and several weeks later – if I’m lucky – I receive a key that cost the county taxpayers $25!  A local mechanic quoted a price of $3,000 to repair a truck, but the shelter was forced to go through ISD and the repair cost $10,000.  A professional roofing contractor estimated the cost to repair a leaking roof at roughly $6,000.  ISD’s price for the same repair? $125,000!  If the DACC were allowed to receive a dollar of value for each dollar spent, there would be enough money to put the ‘Care’ back into the Department of Animal Care and Control and improve conditions for the animals, the shelter employees and the volunteers.  There would be money to operate enough spay/neuter clinics to meet community demand.  We can’t afford the government waste built into the ISD, and transparency is needed on why it is the only option available to the DACC.  If the only way to buy goods and services at fair market price is to privatize the shelter system that is an option that should be seriously considered.

Next week I will be back with part four of how we can improve the poorly managed Los Angeles County shelter system.


Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!


The Road to Improving the DACC    (part 2)

The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control is in disarray and needs improvement on many levels.  The following suggestions will lead towards building a more humane and well run shelter system.

Currently the high intake shelters (Baldwin Park, Carson, Downey and Lancaster) each have two veterinarians.   At all four shelters both veterinarians work from Monday to Friday.    Pets are in the shelters seven days a week and their medical needs don’t dovetail with a Monday – Friday veterinary schedule.   If the county staggers the work schedules so that one veterinarian at each shelter works Sunday – Thursday and the other works Tuesday through Saturday animals will receive medical care seven days a week without the DACC having to hire additional veterinarians.   Under the current structure an animal needing medication must wait until the following Monday for the shelter veterinarian to authorize treatment, during which time other animals are at risk for contagion and the sick animals often become sicker.  If there are more pressing medical needs the responsible shelters send the pet out to a DACC approved private veterinary clinic.   These clinics are authorized to provide fifty dollars worth of treatment, except in rare cases when the shelter manager can at his/her discretion authorize a fee of up to three hundred dollars.  Most shelter managers work Monday – Thursday and emergency clinics are more often used on the weekends (when there are no veterinarians at the shelters), so there are few instances of three hundred dollar veterinarian fees being authorized.   As anyone who has taken their pet to a private veterinarian knows, fifty dollars doesn’t cover much treatment.  An informal survey showed that roughly 75 percent of shelter pets taken to emergency clinics are euthanized – often because treatment would be too expensive.   Having seven day veterinary care would not only save money, it would save lives.

The DACC needs to supplement its budget.  It currently costs ten dollars for an owner to surrender a pet to a DACC shelter.  The surrender fee in the City of Los Angeles is twenty-five dollars.   The DACC should match the fee charged by the City of Los Angeles.  The people who increase the shelters’ burden by dumping their pets should contribute more towards the cost of caring for these pets.  Granted, a few more people will lie and claim their pets are strays to avoid paying the turn-in fee – but this will be more than offset by those who pay the increased fee.

Two weeks ago Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer suggested that New York City’s Shelter system be privatized due to its horrific performance.   Privatization would also be a great idea for Los Angeles.  It has been shown that private prisons operate more efficiently and at a fraction of the cost of their public counterparts.  If the DACC was privatized we could remove civil service protection from employees at all levels whose job performance is unsatisfactory.  Until the County government is ready to take this step (with steps taken to preserve employees’ salaries, pensions, and benefits), a civilian oversight committee should be appointed which will regularly meet to review the DACC’s performance.  This civilian oversight committee should be unpaid and its members drawn from the various stakeholder groups (employees, volunteers, rescue groups) in the County shelter system.  The committee should be empowered to implement changes and hold the DACC to performance standards.   The DACC’s performance would be more open and transparent, which would increase the agency’s credibility and allow stakeholders to move from criticizing to problem solving. With the exception of a select few criminal animal abuse investigations that it conducts, nothing the DACC does should inherently be viewed as classified and hidden from the public .

Next week I will be back with part three of how we can improve the poorly managed Los Angeles County shelter system.

Meanwhile two brief notes on events of the last week:

In December the DACC conducted a charity fundraiser.  The County Shelter who raised the most money would have the privilege of having Marcia Mayeda, the beleaguered Director of the DACC, work one day as a kennel attendant at their shelter.   I contributed money to insure that the Baldwin Park Shelter won the contest, and Mayeda was scheduled to work on January 24th.  We publicized the event as a chance for the public to come meet Ms. Mayeda and offer their praise or criticism on her job performance.   Evidently Director Mayeda does not like to face the public and on January 14th she showed up ten days early and unannounced with taxpayer funded security in tow to make sure that she avoided public scrutiny.   When a public employee has to travel with her own security detail it speaks volumes as to both her job performance and popularity.

The Los Angeles County Shelters are perpetually in a state of crisis, and things rarely get better, they only get worse.  A directive was received last week that set volunteers and staff members into a frenzy as they learned that the County had run low on Doxycycline, the inexpensive and best medicine to use for treatment of Upper Respiratory Infections (Kennel cough).  Staff were instructed to aggressively segregate pets showing any symptoms of illness.  Several of the shelters interpreted this as carte blanche to euthanize any animal who as much as sneezes and staff and volunteers are extremely concerned.  Currently there is a nationwide shortage of Doxycycline, for which the DACC cannot be blamed, but because the county shelter system cannot afford more expensive antibiotics pets will likely be euthanized at increased rates.   This makes our networking lists even more urgent.



Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!


As many of you know I have been fired as a shelter volunteer by the people who run the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC). It seems that they and I have a different view of constitutionally protected First Amendment rights.

However freedom of speech issues aside, when one makes a misstatement they have to be accountable for their errors. I made a mistake in one of my recent blog posts and for that I owe a sincere apology to Marcia Mayeda. According to my letter of suspension during Ms. Mayeda’s stewardship the DACC had only killed 549,430 pets through December 12th, and I had said on this blog the DACC had killed a million. For this mistake I am truly sorry. Please do not judge Ms. Mayeda job performance on the basis of my misstatement and only judge her on killing the 549,430 pets. I only hope that the truth will change your perception of her performance as much as it did mine!

On January 3rd one of the lead volunteers at Downey was summoned into a shelter officer’s office and told that the DACC has “requested” that the Friends of the Downey Shelter Facebook page be handed over to the DACC. I established this Facebook page on January 8, 2012 to feature the networking pictures and videos of the shelter’s pets which were taken by United Hope for Animals volunteers together with Downey shelter volunteers. During its one year of operation 1,788 pets have been adopted or rescued from this Facebook page. 1,381 of these pets were dogs, and only 57 of the dogs to date have been euthanized – which means our Facebook networking efforts have had a 96.03 percent success rate, well above the DACC’s adoption rate. The networking cat and rabbit adoption numbers have been incredibly high as well.

The Downey volunteers felt they were given an ultimatum, that if they refused to cede control of their Facebook page they would not be allowed to have any more networking and video shoots.

DACC employees work 40 hours a week and in this economic climate there is no money for overtime. Meanwhile, the volunteer-run Friends of the Downey Shelter Facebook team works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week updating the page and answering questions about the shelter’s pets. The adoption statistics prove how good a job the volunteers have done. With the exception of senior management very few shelter employees have access to Facebook while they are at the shelter as it is a blocked site on most Los Angeles County computers. Finally as anyone who has tried to call the shelter to ask for information on a pet knows – the shelters rarely answer their own telephones.

Until I came to the Los Angeles County shelter system, no one at the DACC had ever tried to utilize the social media as a tool to find homes for shelter pets. When I first presented the idea to the County they were hostile to it. The Downey volunteers put their hearts and souls into their Facebook page, and the shelter pets have benefited. The Downey Shelter volunteers truly do an excellent job of networking the shelter’s pets.

We will not be giving the keys to the Facebook page to the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control. If the DACC cannot even answer their telephones, we cannot rely upon them to operate this valuable page which saves so many lives.   The DACC is welcome to start their own Facebook page, like they recently did for the Baldwin Park shelter… but they would be well advised to actually add some content to it (maybe just a teenie weenie bit about the shelter’s pets would be our recommendation), so that they actually get more than 32 “likes”.

It was gratifying to see the public bombard the DACC and the Board of Supervisors with complaints on this issue.  The message was delivered and the DACC was forced to retreat with egg on their faces… at least for now.  Our networking efforts will continue and the networking lists will still be posted on this website – right alongside my blog.

Meanwhile it is worth noting that on the afternoon of January 4th potential adopters at the Downey shelter were told to “take a number” and waited in line for over 45 minutes, so that they could meet pets they wanted to adopt. Once these people got through the line they were told that the shelter had insufficient staff to take out any pets for “meet and greets” and told to come back another day. Shelter pets are not fungible and often do not have another day. Thankfully senior Downey management have been contacted and said this is against stated policy and are launching an investigation as to how this occurred yet again.


Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!


For me the Christmas and New Year holidays have always been a time of reflection, a time of thanks and a time for joy – and this year, perhaps more than any other year, I have a lot to be thankful for and rejoice as I prepare to make my New Year’s resolutions. At the Baldwin Park Shelter I have seen volunteers and staff tirelessly working together with a spirit of camaraderie and respect to get pets out of the shelter and into homes. There were countless nights or mornings when volunteers and staff showed up at the shelter at midnight, two A.M. or three A.M. to exercise, feed and pack dogs off into crates so they could be at the airport at 5 A.M. in time to catch planes for destinations where they would be cherished and wanted. I can’t count the number of times I received calls and e-mails from various shelter staff members telling me about pets they wanted us to immediately feature on our Facebook page so they could get the medical care they urgently needed, and other amazing pets who they just wanted to make sure received public attention and networking efforts.

The most gratifying aspect of this cooperation has been our statistics. Our 2012 Facebook networking effort has had a 94.5 percent adoption rate for dogs; and we have seen a marked improvement in our cat adoptions.

This would not have happened without the teamwork of our incredible Baldwin Park team, shelter management, kennel attendants, veterinary staff, field officers, clerical staff and volunteers all working together for the good of the pets. It is my opinion that the Baldwin Park Shelter has the best staff and volunteers of any shelter in California.

2013 is going to be more interesting and more challenging. The bureaucrats from Long Beach who run Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control have now started their own “Official Baldwin Park Animal Care and Control” Facebook page – and it is going to be interesting to see what they do with it. A cynic might think that it is a precursor to our existing Facebook page being shut down.

As many of you know, the DACC has suspended my volunteer status for thirty days as the result of the opinions and observations I have made on this blog. For those of you who are wondering what I am doing and what my plans are, I remain committed to rescue and place my faith in the United States Constitution’s First Amendment which states:
                       Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the   freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I invite all of us to celebrate our successes of 2012 while mourning our failures, and fervently hope that 2013 will improve the plight of shelter animals throughout the county and the world. If we are able to continue and even expand the teamwork exhibited by the Baldwin Park Shelter staff and volunteers I am confident that 2013 will be better.

December 15, 2012 As many of you know I have been suspended as a shelter volunteer by the Los Angeles County Animal Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) primarily for things I have written in this blog.

I have always acted in the best interests of the animals, and have laid blame when and where I believe it belongs. The DACC is using suspension, and the threat of termination, to intimidate me into silence and complacency. Serving as a volunteer does not strip me of my First Amendment right to criticize government bureaucrats, and my opinions have always been identified as being put forth in my personal capacity, not as a volunteer speaking on behalf of the DACC.

Similar issues were the subject of the case of Nguyen, et al -v- County of Los Angeles, et al., which can be read by clicking this link: http://lacdacc.blogspot.com/search/label/Lawsuit.

Attorney Sheldon Eisenberg’s excellent article on retaliatory “firing” of shelter volunteers can be read by clicking this link: http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=728 . Quoting from that article, “There would be little hope of progress in improving the conditions at municipal animal shelters if rescuers – the people likely most knowledgeable about those conditions – could be intimidated into remaining silent by the threat of retaliation.”

Whether I continue as a county volunteer or not, my commitment to the shelter animals will continue and I will still be heavily involved in the shelter networking program that I helped develop.


Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!



Last week I had to pinch myself to make sure I was awake and not dreaming.  After having been working out of the country for most of the last two months I returned to Baldwin Park and for a moment thought I had somehow ended up in some sort of weird parallel world where everything was the opposite of the real world that I inhabited.  The reason for this confusion on my part was in two weeks the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control’s leadership had actually managed to do several constructive things without, to use a common expression that may be impolite but aptly fits when dealing with the DACC, “fucking up”.

The DACC actually listened to its staff and volunteers and replaced a veterinarian at the Carson Shelter who had some rather controversial theories of shelter medicine to say the least and had proved herself to be ill suited for the job.

The DACC reassigned Danny Ubario, a genuinely nice human being, from running the much maligned Lancaster shelter to a position where he will build up the innovative program that the DACC is launching with PetSmart to turn one of their stores into an adoption center.  Danny will also be contacting less-crowded local shelter systems to see if they will take some of our dogs.  This is monumental because most of the reaching out work had been done by volunteers; evidently the DACC management did not previously consider this to be a priority.

The DACC finally acknowledged that the microchips they had switched to were not doing their job (the company providing them had no recognized national database) and has switched back to Avid microchips.  Although this has forced them to charge an extra $15 per pet adopted, it is definitely worth the price to have peace of mind knowing that should your pet be lost you have a good chance of being reunited with him/her.

Subaru, a rare company with ethics, compassion and a sense of corporate responsibility donated a brand new crossover vehicle to the DACC to be used to facilitate mobile adoption efforts and the car is already being put to use at Baldwin Park!

And the DACC has decided to auction off DACC head bureaucrat Marcia Mayeda for one day to the shelter which raises the most money for charity.  The winning shelter gets Ms. Mayeda as a kennel attendant for one day (cynics have claimed that prize was limited to one day because no one could tolerate her presence for longer, but we are keeping an open mind).  I am pleased to announce that Baldwin Park is pulling out all the stops to win Ms. Mayeda’s services.  We relish the opportunity to have her do hands-on work in the kennels and learn firsthand how understaffed and overworked our staff are, how her ill-conceived policies have hampered adoption and rescue efforts, and the needless misery caused to the shelters’ pets, and we hope to film this journey of discovery.  We hope our shelter’s networking efforts will make moot the question of whether Ms. Mayeda, whose ill conceived policies have doomed so many animals, will be forced to personally participate in the euthanasia process.


Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

Traditionally the number of discarded pets found on the streets in Los Angeles County lessens as we hit the fall season. However volunteers and workers at the Downey and Baldwin Park Shelters have not noticed any reduction in intakes as our county’s residents have not grasped the importance of spaying and neutering their pets. Sadly the shelter system has a finite amount of kennel space and once that number is eclipsed the trail of tears leading to the back of the shelters is a well worn path and far too many friendly and adoptable pets are being euthanized.

Bringing down the unacceptably high euthanasia rates in not only Los Angeles County but throughout California, is not something which can be done overnight and is not something we can entirely blame on the poor management shown by Marcia Mayeda.


If the utopia of the no kill shelter is to be reached in Los Angeles County, the public has to force the state legislature to pass three pieces of legislation:

1.) Enforceable spay/neuter legislation must be passed. Yes we will have to compromise with the American Kennel Club and allow their breeders to continue producing purebreds, but backyard breeding must be ended – and the only way backyard breeding is going to be impacted is through legislation.

2.) We need to pass a law requiring all pets to be microchipped, and have the right to fine people who refuse to come and get their pets. In northern Italy there are severe fines for abandoning an animal – and we need to penalize irresponsible people who do not take care of their pets.

3.) We need to pass a law requiring landlords to allow pet ownership. Roughly thirty percent of all pets surrendered at shelters are the result of landlords refusing to allow pets in their buildings.

If we could get these three pieces of legislation through we might have a chance to bring our euthanasia rates down. Until then we will be nothing more than little Dutch boys trying to insert our fingers into dykes to stop the incoming tide and prevent the levee from being breached.