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Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

Under the failed leadership of Marcia Mayeda, the head of Los Angeles’ Department of Animal Care and Control, the once proud Baldwin Park Shelter is falling apart, both literally and metaphorically – and unfortunately it is the pets who are paying the price. The sixty year old facility is undergoing a much needed, but poorly planned renovation during which each of Baldwin’s three main kennel buildings will be gutted and rebuilt one building at a time. The project will take at least a year if all goes to plan and as a result Baldwin will lose 48 of its 192 kennels as each building is renovated. Traditionally Baldwin Park is always at full capacity from Memorial Day until October and with one quarter of its kennels unavailable, dogs will be dying in record numbers.

Had the renovation been well planned, there would have been no loss of kennels. Baldwin Park’s barn area could have easily been converted into a temporary or even permanent kennel. The only pets this would have displaced are the approximately three farm animals, horses, goats and pigs who come into the shelter each month – all of whom could easily be transferred to the Agoura or Lancaster shelters which both have excellent barn facilities. Instead of adopting this safe and logical plan, Mayeda, whose contempt for the pets entrusted to her care is eclipsed only by her contempt for her employees, is simply reducing the shelter’s capacity by 25% for the next year.

The backup plan is to send pets to other County facilities, all of which, with the exception of her new Palmdale facility, are already full. Last week Mayeda transferred eight pit bulls to the Downey Shelter. Forty-one percent of Downey’s canine population now consists of dominant breed dogs and Downey is having to kill its own pit bulls – and other breeds – to make room for Baldwin Park’s dogs.  Because of the increased Pit Bull euthanasia at Downey, its capable manager Fred Agoopi is reportedly on an unplanned vacation for a week.

Meanwhile back at Baldwin Park morale has plummeted to new lows. Before renovation began, Sheri “Goldilocks” Koenig had demoralized staff by ordering mass killings of pets when there were scores of empty kennels. She ordered the shelter volunteers to reduce their photographing and videoing of pets for their networking list – even though the networking list was the most effective program for getting pets released. She callously changed the schedule of a Baldwin Park officer who held a second job with the city’s Police force, so that he could not perform both jobs and she had the shelter’s lead cat volunteer suspended on trumped up charges. As a result Baldwin Park’s staff have retaliated in the way they always do when they feel powerless. They called in sick in droves. There were only two kennel attendants working this past weekend and kennels were not being cleaned properly and had it not been for volunteers cats’ litter boxes would not have been changed.

Reportedly the staff are circulating a petition calling for Koenig’s ouster. If so this is the second time in less than two years that Koenig has been the subject of a petition demanding her removal. Lancaster’s staff had signed a petition and were about to formally submit it when Mayeda moved Koenig to Baldwin Park to reduce the heat.

What Mayeda will do this time is anyone’s guess. She is still paying disgraced former Baldwin Park manager Pat “Google Me” Claerbout a manager’s salary to work in the Lancaster shelter’s call room and DACC insiders are wondering if Mayeda is arrogant enough to put her in another shelter.

Downey & Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

The announcement two weeks ago that Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) Deputy Director Derek Brown was resigning was met with wide cheers both from within the DACC’s rank and file, and from the rescue community at large. Brown worked hard to earn a reputation for either ignoring or being slow in responding to animal cruelty and hoarding complaints, impeding shelter reform, and for playing hooky – leaving DACC headquarters and driving to his home in Inglewood instead of going to the Lancaster and Carson Shelters as he told his staff. He also gained fame for turning a blind eye to misconduct at his shelters and for squashing investigations into his own personal misdeeds.  Perhaps Brown  merely parroted the same behaviour exhibited by his boss,  DACC Director Marcia Mayeda – but still, by any standards, he failed miserably at his job.

Ironically Brown is now assuming a senior position at Los Angeles City’s Department of Animal Services (LAAS), the agency which had the nerve to issue a press release on April 25th claiming that Los Angeles was about to become a “no kill” city. According to LAAS their live release rate was 84.3 percent so far for 2016 and implied that this trend would continue through the year. Of course this is fiction.

Eight years ago, nearly 75 percent of all strays were brought in from the field by officers. Under LAAS head Brenda Barnette, Los Angeles City has basically discarded all their field officers, and according to insiders less than 10 percent of pets brought into the shelters are being brought in by officers in the field. What has happened is there are large packs of homeless feral dogs in deplorable condition on the streets of Los Angeles. Anyone who drives through South Central LA at night can see them along Exposition, You can also see them in the San Fernando Valley. If you see a dog who is being mistreated in someone’s backyard, or if you see a tethered animal ( with no access to food, water or shelter) and report it to LAAS – the complaint will be ‘filed’, no officer will be dispatched and the pet will be left to suffer. If you refuse to impound any pets, your numbers are going to look good.

There are many other factors contributing to this disingenuous press release. Traditionally January – April produce the lowest amount of pets entering shelter system throughout Southern California. The months of May – September always produce nearly 75 percent of all impounds – and this is the period one needs to measure when measuring trends.

However the most offensive statement in LAAS’s press release is that according to Brenda Barnette claims if you release 90 percent of animals (and presumably kill the remaining ten percent) you can claim with a straight face that you have achieved no kill status. This is disingenuous sophistry of the highest order, like saying “I’m a vegetarian, I only eat meat on the weekends.”

I am against killing shelter pets, but to me the “No Kill” movement is merely a marketing ploy, used by Best Friends to sell “NKLA” t-shirts and raise money, and by Nathan Winograd to sell speaking engagements and books. Barnette and her Best Friends partners are lying when they try to claim “We are saving them all”. We are nowhere near No Kill – and even further away from “saving them all”. Until we end all killing in shelters, and stop turning our heads to animal cruelty we have failed as a society and have no right to pat ourselves on the back and imply that all is well.

Barnette is not doing her job and is allowing cruelty to pets to flourish in the streets and backyards of Los Angeles. Derek Brown will fit in very nicely at Los Angeles Animal Services.

Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

In addition to her showing no compassion towards the pets entrusted to her care, Marcia Mayeda, the head of Los Angeles County’s Animal Control department has even more disdain towards the people who work for her. Mayeda has a track record of appointing morally challenged or incompetent shelter managers (her last two Baldwin Park managers serve as prime exhibits) and as a result she has so disillusioned the rank and file, that they have a tendency to feign illness and call in sick just so they don’t have to deal with the capricious mood swings of their supervisors. Volunteers also have felt unwelcome and are donating far fewer man hours of service than they did when the popular former manager Lance Hunter ran things with a gentler hand.

Things have gotten so bad at Baldwin Park that last weekend there were only two kennel attendants taking care of the shelter’s population of over 300 pets. These two employees put in their eight hours but did not finish feeding the shelter’s pet population. Sheri Koenig neither authorized overtime for her workers, nor called other Los Angeles County shelters to lend manpower assistance. According to Baldwin Park insiders as a result cats in the shelter’s Building 5 were locked in cat boxes without food or water for over 24 hours. This is entirely unacceptable.

There are several job openings posted on Los Angeles County’s website for animal control jobs – but Mayeda has not filled them. We are not sure if she is leaving these positions unfilled so she can save money and thereby qualify for an end of the year bonus from the Board of Supervisors, or whether she cannot fill them because she is such a terrible boss and no one wants to work for her.

Either way it is only the poor pets who suffer – which is entirely unacceptable to anyone with a shred of compassion. Unfortunately the only ones who can ameliorate this situation and force Mayeda to act responsibly and take care of her agency and its pets are the five members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors – Mike Antonovich, Sheila Kuehl, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Hilda Solis and Don Knabe. These elected representatives claim to represent the will of the citizens of Los Angeles County.

If indeed starving pets and providing negligent care is the will of Los Angeles County – we as citizens need to either fight to remove these unresponsive politicos and their horrific deputies from office or be eternally ashamed of ourselves.

Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

Investigations of employee misconduct, resignations, firings under clouds of secrecy – it was just another week at the scandal-plagued Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC).

Deputy Director Derek Brown – who had been telling associates that he was going to resign before anyone “walked him out” (the term DACC employees use to describe HR hatchet man David Hou escorting terminated employees out of the building without their personal possessions) lived up to his word, perhaps for the first time in his long tenure at the DACC, submitted his two week notice and is set to return to Los Angeles City’s Animal Control agency – the same agency that widely celebrated his departure ten years ago. Brown was implicated in many scandals during his tenure at the DACC, including the cover-up of the Pamela DeVitt killing, squashing the investigation of a dog bite incident involving his own dog and repeatedly being found at home during working hours after telling colleagues he was leaving DACC headquarters to visit the Carson and Lancaster shelters.

Meanwhile, DACC insiders were snickering at Baldwin Park Shelter manager Sheri “Goldilocks” Koenig, who was caught adopting a Yorkshire Terrier puppy from the Baldwin Park Shelter in violation of DACC policies requiring that the dog be made available to the public before being adopted by a shelter employee. Adding fuel to the fire, Koenig took the dog without paying the adoption fee. Inside sources have told us that the matter has been taken up by Los Angeles County’s auditor who is “building a case” against Koenig for this incident as well as some allegations involving misuse of a County gas card and other improprieties. It may only be a matter of time until Koenig goes for a walk with Hou.

As anyone who has followed this blog knows, the widespread sleaze factor which seems to permeate the DACC did not occur in a vacuum. It oozes down from its leader, Marcia Mayeda. In 2009 her top deputy and until then best friend, Christine DeFranco wrote an e-mail, copying the Board of Supervisors, exposing the fact that Mayeda left work an hour early every day to go horseback riding.  The same Marcia Mayeda ordered her employees to stop putting things in writing lest their e-mails be subpoenaed and illegal acts be exposed. And the same Mayeda lied in front of the Board of Supervisors and covered up the DACC’s, and her own, role in the grisly death of Pamela DeVitt.

The ooze may come down from an even higher level – the Board of Supervisors. Two Los Angeles County government departments recently saw criminal indictments handed down. Sheriff Lee Baca was indicted for lying to the FBI and four Los Angeles County Social Workers were indicted for failure of duty in connection with the torture death of an eight year old boy.   Perhaps the DACC leader will be next in the dock facing indictment for criminal actions – only time will tell – but the bigger question is why corruption is flourishing in the departments overseen by the Board of Supervisors.

Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control has certain written policies which the agency is supposed to follow.   DACC Policy number HR240 states:

an employee may obtain an available animal under the same rules and regulations that apply to the public. The animal must have been held in the routine manner which would give no special advantage to the employee. No employee, while on duty or in uniform, may adopt an animal from a County Animal Shelter.

At 11:11 A.M. on April 3rd, Lucy a one year old purebred Yorkshire Terrier puppy was discarded at the Baldwin Park Shelter. Lucy’s former owners claimed she was suffering from head tilt and the dog was taken to the off-limits to the public medical building and placed in kennel B607.  Lucy was examined by Baldwin Park’s veterinary staff on Monday April 4th and the vets felt that the head tilt was merely due to an infection and prescribed antibiotics.

That same Monday,  Sheri Koenig, Baldwin Park’s unpopular shelter manager, arrived at work around 8 A.M. to start her shift. She was presumably wearing her official DACC shelter manager t-shirt.   Los Angeles County Shelters do not open to the public on Mondays until noon.  At 11:18 A.M., before the public was allowed access to the shelter, Koenig adopted Lucy.  Employees noted that Koenig did not go change her clothes to file the adoption paperwork.  To compound her violations of DACC policy she appears to not have paid any adoption fee – even though any member of the public would have been required to shell out $115 for the adoption, spay/neuter trust deposit and microchip.

It is ironic that Koenig violated DACC policy by adopting a dog and apparently taking a five finger discount in the process. On June 16th 2014, Koenig, then serving as manager of the DACC’s Lancaster facility, secured a search warrant for the home of a Lancaster employee who had violated DACC policy by adopting a white German Shepherd to the employee’s husband at a discounted price.  The employee was subsequently terminated.

Perhaps Koenig had a come to Jesus moment and tried to atone for her misdeeds – because on April 6th she decided to relinquish Lucy – but strangely enough she chose to send the dog to the DACC’s Agoura shelter rather than put the dog up for adoption at Baldwin Park.  Perhaps she did not want the scrutiny of people asking how she managed to get such a great deal on a highly adoptable dog, or perhaps it may have been for genuine concern that the pet be adopted from a shelter which serves a more economically advantaged community than Baldwin Park.  From Lucy’s perspective we are sure it was better for her to be at Agoura than at a dysfunctional shelter run by an even more dysfunctional manager.

We imagine that the DACC’s Human Resources Investigator and hatchet-man, David Hou may have to take time off from his job of not investigating the many illegal acts of his boss Marcia Mayeda and her deputy Derek Brown and drive out to Baldwin Park and ask a few pointed questions.

What with the recent reassignment of Carson Shelter Manager Lisa Eldridge to the Palmdale Shelter and the appointment of Javier Guttierez as her replacement , the DACC’s middle management ranks are extremely thin right now – and it will be interesting to see if Ms. Koenig is shown the door.

Downey & Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

In 1998, the state of California enacted SB 1785, popularly known as the Hayden Act, which was the first legislation in North America providing animals their own bill of rights.  Section 1 (b) (3) of the Act states “Shelters should aggressively promote spay and neuter programs to reduce pet overpopulation”  

The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) under its piss-poor leader Marcia Mayeda has failed to obey or even live up to the spirit of the legislation.   In the community the Baldwin Park Shelter serves, Azusa and West Covina, the two cities contributing the highest percentage of strays to the shelter system, do not have spay/neuter laws – and the DACC has not lobbied or even pressured the cities to enact one.  The city of El Monte, responsible for 21% of all Baldwin Park impounds during the time I was a volunteer, recently moved toward enacting a spay/neuter ordinance.  The DACC and Ms. Mayeda never once reached out to El Monte to encourage them to enact the legislation, did not attend a single hearing on the matter or send even one piece of correspondence to support the ordinance.  El Monte’s progressive City Council was persuaded to act due to the lobbying efforts of an El Monte high school teacher and this blogger.

The DACC built a spay/neuter clinic at Baldwin Park four years ago, but only provides services to its own pets Monday – Friday.  The taxpayer-financed clinic sits idle every night and during the weekends.  If the DACC truly wanted to increase spay/neutering in the community it would offer services to the public during these periods.  Marcia Mayeda has not done this.  So much for even passively promoting spay and neuter programs to reduce pet overpopulation.

The next clause in the Hayden Act, in Section 1 (b) (4) states, “Shelters should not adopt out animals that are not spayed or neutered”.   The DACC does try to spay most of their pets, but many are suffering from kennel cough and other diseases and are released deferred from surgery, and any pet over the age of seven is automatically deferred because the DACC does not want to pay for blood panels which are recommended for older pets by most veterinarians.  As a result nearly twenty percent of all pets adopted from the County are released unaltered.  Adopters pay a $50 spay/neuter trust deposit, commit to having the pet altered within a set period of time and take the pet home with them, often never to be heard from again. The DACC claims it is too understaffed to routinely follow up with adopters whose pets were deferred to get certificates of sterilization from them.  Instead their trust deposits sit in the DACC’s coffers.

We understand and support deferring pets due to illness and the last thing we want is the DACC to pull out its normal modus operandi by throwing the baby out with the bath water and banning all releases of unaltered animals. However, if Mayeda would furnish her veterinarians with any diagnostic equipment beyond a stethoscope and a parvo test kit the number of pets being released unaltered would dramatically fall.   A blood machine is not terribly expensive and would have a multitude of uses other than determining whether a senior pet is healthy enough to alter.  Five years ago a donor offered to donate a blood machine to Baldwin Park and were turned down.   A more aggressive follow up policy by the DACC on unaltered pets who were released for medical reasons is also needed – and could easily be implemented by assigning the task to the large number of employees who are currently being paid to do nothing by the DACC.

Marcia Mayeda’s inaction on spay/neuter is consistent with her inaction on nearly every other problem with the DACC.   Not once in the last decade has she held a public meeting where she could explain or be questioned as to what she does to earn her $238,000 plus county benefits salary.   This is the same administrator who ordered her staff to put nothing in writing lest it be subpoenaed at a later date.

The DACC under Mayeda hates transparency.  She is shielded by Mike Antonovich and the County Board of Supervisors who suppress any inquiries into Mayeda’s or the DACC’s actions – causing many to wonder what both she and the Board are hiding.  From the leaked documents that have already been provided to us from disgruntled DACC employees it is clear that the taxpayers are being taken for a ride by a corrupt bureaucrat, Marcia Mayeda, and perhaps an equally duplicitous Board of Supervisors.

Baldwin Park & Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help!

The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control last week staged its own version of spring cleaning – but the end result may have left its shelters even dirtier.

At Downey nearly all the Sergeants were transferred from the shelter for questionable reasons. One Sergeant was transferred for having allowed several Pit Bulls, who were featured on a popular internet networking site, to be euthanized after the dogs’ hold period had long past expired. Another Sergeant, one of the hardest working people at the shelter, was transferred to the Call Center, allegedly because some kennel attendants were slacking off on the days when the Sergeant wasn’t working.   Their replacements are a very capable freshly promoted Sergeant from Baldwin Park, a worker with neither kennel nor field experience, and a person from the DACC’s call center. It remains to be seen if these people are fully prepared to excel at their new assignments.

Meanwhile at Lancaster, the shelter was buzzing about a male employee who was promoted to Sergeant despite his having been caught on camera making unwanted sexual advances on a fellow shelter employee on multiple occasions. This same employee had also been recently written up for punching the time-clock for an absentee field officer – who happens to be his live-in girlfriend.   Lancaster also is the temporary home of former Baldwin Park manager, Pat “Google Me” Claerbout, who has been overheard claiming that she is about to be installed as head of the soon to be opening Palmdale Shelter. Hopefully this is blustering on Claerbout’s part – but with the DACC having a horrific track record has never been a bar to promotion or employment.

If the DACC is truly interested in cleaning up its act – which we believe it isn’t – the change must start at the top. Marcia Mayeda, the scandal plagued head of Animal Control, has proven herself over time to be perhaps the most corrupt and morally deficient department head in Los Angeles County’s government (the same government that until recently employed Sheriff Lee Baca)- yet she keeps getting promoted – even after her actions contributed to the death of jogger Pamela DeVitt.   Mayeda can move around all her middle managers, and shuffle her peons, but it will not wipe clean either the scum or the stench that emanates from her own office.

 

Downey & Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

Perhaps the number one complaint of customers of Los Angeles County’s Shelter shelter system (DACC) is its byzantine adoption process.   In most shelter systems pets cannot be reserved until they are actually available for adoption, but Los Angeles County allows people to place a “Commitment to Adopt” (CTA) as soon as the pet enters the shelter.  Potential adopters stand in line at the shelter for up to an hour and, if they are lucky enough to be the first one to ask about the pet’s availability, they are able to place a CTA. The person who places the CTA has the right to adopt the pet on the first day the pet becomes available. The problem is that the shelter does not place a note on the pet’s kennel to indicate that the pet is already reserved.   If another potential adopter wants the same pet they have to wait in line only to be told there is already is a CTA on the pet. We recently saw a potential adopter go through the line at the Downey shelter five times, inquiring about a different pet each time, only to find out that the pet already had a CTA. After wasting several hours in line they left and were overheard saying it would be easier to adopt a pet on Craigslist.

Further muddling the adoption process is the DACC’s policy of not requiring payment to be made when a CTA is placed.  The DACC’s rationale is that the owners of stray pets might come and reclaim their pet – thereby forcing the DACC to refund the payment to the CTA holder.

The problem is that more than 25 percent of people placing a CTA never show up to pick up their pet. Some CTA holders plain forget, while others are unwilling to wait and adopt a pet they can immediately bring home be it either from another shelter or Craigslist.

Pets whose CTA holders don’t show up languish in the shelters because potential adopters have been told the pet already has a CTA and is unavailable. This is harmful and sometimes fatal for the pet, and it contributes to shelter overcrowding by delaying adoptions.

We suggest that the DACC adopt the policy that most other shelter systems use including Los Angeles City, Kern County, Bakersfield, Riverside and Long Beach. Anyone wanting to adopt a pet can come to the shelter on or after the day the pet is made available for adoption. If more than one person wants the same pet, all interested parties come to the shelter on the morning of the first day that pet is available and the adopter is determined by lottery.   The winning adopter pays the adoption fee, and, if the pet is not altered, is given a date and time to pick up the pet.   If the adopter does not show up they forfeit the adoption fee and the pet is immediately available for adoption by other interested parties.

This system would save lives, increase revenue streams and reduce the time pets spend in Los Angeles County’s crowded shelters.  It also would have the added benefit of not having so many people leaving the shelters firmly convinced that Los Angeles County’s shelters are too difficult to adopt from.  Losing potential adopters to Craigslist and backyard breeders only perpetuates shelter overcrowding and euthanasia – something that sadly does not keep DACC head, Marcia Mayeda up late at night worrying about.

 

Baldwin Park and Downey Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

For years the Baldwin Park Shelter worked hard to earn a well-deserved reputation as the most rescue-friendly shelter in Southern California. Staff and volunteers worked together, leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to find homes and rescues for the unfortunate pets impounded at the facility.   Sadly those days are gone, as Marcia Mayeda, the feckless head of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control deliberately dismantled and destroyed the shelter, first by appointing Pat “Google Me” Claerbout as shelter manager despite her horrific record, and when Claerbout predictably violated the laws of morality as well as the laws of the State of California, replacing her with Sheri “Goldilocks” Koenig who was given the Baldwin Park job after the Lancaster shelter’s staff had risen up against her and demanded her removal.

Since Koenig’s arrival, the shelter has been wantonly killing pets for time rather than for kennel space or temperament. With 70 empty dog kennels staff were being ordered to kill. With 50 empty cat kennels, staff were being ordered to kill. Even though instructions have now been issued to reverse this heartless policy morale has plummeted to the point where Baldwin Park’s staff routinely call in sick and the shelter is understaffed, with workers frequently having to double shift just so the shelter can keep its doors open. Volunteers are angry because they are no longer allowed on the premises outside of the hours when the shelter is open to the public.   The shelter’s highly effective networking team has been ordered to limit their activities and told which pets they can and cannot help. Adding insult to injury, Baldwin Park’s staff will no longer will upload the professional photographs taken by volunteers onto the County’s website – photographs which have in the past greatly increased adoption/rescue traffic into the shelter.

Under former manager Lance Hunter, the philosophy was if people won’t come to the Baldwin Park shelter, let’s bring the shelter to them.   Baldwin Park staged an average of eight mobile pet adoptions each month throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area. These MPAs are now few and far between – although we were gratified that Baldwin Park chose to participate in last weekend’s successful MPA at Pet Food Express’ new store in Long Beach. Not only did Baldwin Park adopt out nearly all the pets it brought to the event – the incredibly rescue friendly Pet Food Express company donated $50 for each pet brought to the event.

Shelters need to be innovative and responsive to be successful. Baldwin Park is neither and pets die as a result. Marcia Mayeda has lost all interest in managing the shelter system effectively; her primary concern seems to be remaining in place and collecting a salary for as long as possible . Mayeda will always be protected by her masters at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors – who only respond to people who make large political donations. Pets don’t give money, they only give love – and therefore are useless to Supervisor Mike Antonovich and his colleagues.

 

Downey and Baldwin Park Shelter Pets Urgently Need Your Help

For the last four months and for the foreseeable future Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control (DACC) has lowered its adoption prices to $15 for dogs and cats are being given away for free. Although critics question the quality of these adoptions and the bounce-back rate has been fairly high, there is little question that the program has been hugely successful and that the euthanasia rates have dropped considerably at every Los Angeles County shelter.

However the increased adoption activity has had an unanticipated downside as often the DACC spay/neuter clinics have not been able to keep up with adoptions. Marcia Mayeda the supercilious head of DACC only provides veterinarians at her shelters Monday – Friday, and Downey’s medical staff can only alter between 25 and 30 pets per day. For the last several weekends, members of the public placing   “Commitments to Adopt” on unaltered Downey pets have been told that they could not pick up their pets until the following Wednesday due to the huge adoption demand. Right now while shelter populations are low, very few pets are dying at Downey for wont of a kennel; but if history serves as a guide, in two months the shelter will be filled beyond capacity and pets will be killed because too many kennels are being occupied by adoption pending pets waiting to be sterilized.

There are two easy solutions available for the DACC, if the agency truly wants to avoid killing pets because they can’t provide timely sterilization services. First they can remove the red tape obstacles preventing the DACC from bringing in outside veterinarians to the County’s spay/neuter facilities either in the evenings or weekends. Secondly they can make a deal with the ASPCA whose mobile spay/neuter van sits idle in Downey Shelter’s parking lot Monday through Friday.   This van can easily alter twenty pets per day and currently is only used on weekends.

Meanwhile Baldwin Park is soon going to undergo much needed renovations. The plans are to refurbish one kennel building at a time and the project will take over a year. During the renovation the loss of a building will mean that the shelter will lose 48 kennels or the ability to house nearly 100 dogs. We are hoping that the DACC will try to minimize the impact of Baldwin Park’s lost kennels by facilitating daily transfers to the high adoption Agoura shelter.  Agoura has been averaging over 20 empty kennels every day for the last year and can easily absorb a great deal of the volume if a transport protocol and program is competently instituted.  To further help Baldwin Park, Wings of Rescue has also agreed to step in and transport its pets to safety to no kill facilities in the Pacific Northwest.

Lastly, Marcia Mayeda has scornfully stated that she never reads this blog. It is gratifying that the reading challenged bureaucrat is perhaps one of the few DACC employees who don’t.   This was proven when within hours of the publication of last week’s piece exposing Baldwin Park’s management decision to throw away donated food, arrangements were made with a local food bank to receive and distribute any future donations to those members of the community who need assistance. We give full marks to DACC Deputy Director Danny Ubario for quickly stepping in to bring a happy and productive solution, but seriously question how shelter manager Sherry Koenig could have been so insensitive and clueless as to authorize the food to be thrown into dumpsters in the first place.