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Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

Rewarding those who believe in sanity and fairness in our legal system, justice was recently served in a West Covina courtroom when all charges against former Baldwin Park kennel attendant Erika Valles were dismissed. This finally brought down the curtain on the sad and cruel career of Marcia Mayeda’s prize hire Pat “Google Me” Claerbout who tried to frame Valles, who had begun documenting pets being systematically starved, on Claerbout’s orders, at the poorly run Baldwin Park facility

In dismissing the charges, the presiding judge issued a strong rebuke of Claerbout and Mayeda, stating that the duo had illegally ordered DACC staff to break into Valles’ car and had conspired to sabotage Valles’ career and personal life by filing false charges of animal cruelty against the popular kennel attendant. Neither Mayeda nor Claerbout were in the courtroom, but they might soon be forced to defend themselves in court if Valles pursues legal action against them for not only her lost wages, but for causing Valles to lose her entire life savings and possibly even her home.

Meanwhile at Baldwin Park, the current nightmare of a manager, Sheri “Goldilocks” Koenig has alienated her staff so much that the previously reported sick-in has escalated. On several nights during the last week there was insufficient staff to keep vital shelter operations running, and there was no one to staff the window where pets are surrendered or brought in as strays or injured.

Ironically the Board of Supervisors is coming to inspect the Baldwin Park facility on November 7th. Unfortunately it is not a surprise inspection – and for the last several days shelter staff have been ordered to temporarily clean up the facility lest the Board of Supervisors see how bad things are at Baldwin Park. Employees known to be disgruntled are being scheduled so they do not come into contact with any Board members and volunteers will be discouraged from crossing the Board members’ paths. Marcia Mayeda will leave her office and private $60,000 taxpayer paid dog park in Long Beach and make a rare visit to lead the tour of the facility that she obviously hates, as demonstrated by the hiring of the last two Baldwin shelter managers Claerbout and Koenig; she is banking on everything being swept under the carpet.

The problem for Mayeda and company is that there is so much being swept under the carpet at both Baldwin Park and Mayeda’s headquarters that there might not be enough clearance between the floor and the ceiling for even a midget to walk through Baldwin Park’s doors.

Downey & Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

On September 11th a request was made to transport 20 cats from Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control’s Baldwin Park facility to three no kill shelters in Washington. The transport was slated to leave on September 15th, and all Baldwin Park had to do was vaccinate and issue health certificates for the felines.   The request was turned down, because Baldwin Park now requires that all transports give them at least a week’s written prior notice.

Instead on September 12th the Baldwin Park facility killed 47 cats, including several healthy cats who were on the list of pets requested for the transport.

According to the DACC’s website, Marcia Mayeda’s agency has killed over 80 percent of the 1,465 cats impounded at its Baldwin Park facility in the current fiscal year. This means that if you bring a cat to Marcia Mayeda’s Baldwin Park facility he or she has less than a one in five chance of not being killed.

Meanwhile Baldwin Park’s staff are still showing their displeasure with Sheri “Goldilocks” Koenig, the manager installed by Mayeda last year, as they continue to refuse to show up to work. An average of 16 people are claiming disability every day and as a result shelter operations are extremely hampered.   As reported last week the shelter claims that it no longer can do pet introductions and is imploring its volunteers to come and perform that function. The problem is the facility has been hemorrhaging volunteers at an alarming rate since Koenig has made them feel extremely unwelcome. The unpopular manager has alienated so many volunteers that most volunteers will only come in on weekends when they know Koenig won’t be at the shelter. Volunteers are now required to log their hours on a time clock, as if they were paid employees. Many of these volunteers are refusing to clock in because they mistakenly believe that Koenig receives bonuses for the hours that they perform.

Meanwhile DACC employees throughout Los Angeles County are driving to DACC headquarters to visit Marcia Mayeda’s $60,000 taxpayer funded private dog park. I’ve received three e-mailed selfies last week from DACC staff members standing in front of the fence. As one veteran officer said, “I just wanted to be able to take a picture of myself in front of Mayeda’s fucking fence, so my family would know why I didn’t get a raise this year.”

Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

While word was spreading last weekend that Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control Director Marcia Mayeda had made an ethically challenged decision to divert $60,000 of the DACC’s limited budget to build her personal pets their own private dog park alongside DACC headquarters, Mayeda was in Marina Del Ray at a conference of animal control heads from municipalities around the state. Quite a few of these directors are avid readers of this blog, and called this reporter to chortle about the latest scandal the Teflon coated head of the DACC has brought upon herself.

“If I tried something like that they’d haul my ass and put me in jail,” opined one well-respected animal control head. Another large shelter system leader called me the next day and told me, “Look I know you have it in for Mayeda, so I take everything you say with a grain of salt – but out of curiosity I called a friend of mine who is in the know at the DACC. (My friend) confirmed the fence story and told me everyone at the DACC is outraged, they haven’t had significant pay raises in a long time – and then Mayeda goes and pulls this shit. According to my friend this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Mayeda is a disgrace and gives all of us in shelter leadership a bad name.”

However to Mayeda’s credit she has not spent the entire last month diverting funds that were supposed to be used caring for the pets entrusted into her care. She has spent quite a bit of time sending Facebook friend requests to DACC volunteers and rescuers. Mayeda did not have a Dickensian life changing moment and like Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas day realize that she needed to spread her vast love through the world and touch the hearts of her vassals. She has never had use for friends unless she can use them- the way she does with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The sinister reason behind Mayeda’s Facebook requests was she wants to spy on what her employees and enemies – (‘enemies’ may be redundant, and if so I apologize) are putting out on social media. Mayeda crony Goldilocks Koenig has already been caught spying on volunteers’ Facebook pages and Mayeda is no different.

Employees who routinely bash the DACC on Social Media platforms are advised to realize that even with privacy setting set to the maximum on their Facebook pages, that there is a back way into seeing your profile through mutual friends. They are also advised to refrain from the temptation of commenting about DACC mismanagement as the great witch hunt is on. DACC hatchet man David Hou’s Prius’s gas tank is always kept full in case Mayeda needs to deploy her prized enforcer to stamp out the growing social media criticism from insiders of both her and her cronies. Employees caught doing so will be reprimanded if not outright fired.

Meanwhile the DACC policy and procedures manual contains lots of examples of conduct which warrant dismissal. Policy HR131 states the following behavior shall warrant discharge of an employee:

Criminal or dishonest conduct while performing duties, or on county premises, or during work hours, or when such conduct is related to the employee’s duties or interests of the Department or County; or management permitting or promoting such conduct

Mayeda’s misuse of the money to build her $60,000 private dog park, lying in front of the Board of Supervisors about her criminally negligent behavior which led to the death of jogger Pamela DeVitt, her claiming she was suffering from vertigo as a justification for leaving work early and then being spotted hours later riding her horse – there are a whole host of reasons to save David Hou the trouble of making long trips to outlying DACC shelters. He could stay at the office and save Los Angeles County taxpayers some gas money to offset his boss’ $60,000 fence and clean up the DACC so much more effectively if he would just sit at his computer and open his large folder containing the hundreds of files with evidence of his boss, Marcia Mayeda’s misconduct.

In other DACC news, the Baldwin Park facility has sent out urgent please to its volunteers asking them to come and perform pet introductions to potential adopters. The volunteers were told that due to staff shortages that employees would no longer be performing this function – and pets would no longer be shown to adopters. Perhaps if Mayeda hadn’t embezzled $60,000 the DACC could have had someone at Baldwin to perform this routine shelter job – but such is life and death in Marcia Mayeda’s little fiefdom. .

Downey & Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control’s (DACC) Administration Building is located at 5898 Cherry Avenue in Long Beach, adjacent to a parking lot belonging to a McDonalds restaurant. Alongside the south wall of DACC headquarters is a narrow strip of grass where Marcia Mayeda walks her Great Pyrenees dogs who frequently accompany her to work on the rare days that she decides to work a full day at her $238,000 per year job. This strip of grass occasionally was littered upon and used as a sleeping place for homeless people.   Mayeda was distressed that her prized pets did not have a clean place to go to the bathroom – so she ordered that a fence be built to keep the riff raff out.

A chain link fence was not good enough for Mayeda’s dogs.   Instead Mayeda ordered a great big fence that would make Donald Trump proud, made of wrought iron at a cost of sixty thousand dollars – which she charged to Los Angeles County taxpayers.   Pictures of the fence and her dogs at their new taxpayer financed private dog park are featured on Mayeda’s Facebook page – and for those of you who would rather choke to death than send a friend request to Mayeda and thus be identified as a friend of the Great Pet Killer (650,000 and still counting) we have attached a screenshot of the fence below.

Last month both the Baldwin Park and Carson Shelters ran out of both wet dog and cat food for an extended period of time. Senior pets, nursing mothers and young puppies were deprived of the nutrition they needed because Marcia Mayeda, the head of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) refused to purchase needed food. As a result many of these pets got sick and were euthanized because her facilities often prefer to euthanize rather than treat sick pets. The cost of the needed food was far less than $60,000.

We have not been to the new Palmdale Shelter, but the other six Los Angeles County Shelters have poorly equipped veterinary clinics. None of them have blood test machines – and as a result many ill pets are either not treated or euthanized.   The cost of each of these blood machines is less than $10,000.

Since the financial meltdown of 2008 the DACC’s budget has been repeatedly slashed. The shelters have been asked to do more with less funds. They have had been asked to cut every place possible and positions have been axed.   There are not enough kennel attendants and volunteers are often asked to fill in for the understaffed shelters. The starting salary for a kennel attendant is $33,216.   “We could have had nearly two kennel attendants working for a whole year providing care – but instead all we have is a fucking fence,” commented one disgruntled DACC admin employee.

We asked a highly placed DACC official for their take on Mayeda’s fence and the response we received was surprising. “Mayeda runs the second smallest department of Los Angeles County, but wields far greater power than her position should dictate,” the official stated.  When asked how she amassed the power the official replied, “she has a close and personal relationship with Mike Antonovich, behind closed doors – and you can read into it what you want to.”

Mayeda’s being an accessory to the murder of jogger Pamela DeVitt in Littlerock, lying in front of the Board of Supervisors, illegally euthanizing pets, consistently leaving work early, and cheating the taxpayers for some reason does not alarm Los Angeles County’s elected officials.

It should.

But it doesn’t.

Mike Antonovich terms out this year and will be replaced. We hope he takes Marcia Mayeda with him.

mayeda    “Ms. Mayeda tear down this fence!!!” – Ronald Reagan September 16, 2016 from beyond his grave.

 

Baldwin Park & Downey Shelters Urgently Need Your Help!

The Baldwin Park “Shelter’ is going through a much needed renovation. The crumbling Building One is finally almost finished and should be reopened imminently. Once that happens, the slow moving construction company will demolish and rebuild the outdated Building Two at the same snail’s pace. Given Baldwin Park’s previous experience with Los Angeles County approved contractors we can only imagine the overbilling and kickbacks that county taxpayers are being ripped off for in connection with this much needed construction project.

One thing which unfortunately is not being reconstructed is employee and volunteer trust in the “Shelter” management. Employees are so tired of Sheri “Goldilocks” Koenig’s incompetent and disrespectful management style that they have been staging a sick out, leaving Baldwin Park severely understaffed. This week sixteen employees, over one third of the facility’s workforce, are on “modified duty’ – meaning that they cannot be required to perform the work they have been hired to do. This has forced the shelter to pay time and a half, and sometimes double time for other employees to work overtime – eating the shelter’s already razor-thin budget.   Koenig has tried to press volunteers into taking up some of the slack – but because of both her and her predecessor, Pat “Google Me” Claerbout’s poor treatment of them coupled with the cessation of new volunteer training there aren’t as many volunteers as there used to be and animal care has suffered dramatically.

Further complicating things at Baldwin Park is the fact that the facility does not attract enough adopters. For the last five years nearly half of the pets exiting Baldwin Park alive are due to transports. The large transporters, the ASPCA and Wings of Rescue, require that pets have health certificates so they can be legally shipped out of state to no-kill shelters. Health certificates require about two minutes work per pet from a veterinarian and another five minutes work from a RVT.   Nearly every shelter salivates at the opportunity to transport pets and makes getting health certificates a top priority. Not so at Baldwin Park. The shelter’s medical staff have decided that it requires too much work and have blocked several transports of cats from the shelter – to the point where some transports are now bypassing Baldwin Park altogether.   Considering that Baldwin Park has euthanized over 80 percent of its cat impounds you can understand how one can easily question the quality of Baldwin Park’s management.

Sheri Koenig is clearly damaged goods as far as her ability as a “shelter’ manager. Marcia Mayeda hired Koenig (and before Koenig – she hired “Google Me” Claerbout). Failing performance in the private sector would get you fired by your bosses. Failing performance in the public sector gets you a raise and a hug from Mike Antonovich and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

          In a public relations move several years ago Los Angeles County changed the name of its Department of Animal Control to the “Department of Animal Care and Control”. Fortunately for Marcia Mayeda, the Director of Los Angeles County Animal Control, truth in advertising laws are seldom enforced – so she will never be prosecuted for the lack of “care” exhibited by this poorly run governmental agency in its pet holding facilities (It is difficult to use the word ‘shelter’ when referring to a place where so many pets are killed). This appalling lack of care is glaringly on display seven days a week at most of Mayeda’s gulags .

This writer is always deservedly picking on the poorly run Baldwin Park facility to serve up examples of the lack of care given to the pets by Marcia Mayeda and company; but this week we must sadly turn our eyes to Downey. Downey has two canine kennel buildings, filled to the brim with quarantined aggressive dogs , nursing moms, Pit Bulls and dogs who have either scars or skin issues that the DACC has deemed to be too disturbing for the public to see. If your dog is lost and if he/she is a Pit Bull, there is a very good chance the pet will be locked away in one of the two buildings. If you should come to look for your stray pet the chances are you will be told to check the facilities three open to the public buildings and will not even be told about the two fenced off buildings – and if you are told, you will more often than not be denied access to seeing the pets secreted there. More often than not pets only leave these buildings to be euthanized – especially since the DACC has elected to put a promote a person with no kennel experience (in fact she appears to have no experience with dogs period) in charge of deciding who shall live or die at Downey. According to the facilities staff and volunteers this new kennel sergeant does not like, and is scared of, bully breed dogs.   If you’re a Pit Bull at Downey you are, as one staff member opined, “Dead dog walking”.

For the past two weeks Cassandra (A4984416) a very sweet emaciated Pit Bull suffering from non-contagious Demodectic mange has been hidden in Downey’s off-limits Building Two. The chances are fairly high that this highly deserving dog won’t get out alive – unless the publicity surrounding this blog calls attention to her existence.

Dogs should not be hidden from the public ever. Neither the North Koreans nor ISIS are particularly interested in anything going on in Marcia Mayeda land. There are no state secrets in an animal gulag which needs to be hidden from either our enemies or our citizens, with the exception of the freezers where the DACC stores the carcasses of the pets they euthanize.

The DACC leadership claims these buildings are off limits to protect the public – fearing that somehow these incarcerated pets would escape their individual cells and attack. If that is their belief, no matter how stupid it is, the DACC could easily cheaply construct a transparent Plexiglass barrier surrounding each building so people could safely see who is being held – and possibly even be reunited with their lost pets.

In the meantime Cassandra lies abandoned in Kennel 201 at the Downey facility. She was first deprived of medical care and abandoned by her family and now she is deprived of care and abandoned by Marcia Mayeda and her minions.

Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

I recently visited the Seattle Animal Shelter, a beautiful facility serving the 662,400 residents of the City of Seattle. Last year the shelter impounded 4,500 dogs, cats, rabbits and other species (a ratio of 1 animal for every 147 residents) and achieved a 93 percent live release rate – without enacting spay/neuter laws. When I asked the shelter’s management how Seattle achieved such a low number of impounds and such an impressive adoption rate, there were two reasons given – a better educated community and the shelter’s making spay/neuter accessible to everyone regardless of income or place of residence. For those who cannot afford surgery, the Pet Population Control Fund is available to help cover their costs, and pet owners pay only what they can afford.

I then looked at both Los Angeles County (DACC) and Los Angeles City’s Animal Control (LAAS) statistics for 2015 and was dismayed. According to statistics published on the DACC’s website, Los Angeles County impounded 55,922 pets and achieved an 82 percent live release rate on dogs, and only a 31 percent live release on cats. The Los Angeles County population is estimated at 10,020,000 people, of which 3,884,000 residents are served by Los Angeles City’s shelter system, 900,000 are serviced by Seaaca, and an additional one million people are serviced by Burbank, Long Beach, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Pomona and San Gabriel’s municipal shelters. This leaves Marcia Mayeda’s DAAC servicing approximately 4,230,000 people meaning there is one pet impounded for every 76 residents of Los Angeles County. Meanwhile in Los Angeles – which only gives detailed statistics on dogs and cats there was a ratio of 1 dogs and cats entering the system for every 106 residents – and the LAAS under the failed leadership of Brenda Barnette is famous for leaving stray dogs and cats on the street to starve to death or be hit by a car so it can keep its live release statistics looking good!

Why are Los Angeles City and County failing so miserably at Animal Control? It is not an overly complicated answer. Even though both Los Angeles City and most of Los Angeles County have spay/neuter laws they are barely enforced. In Los Angeles City there are an estimated 100,000 dog licenses and a dog population estimated at one million. There are very few canvassers working Los Angeles City. Very few people are receiving citations for unlicensed dogs, and we have yet to hear of anyone receiving a citation for having an unaltered dog. In Los Angeles County there are canvassers writing tickets for unlicensed, but rarely for unaltered, pets. Additionally there are several major Los Angeles cities lacking spay/neuter ordinances and the feckless Marcia Mayeda led agency has done less than nothing to try and effect s/n ordinances in communities such as Azusa and West Covina two cities who provide approximately 40 percent of Baldwin Park’s impounds. El Monte, which had contributed nearly 21 percent of Baldwin Park’s impounds in 2012 recently enacted a spay/neuter ordinance but only upon the urging of a local school teacher and this reporter – with absolutely no support from the DACC.

Neither the DACC nor Los Angeles City is opening up their spay/neuter clinics to the public.

Meanwhile down in Riverside County, a county which is far more economically challenged than Los Angeles, their Animal Control department under the progressive leadership of Robert Miller has managed to recently hit an 84 percent live release for dogs. Miller has managed to turn around Riverside’s numbers in the right direction by parking a spay/neuter mobile truck in various communities and then sending in a team of canvassers to write tickets for failure to have altered pets. These tickets are fairly expensive – but the fines are waived if the residents take their pets immediately to the nearby truck for altering. The city of Bakersfield under the leadership of Julie Johnson is also working diligently to reduce euthanasia by increasing spay/neuter opportunities for its citizens.

All it takes is strong and humane leadership that is responsive to its community and the pet over-population problem can be solved in our lifetime. However under the piss-poor leadership of hacks like Marcia Mayeda and Brenda Barnette this will never happen – and the senseless killing of shelter pets will continue, while the aforementioned bureaucrats collect over half a million dollars in taxpayer paid salaries to fail miserably at their jobs.

The replacement of both Marcia Mayeda and Brenda Barnette is long overdue. Robert Miller and Julie Johnson earn half in salary what either of their Los Angeles counterparts do. Both are approachable and well respected within their communities. Los Angeles deserves the best and yet it settles for the worst.  If Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors want well run animal control agencies they would poach from their neighbors.  However pets don’t vote and they don’t give money to politicians.

The sad reality is neither Garcetti nor the Board of Supervisors give a flying fuck about pets or animal welfare and the killing will continue ad nauseuam.

Baldwin Park Shelter & Downey Pets Urgently Need Your Help

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.

 

Downey & Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

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:

Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

Shelter volunteers could not help but be amused after receiving an e-mail from Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) Director Marcia Mayeda this past week. In this rare communication Ms. Mayeda tried to rally her volunteers who had given many hours, days and weeks of their lives to help the plight of shelter pets. Mayeda wrote:

Wow, what a week!  Just when we think we can’t get any busier we get new challenges and rise to the occasion!  I want to thank all of you for all your extra hard efforts these past days.  Here are some highlights of what you miracle workers have accomplished recently:

The first highlight Mayeda mentioned was the grand opening of her new Palmdale facility. While indeed the facility is the most modern one the DACC has, many people are wondering why it was built in an area which traditionally provides high intakes and low adoptions.   The DACC’s challenge has always been to adopt out its pets. The well managed Agoura shelter quickly moves nearly every dog it receives into new homes – but only has 48 dog kennels. The millions of dollars spent opening Palmdale would have been better spent by expanding Agoura’s capacity and then quickly transferring in pets whose stray holds had expired. Agoura could easily double its adoption rate without increasing euthanasia if they only had more dogs at the facility.

Next, Mayeda’s cited as an accomplishment that her staff represented Los Angeles County at the annual National Association of Counties Convention in Long Beach.   Ms. Mayeda failed to mention that her shelters are so understaffed that many of them are failing to provide adequate care and customer service. The needless diversion of DACC manpower for an event that had nothing to do with sheltering animals increased the misery of shelter pets.

Mayeda then went on to praise her department’s participation in the Sand Fire evacuation. In the ‘even a blind squirrel will find an acorn sometimes’ department Mayeda is correct, the DACC’s response under the capable leadership of Fred Agoopi was well executed – and indeed full kudos are due.

She further went on to praise her department’s participation in the nationwide “Clear the Shelters” event, which saw the adoption of 170 dogs, 54 cats and two rabbits into new homes.   The numbers were fairly good – but should have been much better at the poorly run Baldwin Park Shelter which had only a tepid 31 adoptions.

The final sentence in the e-mail was the kicker:

From the bottom of my heart I thank each and every one of you for your hard work and commitment, not just for these past few days but for every day you are part of our organization.

First of all,  if Mayeda is so grateful for volunteers, why has she conducted a flat out war against them? Despite chronic manpower shortages in her shelters – often caused by Mayeda’s mismanagement, Mayeda has instituted a policy kicking volunteers out of her facilities when the shelters are closed to the public. Baldwin Park’s pets are rarely walked, have dirty litter boxes and sometimes have not even been fed – yet they chase out volunteers who are providing the care that staff are unable to perform, due to Mayeda’s understaffing her shelters. Volunteers who complain about this are accused of suffering from ‘compassion fatigue’ – the new politically correct phrase the DACC uses to brand activists (i.e. troublemakers). These volunteers have often been fired or ordered to curtail their volunteer hours.

This reporter often wonders what constitutes the “bottom of Mayeda’s heart”?   Is it the part containing her cover-up on her involvement in the fatal mauling of Pamela DeVitt? Is it the heart that has failed to provide wet food for a month to the DACC’s pets – and then tried to lie about it when it was exposed? Is it the heart that has led the prosecution of whistleblowers like former kennel attendant Erika Valles, who exposed that Mayeda hire, Pat “Google Me” Claerbout was systematically starving her shelter’s pets? Was it the heart that has killed over 600,000 pets – many of whom could have easily found homes had Mayeda only shown a modicum of care?

Perhaps the song lyrics below sums it all up best…Mayeda is the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz:

When a man’s an empty kettle
He should be on his mettle
And yet I’m torn apart
Just because I’m presumin’
That I could be a human
If I only had a heart

tinman