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.