Animal Shelter

THE SQUEAKY wheel gets the grease. It appears that adage can be applied to a situation at the Belmont County Animal Shelter.

For months, conditions at the shelter came under much scrutiny and often-times heated debate. Those issues eventually fell into the collective laps of the county commissioners.

It now appears with hands-on supervision and improved communication, much of the controversy has since subsided.

New dog houses are on their way to the Belmont County Animal Shelter and other improvements are more likely to take place there in the not-so-distant future.

Commissioners gave thumbs up to the construction of 25 dog houses for the shelter by students at the Belmont Career Center. The first 10 are scheduled to arrive this week.

Moreover, dog adoptions are on the rise while more volunteers are giving their time to helping at the shelter. We hope both trends continue.

The current situation is a far cry from late last year when the Belmont County Animal Rescue League – the organization contracted to operate the shelter – came under fire after a former BCARL board member raised questions about the workings at the center.

The Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio entered the picture in late December. It recommended that 30 elevated and insulated dog houses be built and purchased for the shelter.

One more piece needs to be seamlessly added to continue things heading in the right direction. The former shelter manager has retired and commissioners are seeking to hire a dog warden to fill that void.

That selection is critical to keeping the shelter heading in the right direction. Adept leadership has helped quell complaints and deliver better conditions and treatment for the canines.

We have faith the commissioners will make the right call when hiring a dog warden.

Commissioners are also seeking to enter into a new, updated and more concise contract with BCARL, one that will make both entities more responsive to the public we serve and most importantly, to ultimately help the pet adoptions at the shelter.

What once was a lightning rod for controversy has been transformed into a facility with a new lease on life.