Animal Shelter

Dear Editor,

I would like to share my experiences of volunteering at the Belmont County Animal Shelter for one week with you and your readers.

Day one: A woman informed the shelter that she hired a lawyer and was suing the shelter for not returning her dog to her. She did call the shelter when the dog first ran away, but it was not there. In the meantime, it did find it’s way to the shelter. It was there for 62 days. For two months no one had time to bring a picture of the dog to the shelter or look around the compound to see if it had arrived. No one purchased a license or rabbi tag for any of the dogs “owned” by the family. It has since found a good home and I pray it can stay there!!

Day two: The humane officer brought in a goat that had hooves so long and curled up that they looked like four nautical shells. He was in very bad shape, but the owner “loved” him and did not want to give him up.more lawyers.

Day three: Now the humane officer has arrived with a pot bellied pig and two pit bulls that were abandoned when the owner decided to move to another locationmore farm animals for which the shelter is not equipped.

Day four: An 11 year old lab walked over a mile to the center of a town where he collapsed on the street. His back leg was broken. I volunteered to take him to the Vet. The shelter was informed by the Vet that his leg had been severely crushed for at least two months. When the owners were found, they told the shelter director that they had “stitched” the broken leg by their selves and were doing physical therapy on it everyday. OMG Can you imagine the pain that dog endured? He now has to have his leg amputated. They owners do not want this done and of course, they want him back!!

Day five: A woman brought her six year old child to the shelter and allowed him to run around the compound, which holds 60 or more dogs, while they are eating. The child ran up to a dog and grabbed it around the neck. Yes, unfortunately, the dog bit him. Of course, she is also going to sue the shelter!

Day six: I’m pulling weeds and mulching and watching the shelter employees, who earn minimum wage, clean up poop and vomit. The Humane Officer and the Dog Warden are going to consult with the assistant prosecuting attorney because the case of the Four Paws disaster is not yet settled. More lawyers, more time and money wasted. Are you starting to get the picture?

All of these situations have made it more difficult for animals at the shelter to get adopted because they are now not allowed to attend adoption days. I am ashamed to say that Ohio is a state that has the most unfriendly animal rights laws. It would be refreshing if our lawyers, county and state officials would help correct these laws instead of making it worse for these helpless animals.

Day seven: You guessed it. I’m not going to make it because what I really want to do is go buy a taser gun and zap anyone who is remotely thinking about abusing an animal. For most of the time, I will return to fundraising. I hope when those of you that are animal lovers see me “with a can in my hand” you will make a donation or buy some dog biscuits.


Candace Fleagane