In the four years I have been a volunteer in the Los Angeles County Shelter system (DACC) I have learned that the shelter system is in a perpetual state of crisis and that yesterday will always be better than today. Chronic mismanagement of the DACC’s scant resources, combined with Marcia Mayeda’s seemingly contempt for the animals in the county’s care, has led to wanted pets being killed.
The shelters are chronically short staffed. It seems that hardly a day goes by without one of the shelters posting a sign saying that they cannot take pets out of their cages for potential adopters because the shelters lack sufficient staff and volunteers to do this simple and vital task. Adequate staff cannot be hired because Mayeda has wasted a large part of her budget on paying legal settlements which could have been easily avoided had she bought liability insurance – something that all other shelter systems carry. Adequate numbers of volunteers cannot be hired, because Mayeda has a paid volunteer coordinator who has successfully avoided scheduling volunteer classes for two out of the last four years.
Mayeda has made it harder for rescues to save animals – and my e-mail account is constantly filled with frantic e-mails from rescues -pleading for help pulling pets – help which I cannot provide because of the latest policy prohibiting accredited rescues from pulling pets by e-mail or telephone. Take Me Home Rescue, a valued rescue partner who have saved so many Boxers from our shelter system have decided that Mayeda’s regulations are so deliberately harsh and ridiculous that they make things too onerous for a responsible rescue to follow – and as a result they will no longer be pulling dogs from the Los Angeles County System. Does Mayeda care? The answer sadly is ‘no’.
The DACC has a published “Mission Statement” on its website www.animalcare.lacounty.gov . It says:
As the agency responsible for animal-related public safety, our mission is achieved through shared county values including professionalism, responsibility, compassion, commitment, integrity, accountability and community partnerships.
Every day that Marcia Mayeda keeps her job is an affront to this mission statement, and the plain and simple truth is pets die because of it.