Mayeda Blames Rescuers

The Daily Breeze today:

A 10-month-old puppy who died at Los Angeles County's animal shelter in Carson did not freeze to death, as animal rights activists have claimed, but died from complications from an upper respiratory infection, county officials claim in a report that will be discussed by the Board of Supervisors today.

But county officials conceded that a staffing shortage at the shelter likely prevented the puppy from receiving all of the antibiotics it needed.

Responding to a request by the Board of Supervisors for an investigation, Mayeda and county CEO William Fujioka prepared a report denying the charge that Zephyr died from pneumonia caused by exposure to the cold.

"The charge was false, but unduly alarmed a number of well-meaning people," according to the report.

The report notes, however, that a staffing shortage caused Zephyr to miss "a couple" doses of antibiotics while she was being treated a second time for an upper respiratory infection. She did not respond to treatment, her condition worsened and she died, according to the report.

According to the report, the staffing shortage had been fixed, with two new registered veterinary technicians hired at Carson.

The report recommends that the county spend $313,000 to refurbish the Carson Animal Shelter as well implement a several procedural improvements, some of which have already been put in place.

Most notably, the Department of Animal Care and Control reviewed its policy of allowing volunteers to "hold" an animal -- preventing the animal from being euthanized with the understanding that it will be soon be adopted.

Zephyr, who died after five weeks at the Carson shelter, had been on hold for a full month.

"The Department has corrected this abuse of the system by insisting the animals be removed in a timely manner," that is, within several days, according to the report.

This is a crock as we all know. Zephyr missed " a couple of doses of anitbiotics" and died? I'd like to see her medical records before they altered them.

Now Mayeda blames rescuers too, and, as they allege, she is punishing them. Now more animals will be killed because they cannot be put on hold for mnore than a week. Was Zephyr on hold for a month?


Anonymous said...

The municipal shelters are not boarding kennels and for every dog or cat placed on a hold for a month, there are other dogs and cats that lose their opportunities to live to accomodate this lengthy hold for a rescue. If you want the animal then take it out and thus make room for another. Or accept that you are responsible for others dying to make space.

Anonymous said...

It's so obvious from the pictures that she froze to death. That was one of the coldest nights of the year, and she wasn't given so much as a blanket.

What pieces of shit they are!

Anonymous said...

According to Ryan Olshan's blog, Zephyr was never placed "on hold" by a rescuer. Janet Taylor requested that she be notified if Zephyr was scheduled to be killed, a PTS (euphemistically "put to sleep") notification. Of course, Mayeda never had to put her to sleep because she killed her through outrageous neglect instead.

The fact is, Zephyr was a ten month-old puppy. They have amazing recuperative powers. If you look at the photos of her that are included in the press kit for the No Kill Advocacy Center's lawsuit, you will see that this is not a case of a puppy missing a few doses of antibiotic. This was a highly detectable, shameful and tragic decline of a healthy puppy to a gaunt, sick specter - to a corpse. All right in front of LACDACC staff, who should have seen it, and treated her, but who instead allowed her to die a slow, horrible death. (although one has to wonder why the people who took the pictures didn't rescue Zephyr. Could they have gotten her out in that condition? I don't know the answer to that.)

But it's certainly got nothing to do with LACDACC- just read Mayeda's report...

Anonymous said...

"According to the report, the staffing shortage had been fixed, with two new registered veterinary technicians hired at Carson."

One RVT is on the way out. She's quitting and no one can blame her. The other was mauled by a Pit Bull on Sunday as she was attempting to euthanize the dog. So she will be out for a while with injuries. The vet assistant will require time off to study for her RVT exam. So....let's take a tally of the medical staff at Carson.

The medical record for Zephyr WAS altered. What was pulled before the document could be fixed is totally different than the copy received via the PRA.

Anonymous said...

"The municipal shelters are not boarding kennels and for every dog or cat placed on a hold for a month"

Zephyr was never put on hold. A hold at LA County has a definitive out date meaning a hold sends the animal into the clinic to be neutered/spayed/rabies shot/chipped - to be picked up on a given date between a window of time.

Zephyr had a "call when PTS" meaning the volunteer who put that in Zephyr's record wanted to be called should they decide to put Zephyr to death. This volunteer NEVER got the call.

"there are other dogs and cats that lose their opportunities to live to accomodate this lengthy hold for a rescue."

You obviously have not dealt with Carson. Either that or you are an employee with the department wanting to follow your director's example by placing the blame where it shouldn't be.

There are many occasions when the animal HAD not one, not two but THREE (the third hold is usually a rescue hold) and still never get sent through the clinic. Thus, the animal end up sitting LONGER than it needed to be TAKING up valuable kennel space as you so astutely pointed out. Whose fault is that? ONLY the staff can access the Chameleon system to PUT the hold on the animal. The animal SHOULD have been sent to the clinic for the first hold but did not. Is that the rescue's fault or the staff who did not put the animal on the list for the clinic? Who is to be held responsible for that? According to you - it sounded like you would fault the rescue in this case as well.

For your information - a hold gives you a date of pick up and a window period of 3 hours to pick up. The public can put on the first hold and the second hold. Rescue are allowed to place the third hold but not the public. IF there are no third hold and the first two are from the public - the animals will be available to just anyone wanting to adopt as the animal would be considered "ready to go" by the shelter staff.

Anonymous said...

Municipal shelters aren't boarding kennels? How long were those Bemis dogs in the shelter? Some were in there for almost two years right? And then there's Mowi who was caged up for almost 6 months by this twisted Department because he supposedly killed a neighbors cat? A real danger to the public's safety!!

Brad Jensen

Anonymous said...

I think in LA City there are 24 hour holds only. That's just in case you have to work and can't get the animal til the next day. I think Marcia is lying about that hold.

The dog died of pneumonia. Fine, but it wouldn't have died of pneumonia if it received proper care. Proper care would be medication and a warm, dry place to sleep. You'd also need to force fluids or give subq. Animals survive pneumonia if treated. Again, Marcia is lying and in the wrong.

Anonymous said...

No hold was put on Zephyr according to the records I received through a PRA(Public Records Act) request. Why put a rescue hold on a dog when there's a real good chance that dog could be adopted. I met Zephyr when she first came into the shelter and she was highly adoptable. Records only show that a volunteer requested to be called within 5 days if Zephyr was to be PTS. The volunteer says they never called. And now the volunteer has been dismissed from helping at the shelter?

Brad Jensen

Anonymous said...

So I have to ask myself why none of this was exposed in the Daily Breeze OR the L.A. Times article. A major County department head submitted a requested report to the Board of Supervisors in a case that has generated (depending on who you talk to) anywhere between three and five lawsuits, which has extensive photgraphic documentation, and the report is filled with flagrant lies.

I'm sorry, does Carla Hall at the Times know what the job of a reporter actually IS? A scant, seven-page report by a Director who is alleged to lie and cover up maladministration is not subjected to even momentary scrutiny? The Daily Breeze article (no author listed -- apparently they take dictation from Marcia too) flat-out parrots the "Zephyr, who died after five weeks at the Carson shelter, had been on hold for a month." lie with clearly NO investigation AT ALL.

They should change their name to "The Daily Mayeda's Whore." Then at least we would be prepared for the re-hash of Mayeda and BOS blame-shifting.

Anonymous said...


I'm not surprised no one had the courage to put a name to this piece of drivel. I was under the impression that newspapers were supposed to report facts, not take dictation from County Departments they are ostensibly reporting on.

This article robotically repeats the allegation, "Zephyr, who died after five weeks at the Carson shelter, had been on hold for a month" when many people, including the volunteer who was banned from the shelter by Marcia Mayeda in connection with this case, flat-out dispute Mayeda's version of events. This volunteer says she only requested to be notified if Zephyr was scheduled to be put to sleep. This is a very different thing than placing a "hold" on a dog. In addition, from my information, a dog who (in Mayeda's version of events) had been placed on hold should have been sent to the shelter clinic. But a month after Mayeda claims the hold was placed Zephyr was dead in a kennel, not the clinic. Photos of her dead body prove this. Why, if a hold had been placed, was Zephyr never sent to the clinic, where her condition might have been cured? She was a ten month-old puppy. They are very resilient, and it takes A LOT of neglect to kill one.

And the one indisputable fact is that Zephyr was in County custody until the day she died. Unless Mayeda is claiming that once an alleged "hold" is placed County staff don't even have a duty to LOOK at the dog anymore, even if she is in a County shelter, then the blame for Zephyr's death still lies with Mayeda's department.

These are easily discoverable facts, if the Breeze staff would do their job, rather than simply re-printing LACDACC press releases.

Ed Muzika said...

On the whole, I think a large percentage of the public do care, at least in LA. Look at the $134,000,000 bond issue for new shelters?

Of course, people don't seem to care in Culber City who only pays County $80,000 a year.

Angelinos do care, its just that what happens in the shelters is not in their faces except with the photo of someone like Zephyr who died of PC 597(b) felony animal neglect even though Mayeda was never charged. The shelter manager should have been so charged and anyone who was supposed to be Zephyr's caretakers at the shelter.

Identify who was culpable and complain about them to County Officials and maybe picket their shelters or respectfully, their homes.

It is a matter of education, PR and being in the public's and local government's faces.

What a lot of activists are discovering is that there is an incrediable inertia that prevents positive change manifested by circling the wagons, lying, lying, and then lying again.

They get away with it because the press does not care either. How many animal-oriented reporters cover animal stories?

What gets press is civil disobedience, lawsuits, pickets, arrests and trials.

If Alarcon wants to take the lead on animals issues, I will support him when he runs for Mayor. I will back Levine for any post he wants.

So should you all.