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Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

One of the primary functions of any animal control agency is to respond to the public’s calls when they report injured pets in distress, dangerous dogs and dead animals needing removal.   Los Angeles County has two call centers, operated 24 hours a day to receive such calls. Unfortunately under the feckless leadership of Marcia Mayeda, the DACC does not have the manpower to respond to these calls and as a result not only pets, but sometimes even people die.

DACC sources have confirmed that over 5,000 calls in 2016 were not responded to in the South County (the shelters served by Baldwin Park, Downey and Carson) alone.  Often overworked, but occasionally lazy, officers could not (and still cannot) handle the volume of daily calls assigned to them. Instead of investigating these calls were merely “no-timed” and, instead of being followed up by the next shift, these calls were ultimately outright ignored.  According to DACC sources the problem is even more acute in the North County which is serviced by the Lancaster, Palmdale, Castaic and Agoura Shelters.

As many readers of this column will remember, the death of jogger Pamela DeVitt in Littlerock in May 2013, was the direct result of the DACC’s failure to respond to citizens’ complaints about the dogs who fatally mauled Ms. DeVitt. Mayeda and the DACC have brazenly tried to cover-up their involvement in DeVitt’s death by backdating notes and hiding documents. This case is currently being litigated.

However the shocking thing is that rather than learn from the lessons of DeVitt, Mayeda is steadfastly refusing to do anything about the problem. Instead of hiring more staff to allow them to respond, Mayeda and her chief aide Betsey Webster instead went on a vendetta against the person who discovered the DACC’s malfeasance.   They have demoted him and are seemingly trying to railroad this senior executive out of the DACC. It will be interesting to see how this plays out now that Ms. Mayeda no longer enjoys the protection of former County Supervisor Mike Antonovich who finally was termed out of office.

In other interesting news, the city of Visalia, an upstate community with a huge stray problem, is to be commended for enacting the most sensible spay/neuter laws we have seen. In addition to requiring mandatory altering of pets, the city is providing free spay/neuter services for all cats, Chihuahuas and Pit Bulls.   It never ceases to amaze us that progressive and innovative thinking never emanates from Mayeda and the DACC. Instead of leading and trying to solve Los Angeles County’s huge stray animal problem, Mayeda would rather divert much needed funds to build a private dog park for her pets at DACC headquarters.

Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

Usually this blog is devoted to covering the widespread mismanagement at Los Angeles County’s Department of Animal Care and Control – and there will be some coverage of new developments included herein. However there is news today that threatens all pet owners and rescuers that this column feels obligated to cover.

Today’s announcement that VCA veterinary hospitals is being sold to M&M Mars, the candy maker and owner of Banfield Pet Hospitals is highly disturbing. Even though personally I am a VCA stockholder and will financially receive a huge windfall from the merger, this will be terrible for those seeking honest and quality care for their pets. The merger will give the combined company a virtual monopoly on the veterinary business.

Banfield already has a horrible reputation as its veterinarians are directed by corporate officials to upsell their clients. VCA has been buying veterinary clinics throughout California at an alarming rate.  At VCA, many veterinarians are being directed to perform three billable procedures on your pet – whether they need it or not.   How often have you gone to a VCA vet and been told that if you care about your pet that they should run a panel on your pet – and been billed between $200 and $300 for the process. According to several ex-VCA veterinarians 90 percent of the time there is no reason to run a panel other than to make money for the veterinary clinic. Veterinarians’ will be compensated over their billable procedures, so your pets’ interests will not coincide with that of the person you are supposed to trust – your veterinarian!

The combined Banfield – VCA company will give a stranglehold on America’s veterinary industry. They will have over 1,600 clinics and 20 specialty hospitals. You will have virtually no choice in finding an independent veterinarian and prices will be both fixed and higher.   Hopefully the government will block this merger – but with the Trump regime’s takeover of the reigns of power things look bleak for pet owners and pets.

In this week’s DACC news, rumors are that a complaint was filed with the County’s Equity department about Baldwin Park Shelter manager, Sheri Koenig’s harassment of a well-respected Major Case Unit (MCU) employee. The significance of this complaint is that it was filed with Equity rather than the DACC’s human affairs department. This reduces DACC head Marcia Mayeda’s ability to interfere with the investigation as Equity conducts its investigations outside the DACC’s jurisdiction.   To date Koenig has been able to skate through a series of scandals as investigations were squashed by Mayeda  – but according to DACC insiders this one might stick.   Meanwhile there are reports that Baldwin Park employees are considering a circulating a petition demanding Koenig’s ouster – as morale has plummeted to perhaps even a lower level than was there during Pat “Google Me” Claerbout’s reign of error.

 

 

 

Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

The end of 2016 could not come fast enough for the Baldwin Park Shelter. Large numbers of employees have become so disgruntled with shelter manager Sheri Koenig that they have feigned illness and called in sick. Several times over the last few weeks, the poorly run facility has had only one kennel attendant to tend to the 144 kennels it has in use. Field officers have also been absent in large numbers and it was not unusual to have only one officer in the field – with several communities receiving no service.

Several years ago a large corps of volunteers would be there to eagerly fill the void. But, under the successive leadership of Pat “Google Me” Claerbout and Koenig the shelter has been hemorrhaging volunteers due to the hostility they have been shown by management. For the last year the shelter’s lead cat volunteer had been ordered to reduce her hours from the average 60 hours a week she had previously donated to the county to 12 because she had the audacity to complain when the facility’s felines were receiving improper feeding and insufficient care. Volunteers who were previously welcomed as long as there were staff members on duty, were banned from Baldwin Park during hours when the shelter was closed to the public. To top that off the shelter’s popular and diplomatic lead volunteer, Rӧke D’Amico resigned two weeks ago. D’Amico will be sorely missed as among her numerous contributions, she had been the facility’s most reliable foster and was in charge of driving the shelter’s pets to, and running the mobile adoption program .

Baldwin Park was supposed to have a new volunteer coordinator starting work on December 19th. The affable and extremely qualified gentleman who took the job showed up as scheduled and within hours was transferred to the Downey Shelter. A large number of Baldwin Park employees have filed transfer papers and have been waiting for months to be transferred away from Koenig; so it raised eyebrows when a new employee could be moved that quickly to a new facility. According to DACC sources, the new volunteer coordinator was told by a senior manager at Baldwin Park that the shelter already had enough ‘lesbians and homos’ and was made unwelcome. According to rumor DACC leadership got wind of the manager’s homophobic rant and quickly moved the new employee to hopefully avert legal challenges. DACC hatchet man David Hou, has a thick dossier on this manager’s misconduct but has been ordered to stand down by Mayeda. Los Angeles County has professed to have intolerance for homophobic slurs and if this report is indeed true, we will see if the Board of Supervisors will keep doing their ostrich imitation and keep their heads buried in the sand rather than investigate the rampant misconduct within Mayeda’s fiefdom.

If that wasn’t bad enough the shelter’s washing machine was broken for nine days and pets were not given blankets and towels to keep them comfortable and warm. Every officer at every southern California Shelter knows that there is a fabulous charity, Operation Blankets of Love who will gladly for free deliver blankets and other supplies at a moment’s notice, but Baldwin Park’s management never made the call.  The rise in upper respiratory ailments affecting Baldwin Park’s pets has not been officially released but sources reveal a rise in the number of pets, who were selected for transport to no kill facilities, failing health certification during this outage.

Meanwhile there was other news coming out of the DACC. For the last several years the DACC had been posting its euthanasia statistics on its website. Last week the DACC decided to discontinue this practice, posting a notice stating:

The statistical reports are currently unavailable. To request statistical information in the meantime, please email legal@animalcare.lacounty.gov and specify exactly what statistical information you need (There may be a charge).”

Considering that the reports are automatically generated by the shelter’s Chameleon software and are readily available by anyone with access to the DACC’s computer system, and Marcia Mayeda’s penchant for secrecy many people are wondering what she is trying to hide.

However it was not all doom and gloom in DACC land. After years of being roundly criticized by this reporter and others for her failure to have any qualified pet behaviorists on staff, Mayeda circulated an e-mail to DACC volunteers announcing that she was finally hiring someone with the proper credentials to perform the job. Tens of thousands of dominant breed dogs have been subjected to poorly administered temperament tests which determined if they would live or die. Many were killed for failing tests which were given by employees who not only did not have a clue as to how to either properly administer or score a test – but were also scared of dogs to begin with! We do not know who the new behaviorist will be , but welcome the development – as long as the person is allowed to perform their job both without interference from above and with compassion.

 

mayedaAt least one of these images is a photo of Marcia Mayeda   mayeda2

 

Downey Shelter & Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

Marcia Mayeda, the morally casual head of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control has recently become quite the prolific reTweeter, taking time off from her job to tweet several times a day and we’ve been enjoying the banalities that she has been sending into the Twittersphere. Judging from her retweets, Mayeda has most likely enrolled, at the taxpayers’ expense of course, in a motivational program called EntreLeadership. Our first instincts was that the DACC führer was up late one night watching television when some Tommy Vu like infomercial came on, and she was seduced into “acting now because the first 10 people responding to the sales pitch would receive a fence, a $60,000 retail value, to put around their office” – but, no, it turns out EntreLeadership is a well-reviewed program.

We’ve particularly enjoyed the following recent Mayeda retweets of EntreLeadership principles:

  • “In the absence of alternative information, people come to their own conclusions.”
  • “What determines whether your company is going to get better or worse, is not who you lost. It’s who you replace.”

Given Mayeda’s penchant for secrecy – such as ordering that all e-mails be deleted from employees’ computers and no further communication be done in writing lest it can be subpoenaed in a legal action when the DACC was caught violating the law – and then add her refusal to hold open town meetings and answer directly questions from either the public or rescue community – we have severe doubts about her ability to control either the message or the conclusions people reach about her agency’s myriad of failed policies.

As for judging whether the DACC is going to get better or worse by who they replace let’s use Mayeda’s Baldwin Park facility as a microcosm of the DACC. There have been a myriad of complaints concerning the misconduct of the facility’s manager, Sheri Koenig. According to our sources internal investigations conducted by the DACC have recommended that Koenig be suspended if not outright removed. Yet Mayeda has blocked any discipline being meted out.

The website www.thesimpledollar.com reviewed EntreLeadership favorably – and one of their quotes is especially poignant:

The best thing you can do as a leader is to make decisions quickly based on the information you have and be able to explain why you made those decisions. “Leaders” who don’t make decisions tend to lead organizations that fall apart. Leaders who make decisions without basing them on information tend to make horrible decisions. Leaders who make decisions based on information but can’t explain them tend to sow mistrust with their team.

The vast majority of the DACC employees think that Mayeda is a corrupt and autocratic leader who both tolerates and promotes favorites who are either unwilling or unable to competently do their jobs. Until Mayeda adapts the above fundamental principle of EntreLeadership any money that the DACC is spending trying to teach her is a waste of taxpayers’ dough – because as the old adage says, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

Baldwin Park and Downey Pets Urgently Need Your Help~

It is no secret that Marcia Mayeda, the widely detested head of Los Angeles County’s Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) has contempt not only for the pets entrusted into her care but for most of the dedicated people involved in pet rescue. Mayeda has continued to flaunt the provisions of California SB 1785, popularly known as the Hayden Act, by refusing to allow 501(c)3 rescues to adopt certain pets from her facilities.

Mayeda has mandated that certain breeds, including Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, Shar’ Peis and Jindos be temperament tested by DACC employees. If the pet fails the temperament test it cannot be adopted without an indemnity waiver signed by the head of an official DACC adoption partner.

Mayeda’s temperament tests are poorly conceived and often poorly administered, and have fundamental flaws:

1.). Dogs are tested for food aggression by giving a dog a can of food, and then taking a wooden hand to nudge the food. If the dog pushes back against the hand, he is deemed to be “food aggressive”. Hundreds of dogs, many of whom have been underfed, if not starved or who have never been given wet food before, fail and are condemned to death because they are so excited to finally have some good food that they will nudge the hand which is trying to take away the food. We suggest you try it with your own dog and see how they do. If they nudge the hand, according to Mayeda’s standards your dog is dangerous and should be killed.

2.) The DACC does not have a single certified animal behaviorist on its payroll. The tests are being subjectively administered and graded by unqualified and often burned out employees who just don’t care and are making the scores up based on their mood. One shelter worker jokingly claimed to have become so disillusioned with the DACC that the employee was passing all pets in the vain hope that the dog would turn vicious and get lucky and have the chance to bite Mayeda.

3.) Under Mayeda’s edicts, any dog who is ill, even with something as mundane as kennel cough, cannot be tested and automatically will require an indemnity waiver to be released. This means that a member of the public is prohibited from adopting the pet, as is a 501(c)3 rescue which has not submitted additional paperwork and gone through the DACC’s arbitrary approval process.  This causes many wanted pets to needlessly be killed in the back rooms of DACC facilities.

Nowhere in the Hayden Act does the State of California grant a shelter to deny the right to pick which rescues it will work with.

To further impeded adoptions and promote the killing of pets in her overcrowded facilities, Mayeda has implemented a byzantine system for waiver pets to be released to rescues. Only the head of a DACC rescue adoption partner may request a waiver – and it must be requested in writing. Once it is requested the waiver must be drafted by a DACC employee who only works four days a week from Monday – Thursday. If the waiver is requested on a Thursday the dog will linger in the shelter, taking up valuable kennel space until at least the following Monday when the waiver may be issued. Sometimes the process of issuing the waiver will take over a week. Then once the indemnification waiver is drafted (and in reality all waivers are basically the same), it is sent to the rescue who requested it for signature. To verify this person’s identity, the shelter also requests that the person remit a copy of their driver license. It is a lengthy process and if the DACC really cared they would have a standard liability waiver which each shelter could issue on the spot.

However we would argue that it is ridiculous to insist that rescues sign indemnity waivers in the first place. The standard DACC adoption agreement signed by the public and by rescues specifically indemnifies the shelters against all liability arising from pets biting or causing damage. Mayeda’s indemnity waiver adds no legal protection for Los Angeles County – it merely is used to hinder adoptions of pets that Mayeda and her minions have a rooting interest in killing.

Meanwhile in happier news – in a case of “even a blind squirrel gets an acorn sometime” department, the DACC finally managed to do something right and provided 195 pets (54 cats and 141 dogs) for transport to no kill shelters as part of the Wings of Rescue Holiday Airlift of 785 pets from California and Louisiana shelters.   Full kudos are due to the rescue coordinators at the various DACC facilities for their efforts in making this the biggest single rescue event in the agency’s history. Somehow Marcia Mayeda wasn’t on hand at the airport to celebrate these pets being flown to safety. Perhaps her absence was due to this reporter being one of the organizers of the airlift, or perhaps it was that frankly she doesn’t give a damn. It doesn’t matter either way – because she wasn’t missed.

In other notable DACC news after years of sexual harassment charges having been leveled against them two sergeants are finally being discharged, and a top deputy is rumored to have been demoted for as yet undisclosed reasons.

 

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.