Animal Shelter

AFTER MUCH public discussion, it appears improvements are on the way for the Belmont County Animal Shelter.

It was reported at the county commissioners meeting this week that the Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio was asked to probe the conditions at the animal shelter. The task force also met with Belmont County Animal Rescue League which oversees shelter operations.

The moves look as if they will pay dividends.

The task force, noting the funding and staffing limitations at the shelter, laid out a host of recommendations, which have been receptive to BCARL.

One of the changes will be delivered by the Humane Society of the United States as it will remove enough dogs to ensure no dogs will be required to sleep outside. The transferred dogs will be placed in safe conditions.

The task force proposes:

  • The purchase of 30 elevated and insulated dog houses, built at cost by the Ohio Reformatory for Women at $50 each to house the dogs during winter while the shelter is cleaned in the morning and early afternoon.
  • The expansion of the current prison dog program. Workers would assist with cleaning kennels and provide basic animal care during the day.
  • Workshops on compassion, fatigue, burnout, customer service and electronic data management, as a review of all policies and procedures by the task force, the commissioners and BCARL.
  • The appropriation of funding for a shelter architect to design plans for better drainage, ventilation and additional rooms.

All the proposals would make for a better environment for the canines housed there. BCARL has already made an outreach to work with the local prison to provide the shelter with labor and improvements.

All work and improvements at the animal shelter must be approved by the county commissioners, since the county would pay for any upgrades. The exact price tag will not be known until an architect has put forth his package.

Having the Animal Cruelty Task Force inspect the shelter and put forth a list of recommendations is a positive step forward.

Hopefully, the ensuing steps come in timely and efficient fashion, resulting in an animal shelter that we all can take pride in.