Demand Animal Shelter Ensure the Safety of Its Animals

Target: Marcia Mayeda, Director of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control

Goal: Improve shelter policies to ensure the safety of shelter animals

Recently, attempts have been made to rescue puppies from a Los Angeles animal shelter. Unfortunately, these puppies were lost in the shelter’s drainage system before they could be rescued. Safety polices need to be changed at the Lancaster Animal Shelter in order to ensure the safety and well-being of their shelter animals.

Lancaster Animal Shelter has a horrible reputation for losing smaller animals down their drainage system. This is a result of the drains being left completely open and exposed in the shelter’s kennels. The drains are left open due to the employees method of cleaning the kennels; instead of actually taking the time to clean the kennels, the employees leave the drains open so they can just hose all the wastes down the drain.

This is extremely irresponsible, dangerous, and unacceptable. The “convenience” of being able to simply hose waste down a drain should not take precedence over the safety of the animals. By leaving the drains opened and exposed, the employees of the Lancaster Animal Shelter are endangering the lives of their shelter animals. These animals are at a great risk of crawling into the open drains where they will most likely become trapped and die.

If an animal is lucky enough to evade becoming stuck in the drain, they are able to escape through the drainage system. While it may seem that they are more fortunate than those animals that cannot escape, they too will ultimately face the same fate. The animals that escape are tossed into the desert by the drainage system where they will ultimately face death from dehydration, exhaustion, or starvation.

These tragedies can be easily prevented. Stricter safety polices must be enforced and followed at the Lancaster Animal Shelter in order to ensure that no other animal will suffer a horrible fate as a result of employee negligence. Sign the petition below to urge the director of the Los Angles Department of Animal Care and Control to enforce stricter safety policies at the Lancaster Animal Shelter.


Dear Ms. Mayeda,

It has come to my attention that one of the animal shelters in Los Angeles County has been guilty of neglecting the safety of its shelter animals. The Lancaster Animal Shelter has developed quite a nasty reputation of losing small animals in their drainage system.

The animals are lost because employees prefer to keep drains open to ease the process of waste removal. This is completely appalling and horrendous. The lives of their shelter animals should not be compromised based on the employee “convenience.”

Action must be taken immediately to ensure the safety of the shelter animals. Please enforce stricter safety policies at the Lancaster Animal Shelter to ensure that no more animals are killed by careless negligence.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Shelter Partners via Flickr

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  1. Unbelievable that they would expose these hapless animals to such a torturous and lethal hazard.

    • This is such an important statement. Cruelty seems to be on the rise and the laws are not strong enough to discourage it. People who are cruel or abusive to animals need to face stricter punishment — jail time or, in some cases, the death penalty.

  2. For every action there is a reaction. According to the law of karma, if we cause

    pain and suffering to other living beings, we must endure pain and suffering in

    return, both individually and collectively. We reap what we sow, in this life and

    the next, for nature has her own justice. No one can escape the law of karma.

  3. This is an animal SHELTER??? How about getting rid of the lazy and mean-spirited attendants and taking care of the animals! This is shameful. Too bad the place can’t be closed down, the help fired, and a better place for the helpless animals found.

  4. So-called animal “shelters” are no longer “shelters” they are clearing houses for death. Any animal dumped or trapped has a very high risk of being murders. There are only so many rescue groups willing to immediately save these animals, take them in and hopefully turn around and adopt them into loving homes. The current practice of “facilities” only keeping animals a week or less and also immediately murdering those who become sick in their facilities not due to the animals’ fault is a selfish and cruel one which needs to be changed. The whole “shelter system” in the United States needs to have reform. There should be more laws protecting the animals from abuse. The goals of the shelters should be refocused to the #1 goal of finding homes and not murdering. Animal “shelter” workers need to have a background check and recommendation letters or referrals from people who are recognized as animal protectors or advocates in order to prove they are safe to be around animals and will be kind, not cruel.

  5. Ivan D. Socher says:


  6. Wake up and do the right thing… Serve and protect these animals at all costs, not at your convenience !

  7. Elizabeth McFarland says:

    It has gotten to where way too many shelter employees are just there for a pay check, not because they really care about the animals they are responsible for CARING for. This is irresponsible, abusive and any employee that is SOOOO lazy that they do not want to clean properly, needs to not only be fired, but charged with a felony for delibertly causing the death of these animals. If I lived close to this shelter, I would be outside with a sign telling them to either fire these lazy no goods or be sued for animal abuse!!!

  8. SUE GRIFFITHS says:

    For pity sake close this hellhole down. No animal should be taken to this place. They don’t care for the animals at all, from the management to the kennel hands. This is not good enough. It must be closed down immediately.

  9. Please hold the Lancaster County Council liable and demand they take action write ea member call and express your concerns and demand they do a better job!

  10. LA 4 Animals Foundation tried to work with Marcia Mayeda- after so many said how dysfunctional her department is, and that she is a bureaucrat who just doesn’t care. I thought I’d give her a chance and wasted a year of my time. Seems to me Mayeda is someone who has fudged her way through – and kept her 200k a year job…going on her 13th year! Had there been someone in that position who truly had the skills needed, the County shelters would not be in the grim shape they are in. Marcia is a great politician, great at smoke and mirrors – but lacks the consciousness or progressive nature – which is what is required of her position. The LA County Board of Supervisors has been negligent at best – by keeping her intact, so that after all these years of underachieving, she can get her full pension. It is absurdly perverse and tragic that this abomination has been allowed to go on. join us in creating humane animal care!

  11. sandra bell says:

    This is just a job for a paycheck to most shelter employees. They are immune to the daily purposeful murder of beautiful, innocent animals, so it’s no big deal if a few bite the dust by another method. Hosing down the waste quickly and easily without having to think or care is their mode of operation. Most “shelters” in our country are cruel and deplorable. Shelter workers need to be screened, watched and then fired when they do such things.

  12. These hell-holes used to be called “impounds.” If your dog or cat was lost, you went to the ‘pound’ to find him (or her). Unfortunately, over the years, most of these hell-holes have focused more on changing their image than cleaning up their act. So now we have fancy names like “shelter” and Animal CARE and control,” while the same kind of cruel, insensitive people run them. Heaven help the rare individuals who really do care, and end up working in such places – they end up being picked on and persecuted for trying to do the right thing.

  13. I read online that the Lancaster Animal Control Shelter seized animals because it was paid to silence the alleged owner. That person has denied owning an animals but the DA says she had a moral responsibility to provide the basic necessities such as water and food. 2 testimony one from a woman who is convicted on numerous fraud charges who advertised on Craigslist as a housekeeper and a Sgt. from the Lancaster Animal Control. The convict in handcuffs testified that the alleged owner had hired and paid her $2000 to clean a property that had animals on it. She went to the Animal Control on the very first day because she says she saw animals without food or water. The alleged owner published online phone text messages from the convict and several members of her family who had repeatedly threated acts of violence and contacting animal control because they wanted more money. Animal Control Sgt. testified the cats were ill with 12 different diseases she couldn’t determine how old the 12 she examined were but that they appeared skinny. 2 expert witnesses hired by the alleged owner says that sick cats can appear skinny even if food is provided. The alleged owner provided receipts for food she bought for the animals as well as vet receipts and their reports demonstrating the animals were fed and if they needed medical attention they received it. The Sgt. testified she had destroyed the animals after having them for 3 days. Employees of this facility got in touch with the alleged owner and provided her with images of what appears to be dead dogs they claim were shot with a gun while they were in cages at their facility. Video reports of this same shelter show animals inside cages at this facility with no water and food, looking frail and when the cameraman said something to one of the staff they reacted with indifference. The hardest thing as far as working with animals … is to explain to people that, in order to prosecute someone successfully, you have to prove intent. It’s difficult to prove that someone did something intentionally to harm an animal. It’s also necessary to prove the animal has been mistreated in some way. Just because you see a skinny cat or empty bowl you can’t walk in and seize animals. In this case if we were to believe the testimony of these 2 witnesses if the Sgt. really believed the animals were in gave danger meaning being tortured and killed they had an obligation to go in at that moment and seize animals. Instead they waited a month to execute a raid, why wait so long?

    We have to tread those waters carefully, we also have to watch that, when shelters are contacted about animal cruelty, it’s not just someone being vindictive or having their own agenda.

    A humane officer also can’t march onto someone’s property and take an animal that seems to be in distress, she noted.

    The only way that can happen is if the animal is in imminent danger and on the brink of death. People have rights, and pets are considered property. We have to respect that. If the animals seized by Lancaster Animal Control were in imminent danger then why wait a month to do something?

    Issues of animal cruelty aren’t always obvious, Nields said — it’s not just someone beating an animal or keeping one in a tiny cage.

    For instance, a dog that is kept outside needs constant access to water and shelter.

    But what seems like cruelty to one person might not be cruelty under the law. We, as pet owners who love our animals unconditionally, want to give them 5-star hotel accommodations. Others just give them the minimum care — it might be all they can afford.

    We have to follow the law, not our opinions that might not be the way we would take care of an animal, but as long as it’s within the guidelines of the law, there’s not much we can do.

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