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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

Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

If the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors ever showed the least bit of responsibility and audit its Department of Animal Care and Control and its director Marcia Mayeda, they would fire the DACC head for being a pathological liar.

Mayeda’s latest lie was in response to this reporter disclosure that Baldwin Park shelter staff and volunteers were complaining that the facility had run out of wet cat food for over a month and the supplies were low on wet dog food as well. Nursing mothers, puppies, kittens and seniors were not getting the nourishment they required. Consequently volunteers and staff were forced to buy food with their own money to prevent these pets from deteriorating.

We posted on the Baldwin Park Shelter Facebook page that shelter needed wet food and the public quickly responded with generous donations. Concurrently many members of the public were angered and wrote Mayeda asking why the shelter was out of food and demanding to know who was responsible.

Mayeda avoided taking responsibility by denying that there was any shortage accusing this reported of lying in an e-mail saying “(Ric Browde’s report) is completely untrue.  We have never been out of food for the animals.  While our supplier had some shipping delays, we were never out of food.  Attached are two photos of some of our food stock.”

However if this food was at a DACC warehouse it was not making it to the DACC’s shelter pets. Today Carson Kennel attendant Kat Rosales posted the following on her Facebook page:

“Hi everyone! The animal shelter I work at is in need of wet dog food/cat food donations desperately! We give our puppies, senior pets, nursing moms, and cats wet food so we do go through our supplies rather quickly! If you are able to donate a few cans of friskies or any type of wet dog food, that’d be awesome! If you’re willing to donate a little more, Walmart/Target has 32 cans of Friskies for about $13-$15 and usually Costco has wet dog food for pretty decent prices, too. Shoot me an email to my work email krosales@animalcare.lacounty.gov if you’re able to help! ”

To no one’s surprise – as usual Mayeda was lying. Her shelters are out of wet food and are relying almost entirely on donations to keep her pets alive. The reason is that Mayeda exclusively buys food from the Canidae pet food company – and Canidae is unable to fill the DACC’s orders. Rather than show leadership and buy food from another manufacturer so that the pets entrusted into her care can have the proper nourishment, Mayeda stubbornly refuses and the pets are suffering not only at Baldwin Park, but also the Carson facility.

Starving pets seem to be a theme of Mayeda’s week. Over the last three weeks, the DACC was alerted repeatedly to horses without access to water, being starved to death and in Juniper Hills.   The DACC took two weeks to respond and when they finally responded they found the complaints to be accurate and removed the horses from the property. However three days later they returned them to their owner. One of the horses died a few days later and his carcass was lying on the ground for at least four days creating a health hazard. The DACC still has not responded to new complaints about the horses nor have they explained why they would return suffering animals to their abusers.

Marcia Mayeda is morally bankrupt and unfit to run a department that claims to be in charge of animal care. She needs to be removed from her $238,000 per year job. However she will not have to fear being unemployed long. Due to her skill in lying she should be eminently qualified to  get a job offer from Donald Trump.

Downey & Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

A few years ago Marcia Mayeda decided to improve the public perception of her Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control by renaming it the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control. Judging from what is going on at her Baldwin Park facility Mayeda can thank her lucky stars that she is not subject to truth in advertising laws.

For the last two weeks there has been no wet cat food at Baldwin Park and the shelter has been rationing its wet dog food as well as supplies have dwindled. Nursing mothers and old pets were being deprived of the nutrition they needed. The lack of wet food was even more distressing to Baldwin Park’s cats, many of whom had decided they would rather starve than eat the dry cat food that the shelter provided them.

What happened to the food order? No one is sure, but the shelter is managed by Mayeda’s hire, Sheri “Goldilocks” Koenig and making sure the pets are fed properly is a major part of the ‘care’ component.

Meanwhile Baldwin Park is undergoing much needed renovations to its decrepit kennels. While the renovation is going on the facility is down one whole building, meaning that 48 kennels which can house up to 150 dogs are out of commission. Minus one quarter of its kennels Baldwin Park’s euthanization rates are understandably rising, despite the staff’s sending dogs to other county facilities. The renovation is being managed by Los Angeles County’s corrupt and inefficient Internal Services Division (ISD). ISD is the agency that has managed to charge taxpayers $200 to change a lightbulb at Baldwin Park. They also mandated that a Baldwin Park truck that needed repair be sent to their repair facility at a cost of over ten thousand dollars instead of the three thousand dollars that it would have cost at the repair shop down the street from the shelter. It is the agency that delayed the opening of the shelter’s spay/neuter clinic by approximately a year.

Volunteers report that no construction work has been performed at Baldwin Park for the past two weeks. There are 48 kennels out of use during the highest intake period of the year because of poor management. When dogs are dying for want of kennel space this is entirely unacceptable. The blame for this one cannot be laid on Mayeda’s doorstep. Instead it rests squarely on the five members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, especially long standing member Mike Antonovich, who have permitted if not encouraged ISD to be inefficient, corrupt and lazy.

Los Angeles County taxpayers should not have their hard earned tax dollars spent on corrupt institutions, but the County Board of Supervisors condones the corruption – and more skilled reporters than this one can probably follow the money trail to see who is benefiting from the delays and cost overruns.

We can safely state that no shelter pets are receiving any benefit from it.

Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

If one believes that government’s function is to serve the best interests of its people, the County of Los Angeles is woefully lacking. With Los Angeles mired in an historic drought, and fires sweeping across the county, the sale of fireworks is legal in 41 Los Angeles County communities. It seems like every street corner in Baldwin Park has a stand selling fireworks and the same can be said for other cities including Azusa, El Monte, La Puente and Downey.

During the weeks leading up to and following July 4th, legalized fireworks turn Los Angeles County’s communities into mini-Syrias as explosions punctuate the night. Scores of children will be maimed by fireworks, and the toll on pets will be even higher. With so many of these communities’ residents believing that pets should be kept outdoors, thousands of terrified pets will be frantically escaping their yards. The lucky ones end up being brought into the municipal shelters like Baldwin Park and Downey, the unfortunate ones meet gruesome end being hit by cars.

Less than 25 percent of all pets impounded by the Baldwin Park Shelter have collars with attached identification tags or microchips – and the shelter’s overall return to owner rate is only ten percent. The influx of unclaimed pets will lead to large scale euthanasia throughout the Los Angeles County Shelter system. This is especially true at Baldwin Park, which is down to 48 kennels as a result of renovation. The renovation is proceeding at a snail’s pace because Los Angeles County government’s corrupt and lazy Internal Services Division (ISD) is in charge of the construction – meaning that the taxpayer funded project will cost at least three times as much and take five times longer than the same construction would if performed by private sector contractors.

There is no accountability in Los Angeles County government. Local news coverage has been filled with scandals and criminal indictments in the sheriff’s and child services departments. The Court system is a mess, our school system is a failure, and this column has operated for four years exposing the daily scandals involved in the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control.

Nothing will change between now and July 4th. Our government will fail to be proactive and deliver the message in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese – the most popular languages spoken in the Baldwin Park service area – that people need to bring their pets inside for the next month while the government sanctioned madness of fireworks erupts. Dogs and cats will flood the shelters – and the shelters’ freezers will be full of barrels of freshly euthanized pets.

It’s totally preventable madness, if only our elected government would show something approaching civic concern for their constituency’s welfare.

In the meantime, children will be maimed and pets will suffer. It’s business as usual for Los Angeles County.

 

Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

In her fifteen year tenure as Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC), Marcia Mayeda has worked diligently to earn a reputation for violating California and federal laws, actively encouraging and engaging in corruption, ruthlessly killing pets taking vengeance on any of her department’s employees or volunteers who question her numerous illegal acts. Many DACC observers have wondered how Mayeda has been able to act with such impunity – as any other government official in such blatant violation would have been forced out, perhaps with criminal charges leveled against them, as recently happened with Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

The fact is that Mayeda has survived because of her cozy relationship with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and particularly outgoing Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who have constantly thwarted investigations into her misdeeds. Some DACC critics have alleged that the Antonovich- Mayeda relationship is extremely close and personal but we have seen no evidence to confirm this.

Mayeda’s reign of error may finally be coming to an end as a result of her malicious attempt to railroad former Baldwin Park Kennel Attendant Erika Valles into accepting an unwarranted misdemeanor charge for animal cruelty. As previously reported in our May 23rd blog, Valles was photographing and documenting the mistreatment of animals by Mayeda crony and former Baldwin Park Shelter manager, Pat “Google Me” Claerbout in October of 2014. Claerbout, who has a long and documented history of animal abuse, grew angry and saw an opportunity for revenge when a kitten Valles was fostering came down with panleukopenia – an extremely contagious, nearly always fatal disease that kills hundreds of kittens at Baldwin Park every year. Claerbout seized and euthanized the kitten, and with Mayeda’s blessing had criminal charges brought against Valles.

Because Valles could not afford to hire a lawyer, Mayeda must have thought it would be a slam dunk to get Valles to take a deal and plead guilty. The deal would have involved community service, but no jail time for Valles, and left her with a conviction for animal cruelty on her record.

Mayeda was wrong.

Erika Valles, an Air Force veteran and a highly principled human being, refused the deal and has demanded a jury trial.  This could create serious problems for Mayeda, as Valles has been given leaked DACC documents showing that scores of kittens died in their cages of panleukopenia at Baldwin Park during the period when Valles was fostering and no one was prosecuted. A jury trial would also enable Valles to subpoena current and former Baldwin Park and DACC officials and question them under oath about a number of potentially embarrassing things, including an April 15, 2009 e-mail sent by a former DACC officer to the Board of Supervisors and Mayeda complaining about the systematic inhumane treatment of cats at Mayeda’s shelters.  A public relations firm has volunteered involvement to ensure media coverage.

By the time Valles’s case gives rise to a whistleblower lawsuit Antonovich will be termed out and have finally left the Board of Supervisors. The question is whether the new Board of Supervisors will want to swallow another judgement – especially since they have been discussing how to to reduce the $59.9 million in civil judgments and settlements and $59 million in attorney fees awarded against Los Angeles County in the fiscal year 2014-2015.

Will the new Board of Supervisors tolerate Mayeda’s illegal and immoral acts, or will they try to mitigate the damage by kicking her to the curb? We like to believe in the wisdom and integrity of our elected officials. The strange prosecution or persecution of Erika Valles may be the litmus test to judge Los Angeles County’s elected government.

Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

A few weeks ago we told how Baldwin Park Shelter manager Sheri Koenig somehow managed to adopt a Yorkshire terrier puppy for free from the Baldwin Park Shelter before the public had any access to said puppy. If any other DACC employee – other than Marcia Mayeda who is allowed to openly flaunt rules and regulations – had done this, they would have been suspended if not fired. However, no disciplinary action has been taken against Koenig, because she concocted a story claiming that she was fostering the dog and that an over-anxious clerk misunderstood and filed adoption rather than fostering paperwork.

There are several holes in Koenig’s story:

  1. Koenig told several people that she had adopted the pet on the morning the pet left Baldwin Park.
  2. The dog was a healthy owner turn-in who had not been made available to the public and was ineligible for foster.
  3. Koenig adopted the pup while in uniform, and when the shelter was not open to the public, both in violation of the DACCs written policy and procedures.
  4. The clerk who processed the original adoption papers does not have access to foster paperwork. Koenig claims she asked for foster rather than adoption paperwork to be issued and the clerk misunderstood her. It defies logic that Koenig would have asked this clerk to execute paperwork she did not have access to.
  5. Koenig returned the Yorkie to the Agoura shelter, which issued a receipt showing the dog as being an owner turn-in from Sheri Koenig. If the dog was a foster return no receipt would have been issued.

It is clear that Koenig violated DACC policy and was not disciplined. That same week, Marcia Mayeda suspended Downey Shelter manager Fred Agoopi for three days for taking responsibility for his employees euthanizing several pit bulls who had been at the facility for a long time, after his shelter had run out of kennel space. There were no notes saying that these dogs had holds on them, there was merely an expired interested party note from the head of the group running the shelter’s pit bull training program. Downey’s entire Sergeant corps were reassigned and the particular Sergeant who authorized the euthanization was also suspended. According to those in the know the reassignments and suspensions were because Mayeda had issued a “zero tolerance” policy for mistakes.

Meanwhile, back at Baldwin Park, Koenig had authorized the killing of scores of adoptable pets despite abundant kennel space several months ago. In the eyes of many, including this writer, she was caught inappropriately adopting a dog and clumsily attempted to cover it up by trying to say she was fostering it. In neither case was she disciplined. The demoralized Baldwin Park employees have reacted by shaking their heads and allegedly circulating a petition seeking her ouster, and many have suddenly and mysteriously fallen ill and had to call in sick. This past Friday there were only two kennel attendants at the shelter (the normal shift has at least four) and the main cat building was cleaned and the cats fed only when a volunteer stayed after hours to finish the job.

Marcia Mayeda renamed her animal holding facilities “care centers”, but there has been a shortage of care given to Baldwin Park shelter pets during Koenig’s tenure as manager. It seems that workers obeying DACC policy and procedures will be hunted down and disciplined, while a privileged few can flaunt the rules without consequences. It is a dangerous precedent to set for your staff – but that apparently does not bother either Marcia Mayeda or Sheri Koenig.