UPDATED: Harrison Co Commissioners Defend Dog Pound

Do-it-yourself death.

Some of you may have seen news of the recent high profile, celebrity driven rescue of dogs at the Harrison Co Dog Pound in OH.  Although animal activists, including the out of state rescuers, attended the County Commissioners meeting last week, they weren’t allowed to speak because they hadn’t put in a request 9 days in advance.  The Commissioners suspended the dog warden without pay amid allegations of neglect and filthy conditions at the pound.  Although that seems to be merely political posturing:

Commissioners also defended the pound’s condition, saying it is “a dog pound, not an animal shelter.” Commissioner Mike Vinka said that he had inspected the facilities Tuesday accompanied by a veterinarian, and he found the conditions to be acceptable – by legal standards.

If that’s true, it sounds like Ohio’s legal standards for dog pounds need a massive re-write.

I contacted Robin McClelland of the Appalachian OH SPCA who is one of the activists prevented from speaking at last week’s meeting.  She says the homemade gas chamber (pictured above) still stands at the Harrison Co pound, even though it’s no longer in use:

[County Commissioner] Mike Vinka would not permit it to be dismantled.  Two Words.  Robin McClelland.  He stated it would make me happy.

Since the County Commissioners are in charge of the dog pound which continues to operate with suffering dogs trapped in its filthy outdoor pens, here’s my question:  Does anyone on the commission not hate dogs?  If so, could that person (or persons) step up and you know – do some frikkin’ thing?  These clowns sound like the worst public servants in the world.  Oh you didn’t sign up nine days in advance so you can’t speak to us.  We’re leaving our homemade gas box up next to the dog pens just to spite the annoying animal advocates who forced us to shut it down.

Attention Harrison County:  Vote these Gong Show contestants out.  Surely you don’t want your taxes used to pay the salaries of people who treat you – and your community’s pets – like dirt.  And in the meantime, get the pound moved to a clean, indoor location run by people who care about pets.

Thanks Jeanne and Clarice for links on this story.

Added: Robin McClelland got her chance to address the commission today, calling for the pound to be permanently closed.  The commission produced this press release:

27 thoughts on “UPDATED: Harrison Co Commissioners Defend Dog Pound

  1. if noting else this look like a huge health hazard to PEOPLE.. remember those old refrigerators.. where kids got locked in and died.. well this looks like an accident waiting to happen..

  2. Gee, I wonder who gets the bed right next to the box?
    I’m not a crier but this photo just makes me want to cry. Vindictive or just too damned lazy to take it down? Either way, Harrison Co. Commissioners, the world can see your handiwork now–to your eternal shame.

  3. Not only that alice… first let me say that as far as outdoor pounds go, this one doesn’t look too bad. I know, you’re all going to throttle me now, but some of them I’ve seen are basically just chain link runs (although I’ve seen little dogs fenced in with snow fencing) fed out of a cinder block building with two rooms built in the front that are insulated for the office staff and a back room, generally split into two or three that handles laundry, an exam table, an area for medications, towels, supplies, cleaning items and an area for euthanasia). The chain link is lucky if it’s fully covered by a tarp.

    The dogs appear to have igloos and Kuranda beds in a run that was at least partially covered from the elements – a run that meets my standards as far as outdoor runs go provided that the outdoor fencing is appropriate and the entire thing is kept clean (substrate outside is another issue). Yet another issue is whether there is something aside from the igloos to protect from cross wind. Generally outdoor runs are always plywood on one open side to stop the wind. Even on a chilly winters day, find a place with no wind and turn your face towards the sun and you will feel the warmth. Days like this my dogs argue over who gets to sleep on the barbeque pit (the barbeque goes away for the winter and the pit is about five feet off the ground and made from black stone).

    My next point is that this IS a pound, not a shelter. Their directive is to hold long enough for owners to reclaim lost pets, period. Harrison knows they have a pound, not a shelter, and hasn’t cared up until now. Please Harrison county, prove me wrong… come on, I double dog dare you!

    Lastly… how long has it been since that oven’s been used? October 2008, huh? And no explanation why the canisters are still there? So, we have a pound that needs funds, and usable canisters worth good money if they’re still functional (before anyone jumps at me these canisters DO have other uses) that are just sitting there rusting out. There’s also not something right about the front of that oven. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve done a lot of welding (yes, even women weld… not to terrible if I say so myself) so can I ask everyone here to poke around (my ironworking friends have all moved east or are still out in the country and not readily available) and just show them the photo of the chamber. Expand it, tell them the photo is from 2008 and explain that it is a gas chamber. Answer any questions that don’t lead to whether or not it is still in use and just see if they notice anything odd. Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree… but something seems a bit off.

    Anyways, I digress. Once again I have to repeat myself. You’re not going to find enough people in this economy in this particular area, in this state, who are going to care about the Harrison County Pound over say… jobs and budget. And don’t worry – they’ll make it about that.

    So here’s a novel idea. Let’s have Nathan Winograd or one of his people choose a new staff. I think that Best Friends, the ASPCA or the HSUS should stand up and pay for them. No extra money, just staff. Leave any current staff who is truly trying to do the best with what they have on probation. From there, fundraising like I suggested before. There are literally THOUSANDS of unemployed lighting, plumbing, contracting, carpentry, welding, roofing, equipment operators, and general laborers out of work. Have them donate their time using materials donated by local businesses.

    CHANGE THE NAME OF THE POUND a la UPAWS. Like, yesterday.

    After two years, Nathan pulls his team and by then any staff who has stayed or the replacement staff should be more than capable of continuing to solve these issues.

    My point is that this is NOT an area you’re going to get a response in regards to upkeeping a pound. Most of these animals have serious behaviour issues (they run from human contact or they are quite aggressive, both generally from lack of human exposure – even the puppies sadly) and most are breeds on the “black list” in that area – pitties, rotts, chows and the like. Even the puppies are nasty or fearful, most never having seen a human before. Another good chunk are hunting dogs. If the dog is dumb enough to get lost, and not one of the pack owner’s favourite’s, it’s unlikely he’ll look for the dog. Not much of a pack hunter if he can’t stay on the trail, let alone with the pack. The rest are sad stories of neglect, abuse, and death – where beloved pets end up at the pound.

    I called one of these people once to get a fuller medical history on a dog we had concerns about transporting. When I expressed condolences about the loss of his family member and how hard it must have been to let her beloved pet go, he talked to me as if I suggest I keep his crazy aunt’s giraffe around she died simply because she liked it.

    You know, in California right now they are euthanizing record numbers of chihuahuas. CHIHUAHUAs. Ten, fifteen years ago, you just didn’t see these guys in rescue aside from serious medical/behavioural concerns or death – because someone would always take them. Here I sit with one at my feet, after being dumped at the side of the road in the city (our AC charges a dump fee) and rescued by a passerby.

    My whole point (admit it! you didn’t think there was one!) is that in this particular situation, at this time, in this case… we can’t just go for the gusto and have it work out like it has before. We usually go right for the jugular. This time we need to go right for the HEART. We need to take back control of the Harrison County Pound. Yes, an increase will be required – but I believe after an initial small investment (most of the money – and this is not a lot of money needed if we work with what we have – will need to come first from those who claim every day to do JUST THIS – save animals in need) the increase in overall costs to run the program will be minimal. In some situations it has even gone down.

    Better yet – kill rates will go down, adoption rates will come up. By building a proper area where people don’t feel dirty simply pulling in the driveway, and doing the thousand tiny little things that will solve this problem by thinking WAY outside the box, not only by catching the attention of the local news (which civil revolt always does – although PLEASE change the name LONG before this happens) you can count on increased adoptions.

    Who knows – in a few years, they could be one of those mystical “No-Kill” communities. With (GASP!) the result being a reduction in both killing AND government’s wasteful spending! Could it be!

    Yes. Yes we could.

    1. Actually when all the dogs in this pound were rescued recently (via “celebrity rescue” aided by facebook) they were just typical shelter pups and all the healthy ones got adopted locally (at least one was diagnosed with parvo so not immediately available for adoption). They weren’t vicious or
      unsocialized or otherwise unadoptable. I’m assuming that lot was probably pretty typical.

      An effort is already underway to get the pound out from under county gov. and build a real shelter. Here’s a link to a news story with more info–


      Photo of gas chamber makes me want to cry; idea of HSUS or Best Friends paying for staff in Harrison Co. makes me want to laugh.


      1. They need to tear down that disgusting gas chamber! Looks like Aushwitz for animals! Why do they refuse to tear it down?

  4. Those nuts in CA could sell the Chihuahuas that aren’t sick or something! People will buy them. It would ease some of the taxpayer burden because people from TX will take them too! Why doesn’t someone suggest that to them? They could raise money selling those dogs!

  5. Now i ashamed of living in this state!!!! Dogs can actually see other dogs going in and screaming for their lives??? God you people stupid and the most uncaring pieces of you know what i EVER heard of!!!! Hope one of your little kids not wonder into that box!! Right out where the public walks threw to by the looks of it! You people damn proud of being german under hitler or some thing??? I hate ya!


  7. Hi Kim, I agree with much of what you say. However
    “You’re not going to find enough people in this economy in this particular area, in this state, who are going to care about the Harrison County Pound ” is just plain wrong. The public does care about animals, its just that we are kept ignorant. Expose this mess and the locals will respond. It has nothing to do with the area or economics.

    1. I hope you’re right, Garry, but this is an area where the most common form of euthanasia is death by bullet. I’ve worked rescue in this area for almost five years and while I have to say this – the most dedicated rescuers I have ever met so far come out of Ohio, so do some of the worst neglect cases. And I don’t just mean ignorance, I mean the people who just don’t give a damn.

      Fortunately, I’ve seen that pioneering, outside-the-box Get’R Done spirit that true Ohio rescuers have, and I’m telling you it takes one or two people with superhuman dedication to put together a small army of volunteers to recruit (how about finding out if there are any corrections facilities in the area?) both workers and business donations. And I mean BIG business donations. Let’s start with the local guys, and move up to the big box stores. It’s not a tax write off, but oh, the free publicity! The sign they’ll put up in the lumber yard’s honour after they supply all building tools for an indoor shelter area?

      Find a local college class who can design it for free for credit. A local large equipment rental (these machines need to be used with some frequency, and judging by the employment and the new home rate, they’re not) can dig the base, etc, etc.

      If the community is going to get involved as you think they will, I think it’s even more likely once Harris Co renames itself and shows some progress. Right now all we have is a photo of a death box. Not very inspiring. And once again, where is HSUS? BFAS? ASPCA? A mere $10,000 from each of these organizations would be more than enough to cover any left over expenses or emergencies.

      And it would give something to Harris county to CHEER about. Look what we achieved! What can we do next?! To go from outdoor runs only and very poor conditions to an honest to goodness shelter that saves more lives than it ends – with the effort of becoming no kill. Becoming a community shelter, not the “Harrison County Dog Pound”. I type that and I don’t even want to go there.

      Has anyone here posted from Harrison? Is there anyone who knows of a rescue willing to take on this mammoth and (for a long time) thankless task? Speak up!

      1. I have read from commenters on the local paper’s website that in fact a building was offered to the county as a shelter but the commissioners declined because they didn’t want to pay to heat the place, (I don’t know if that’s accurate of course.)

      2. come on yesbiscuit throw enough money at them some of it will trickle down to the dogs.

        maybe buy each of the public servants a house.

        time to get creative!

      3. Looks like the plaintiffs have turned up the heat instead. Excellent. I wish them every success with their lawsuit.

  8. What strikes me as so unconscionable is the commissoners’ statement at the end of this article above: instead of sitting down with the concerned citizens these very typical government officials force the advocates to launch a lawsuit. OMG, the absolute defiance and arrogance of them!

    This lawsuit asks the county to do little more than what any decent government should do. Imagine the arrogance of officials like this who claim they’re doing their best? Makes me want to vomit.

    For more of the story go here = http://tinyurl.com/33n9pws

    To Ohio animal lovers: I was encouraged to submit my application for a job as a shelter director in a nearby county. After reading that they still use the 1800s term “dog warden” I wouldn’t even think of giving this backwards state the benefit of my 50 years’ of knowledge and experience. What an utter waste of talent and creativity! Ohio ranks right down at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to animal welfare, especially with companion animals. It, and a few southern states, is the “Siberia” of animal welfare in this country.

    Ohio citizens, you need to stand up and support the SPCA’s lawsuit. Help them to smash these county commissioners right in the face with your fists (figuratively speaking). They don’t need waking up, they need hearts and they desperately need to be replaced. The lawsuit might force some change. I encourage everyone there to stay the course. Maybe someday creative people will want to work there and not waste their talents…

    Here’s my approach that far surpasses even the “No-Kill Equation” approach = http://tinyurl.com/37mxasv Enjoy!

    1. “Ohio ranks right down at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to animal welfare, especially with companion animals. It, and a few southern states, is the “Siberia” of animal welfare in this country.”

      Yes, in some places it does. In others, like in Cuyahoga County, they’ve built an amazing facility and an even more amazing program to go along with it. I hate to point all of Ohio with the same brush.

      However, this is what I’ve been trying to describe. They are not directors, they are wardens, they are not shelters, they are pounds. We’re dealing with a very different environment than most of us are used to.

      As the protesters are proving – I was also correct in that some of the most dedicated rescuers are also located in Ohio, although I think their dedication comes out of necessity – that’s simply what’s required to keep going when you do rescue in some areas of this state. It seems to turn them into supermen-and-women and I don’t doubt they are capable of ANYTHING after some of the things I’ve seen them achieve.

      I wish the best of luck to those pushing the lawsuit – is this a pro bono job or are legal funds needed, and if possible, could someone get the information to Shirley? I’m sure she wouldn’t mind posting that information so that those of outside the area could do our part.

      And I ask again. Where is the HSUS? The ASPCA?

  9. @Kim
    For someone with so much to say, you certainly are more than a little out of touch with this particular situation, and the state of Ohio especially for someone heavily involved in rescue there? And your statements regarding Ohio’s euthanasia methods; first off many still primarily gas and heart stick. Bullets, perhaps in some of the more remote ‘DELIVERANCE’ areas, but no…their intelligence level can’t be entrusted with firearms considering the mentality employed in the majority of these ‘pounds.’ While many of your ideas are great – windbag ideas and have daydreaming potential, again I suggest you become a little more familiarized with the liklihood of such programs filtering on down to these towns of hickdom. HSUS and ASPCA, Nathan Winograd, Best Friends? Somebody’s been watching a little too much TV. This is not an Animal Planet and or Animal Cop reality show in the making. You said: “Most of these animals have serious behaviour issues (they run from human contact or they are quite aggressive, both generally from lack of human exposure – even the puppies sadly) and most are breeds on the “black list” in that area – pitties, rotts, chows and the like. Even the puppies are nasty or fearful, most never having seen a human before.” Again…get a little more educated before making such ignorant and generalized statements. ALL of the dogs at the Harrison County Pound recent rescue were hardly social misfits and were all adopted. Ohio is at the bottom of the barrel for animal welfare laws. This state is lost in the Bermuda Triangle or the Twilight Zone because nothing makes sense as to why it’s still in existance on our country’s map. Another thing you said: “let me say that as far as outdoor pounds go, this one doesn’t look too bad.” I’m going to suggest that you are in a whole other world not only in some of your comments but this one most of all. Any tax-funded animal control facility existing in such sub-standard construction needs to be demo’d following this one first on the list. It’s criminal not to mention a public health hazard to have them operating in any of our states of a supposedly progressive Nation.

    1. First, you misread my comment about the bullets. The most common form of euthanasia happens in the woods, with a bullet – and NOT with an ACO at the trigger. I’m fully aware of how dogs are euthanized by ACOs in this state. I was referring to the reality faced by the dogs that don’t even get a chance to get to the pound.


      “ALL of the dogs at the Harrison County Pound recent rescue were hardly social misfits and were all adopted.”

      They were very lucky, and there are areas that I pull from that have a very high incidence of adoptable intakes. However, in the worst areas we traveled to, which generally included the areas with outdoor enclosures and more deer than people, this was my experience. You’re free to deny it, but this was my experience. We picked the ones that we felt were on the edge – not capable of being directly adopted but certainly not lost causes, and “those ones.” You know, “those ones” like puppies – we generally don’t take puppies because there are local rescues in that area that will. We generally don’t take severe medical cases or sanctuary cases because the longer one stays the more we have to pass by.

      Wow, to imagine a difference from one area of a state to another – especially a state like Ohio. Impossible, right?

      You quoted me clearly, and I appreciate that, and I stand by my original statement. Given that one single photo, I can see no open exposed areas, raised dog sleeping areas and warm den areas provided – this is something that a lot of top SPCAs don’t even provide their dogs, instead throwing them a towel or a rug.

      Did I condone it? No, I did not. However, I did say that as outdoor only kennels go, it didn’t look horrible. I expected something very poorly constructed and falling over like I normally see, and instead saw an actual outbuilding which seems well maintained and a run that seemed well prepped.

      Where the problem lies is people like yourself make comments like this “While many of your ideas are great – windbag ideas and have daydreaming potential, again I suggest you become a little more familiarized with the liklihood of such programs filtering on down to these towns of hickdom” and then whine and bitch and stomp their little feet and complain that the yokels aren’t playin’ nice.

      This is why I refuse to name shelters with outdoor only facilities. Because the people who work there day in and day out to keep their kill level of adoptable animals at an insanely low level by pure blood, sweat, tears and pleading to others who understood get treated like crap by people like you who aren’t there every day having to make the choice. Do you sit on your ass and collect your paycheck, or do you use your own camera to take photos, get to know each animal, post individual profiles on the internet and put in another six hours online after work emailing and facebooking and twittering and trying to arrange adoption, rescue and transport of each one of these precious lives.

      Yes, they can’t save them all, but they work like they can, whether their cages are outdoor only, or almost worse – concrete, indoor, and crowded, meaning freezing wet dogs on concrete floors for hours while kennels are sprayed out with dogs in them. In some pounds, the little dogs are actually kept in puppy mill pens – the only differences is there is a layer of newspaper in between the cages to prevent the crap flowing down, for lack of a better word.

      They know they are living an uphill battle with no end in sight. They don’t go to council because it’s held by local cronies who don’t give a damn, and frankly might cause trouble if they start rocking the boat. And so the underground railroad of dogs began. State to state. Those of us who had hounds traded for labs. Chihuahua’s traded to the north for “exotic” Catahoula (which is now why anything shorthair and merle is a Catahoula, but, hey, whatever ;O).

      You can rail against my years of reality in Ohio versus one single situation, you can laugh at my optimism for not only rural Ohio but also the rest of North America, and you can blast me to death for patting ANY pound or shelter worker ANYWHERE who does ANYTHING to reduce their kill rates and promote their animals, including calling me any name in the book.

      None of it is going to change the reality of what is, and what needs to be done.

      1. “None of it is going to change the reality of what is, and what needs to be done.”

        Based on your comments on several posts over several weeks, I think your version of reality is quite unique.

      2. You’re entitled to your opinion. But what I see going on here is a lot of personal attack and not a lot of response to actual issues.

        Shelley once again you go back to one particular pound in one particular county.

        Want to know what’s worse? How many of these “Bella”s remain unknown, remain a victim of the system, and never get a chance at… well, anything that even approaches a life.

        But I’m not going to apologize for my previous posts – none of them apply to the story you posted, incidentally.

        You don’t like the Ohio laws, then fight to change them.

        In the meantime, every single shelter/pound worker can improve their own little corner of the state in a thousand ways – some of the pounds that I know in Ohio have done little or nothing and it’s been the private rescuers who have tiptoed on eggshells to work out an agreeable proposal for everyone involved that will reduce kill rates of adoptable animals. Yet still they do it.

        Others have been a purely internal effort, slowly gaining momentum from outside organizations and they have managed to reduce their kill rate of adoptable animals to levels that would shame some large city animal control facilities.

        You still have yet to do anything aside from point to specific abuse cases, insult the local people (curious how you’re going to reduce kill rates when you refer to the very people who are going to save these animals as “the towns of hickdom” – great people skills, btw, not that we’re not used to seeing that “Blame The Public” line everywhere we look) and request the positions terminated and the buildings demolished.

        You have yet to offer any suggestions regarding how to IMPROVE the situation in this county (or should we just ship all animals out of “hickdom” because they don’t stand a chance anyways).

        Let me say this – we are in agreement with Bella’s story. It is horrific, awful, disgusting, and was 100% preventable. But it has nothing to do with an open air shelter. You’ll also find that Dog Wardens have little to nothing to do with actual care and promotion of the dogs in the pound. Not to say that the Wardens shouldn’t be given a chance to come around as well. Some of my most impressive and vocal supporters were former operators of the “old school” way of doing things.

        And @Erich, if you have something to say, say it. Hiding behind snide remarks is beneath you, rude and certainly inappropriate given the current subject matter. How about offering some suggestions for improving the situation? Ways that the workers, or outside rescues can build local support for the pound or any other potential improvements that can be made in the meantime, in the near future, or in years to come.

        When I look at those photos of Bella, they make me cry. Going to these pounds in Ohio I always waited until I was outside to cry not to upset the dogs, but cry I did. I understand your passion, and your anger, and your frustration with the current system on so many levels you want to pull out your hair – I get it!

        But both you and Shelley need to focus on how to turn this around – how to make things better. We need to FIX this, not take away their ONLY place to go. And I don’t just mean the Harrison pound, I mean every “pound”, period, and every shelter that doesn’t work day in and day out with any goal that is not ultimately focused on one thing – reducing kill rates, period.

        And Shelley, you can call me “head in the clouds” and you can refer to the locals as living in “hickdom” till the cows come home, but it’s not going to negate the fact that we’ve had success, or at least as much success as one could expect under current law, using these pie in the sky methods.

        When I first posted, I tried to explain that this needed to be approached delicately because Ohio was a bit… different than other states in the field of rescue. I was mocked. Now I’m being told that Ohio is so different, so filled with “hicks”, that we shouldn’t even bother trying to get these people to understand because clearly their peanut brains are not capable of such a reach.

        Listen, I realize that all three of us want the same thing – safe dogs in Ohio. Always. But until recommendations beyond “tear it all down” and putting dogs with unknown behavioural or medical histories directly into homes that potentially contain other dogs, cats, or even tiny children is extremely risky. Fosters must be professionals and (hopefully) understand what they’re getting their family in to.

        As rescuers know, true temperament doesn’t come out until the dog fully settles in – this can be a few days to a few months. (One of the many reasons I hate SAFER tests so much).

        Not only that, but what happens if there’s a mishap? What about an accident? Worse yet, a tragedy? The program could be scrapped at a moment’s notice, and guess where all those dogs go – surely not to the kennels you tore down… you tore them down! You now have an emergency that involves not only a handful of dogs from a pound that stepped over the line, but potentially hundreds of dogs who are wards of the state and now have no where to go with fosters being out of the question.

        What I’m saying is, respond to the issue, or don’t respond at all. And don’t get offended if I find an issue with your response – last I checked that was the whole point of this comments board. It’s nothing personal, and I’m sure that both of you are lovely people in real life – but calling me names or insinuating negative things about me instead of attacking the dogs only hurts the dogs.

        After 12 years, I have WAY thicker skin than that. ;O)

      3. that should read “attacking the *problem*”, NOT “attacking the dogs.”

        Long morning – trying to arrange a transport, deal with a recent special needs rescue and write a training plan for a food aggressive dog all at once.

        Lesson learned. ;O)

      4. Kim, I think you are a nasty person full of hot air.

        You babble on about how all these dogs are Cujo’s cousins and apparently that is a flat out lie based on nothing.

        You babble on about how great an open air shelter can be but can not provide a single example.

        Stop demanding people debate you when you have NOTHING useful, or even factual, to add.

      5. @Erich

        “Kim, I think you are a nasty person full of hot air.”

        This is exactly what I’m talking about. Here we are, with you accusing me of being “nasty” and yet I’ve kept (or attempted to keep) my tone as level as possible. You’re welcome to think what you want about me, but it doesn’t change the years of experience I have in this area. And yes, how nasty of me to befriend some of these pounds for the sole purpose of saving lives. How nasty to suggest actual solutions! Or to defend them!

        “You babble on about how all these dogs are Cujo’s cousins and apparently that is a flat out lie based on nothing.”

        Ok, the idea that I “babbled on” is probably one that I might be able to give you – but after living rescue for as many years as I have, and being as passionate as I am about it, forgive me if in the big picture I get a little “babble-y” every now and then. There’s a lot to be said, and I’ll admit that fly-by-night, offer no solutions and take-strikes-at-others type posts are not really my thing.

        I never referred to the dogs as “Cujo-like” I described dogs who were *severely* undersocialized. In the areas we visited, any dog over 20lbs was an “outdoor dog” and it’s quite common to have a dog who literally has never seen anything past his sixth or seventh week of life outside of his own yard and tether. Usually the same person or persons feed and/or water him/her if they remember, and when they get bored of that, tired of the expense or the barking (or a myriad other reasons) they take them to the pound.

        I clearly said that we were taking these dogs and rehabilitating them, but their socialization skills overall are simply nonexistent. What I described were dogs who were all either shut down, terrified, or aggressive. Aggression is generally an expression of anxiety, and sure, after a few weeks of work most of these dogs can be made safe.

        My issue was that a totally shelter free environment was suggested, and in an open door pound/warden situation, this simply isn’t a feasible solution.

        “You babble on about how great an open air shelter can be but can not provide a single example.”

        I clearly explained my reasons for not wanting to point out shelters that I worked with that happened to be open air due to the venom behind who I was conversing with. You have re-illustrated this fact. There was a post here from someone naming an outdoor pound, and for some reason it seems to have disappeared (or it could be an another thread, this really isn’t worth spending research time on). My point was that SOME facility is better than NO facility at all, and while I am in utter disagreement with how dogs and funds are both handled at this pound and still can’t figure out why they can’t get the city to accept a building – as far as outbuildings go, as I stated it’s not the worst I’ve seen. Never said it was great, never sang its praises… only said that the structure looked well built (soundest looking outdoor only structure I’ve seen, frankly – why they can’t afford fencing is beyond me) and that these dogs have access to both houses and beds – again, something most SPCA dogs aren’t privy to.

        Last time I checked pointing out something GOOD that they have done is far from considered a full and glowing endorsement.

        “Stop demanding people debate you when you have NOTHING useful, or even factual, to add.”

        I only request that people debate the reality of the situation and potential solutions instead of slinging mud at each other when (I hope) we all have the same ultimate goal – more lives saved in the most humane manner possible.

        Why I responded to *your* posts at all is a mystery – clearly I have too much time on my hands – but you also stated this:

        “come on yesbiscuit throw enough money at them some of it will trickle down to the dogs.

        maybe buy each of the public servants a house.

        time to get creative!”

        Since you haven’t presented a single solution, or even been involved in this discussion, the only hot air seems to be coming from your general direction. Not only that, your sarcasm and general poor attitude serves only to bring people down, which is generally not the best way to motivate.

        So take your trolling comments somewhere else, this is where I end my discussion with you. I was going to say “where we end our discussion” but that would have required discussion on your part, and where I come from snide remarks and name calling do not a “discussion” make.

        Other than that, all I have to say is Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  10. @Kim–I truly appreciate your words and energy in sharing them and while much of what you say has merit, sadly, many of us on a daily basis consistently fight an uphill battle in situations such as these.

    I will agree with you on this statement, “They know they are living an uphill battle with no end in sight. They don’t go to council because it’s held by local cronies who don’t give a damn, and frankly might cause trouble if they start rocking the boat.”

    Indeed and we have dictatorship of rule alive and well in many of these small pea towns that get away with bullying the general public and tax-paying citizens. It reminds me of junior high bullying on a grown up level of a game “Rule your own town,” with innocent lives at stake.

    Prosecutor: Did a black female Labrador Retriever (Bella) wearing a dark brown leather collar have to be carried into the Harrison County Dog Pound by the dog Warden on Thursday afternoon on August 28th 2008?

    Witness: Yes, by Warden ——–.

    Prosecutor: And could this dog (Bella) walk?

    Witness: No..she could not.

    Prosecutor: Did she appear injured?

    Witness: Why, yes, she did. She was emaciated, obviously injured since she couldn’t walk, was whimpering, had patches of fur of missing, her right eye was either missing or so infected she couldn’t open it. She was in bad shape.

    Prosecutor: Did the Warden take this dog to a veterinarian since she was obviously suffering and in bad shape needing medical assistance, if not to help her then at the very least to have her humanely euthanized if unable to relieve her suffering?

    Witness: That’s a negative.

    Prosecutor: Well, what did the Warden do?

    Witness: Well, nothing, he put her in a dog house that was caked in dog feces, unknown if it belonged to Bella or a previous dog(s)….Oh..wait…he did do one other thing…

    Prosecutor: Yes?

    Witness: He DID take her picture that Thursday when she was first brought in at her suffering in that filthy dog house of her covered in feces. She had it on the bottom half of her face too. She must have struggled to move or get up but was unable to and her head just laid in it because it looked like the loose feces on the end of her muzzle. That picture of Bella and all the other dogs at the shelter were posted to PetFinder late Sunday evening. And, that’s when someone noted the horrible condition of Bella in this picture.

    Prosecutor: So let’s recount this…shall we? Bella came in on Thursday…the Warden reportedly found her lying in a field unable to get up. He had to carry her into the County pound because she couldn’t walk. He left her there at the pound to lay in her own feces all weekend long, where she undoubtedly suffered in pain and misery, obviously couldn’t move, possibly had one eye missing, and by the looks of this photo needed some dire medical assistance but the Warden didn’t seek any for this dog. Instead, he took her photo that Thursday when she arrived and then just left her there to suffer and die?

    Witness: Yes, by the time someone saw that alarming picture of her…it was too late. On Monday, she was found dead in that filthy dog house. Poor dog had tried to drag herself out of it..and managed to only halfway but could get no further.

    Prosecutor: So it appears the Warden and the Harrison County Pound helped to document a crime of criminal negligence for all the world to see. Did this terrible tragedy and incident serve as a catalyst for change to this pound?

    Witness: No, the abuse would go on for 2 more years, with more deaths due to the neglectful conditions, staff, and management at the Harrison County Pound administered by (3) Harrison County Board of Commissioners.

    Prosecutor: No further questions…your Honor.

    What you have just read is a documented occurrence of just one dog and one life brutally taken at just one point in time by the criminal actions of the Harrison County Pound. However, this ‘mock trial’ and testimony has yet to take place. This envisioned legal retribution is not just for a dog named “Bella” but for every dog that has died at this county government’s hands. The legal names of the individuals in the above tragic story have been omitted as well as some minor details due to ongoing legalities and I have taken the liberty in streamlining the course of events for easier reading comprehension.

    Bella’s photo is not only a silent and documented witness to her degradation and inhumanity in all that she suffered, but also is her personal and untold story if one can bear to look closely at the finer details. It’s highly possible she was a purebred Labrador Retriever which undoubtedly at one time was a very robust and healthy dog. She was wearing a very expensive leather collar that at one point probably had tags of her ownership. If you ever had the privilege of loving a Labrador Retriever as I do…you might know of a Lab’s ‘wayward tendencies,’ and perhaps you can understand the high probability that this was one very lost but very loved dog by someone…somewhere. We will never know how or why Bella’s life took such a tragic turn. Not only in the hardship she endured before being found lying in an empty field and to her further victimization in no mercy given to her when it was needed most…but in the saddest part of all is the story of her beginning that will always remain untold.

    For those unsure as to what took place, I invite you to stare into the face of this dog where you will very simply and plainly see the sad reality of the ‘truth’ staring back at you.

    To learn more: http://justiceforbella.webs.com

    Have a safe and happy holiday and thank you for sharing.

    1. Shelley, unfortunately I’ve witnessed similar situations myself, although not to this level of sheer indifference, at least by a warden who had been charged with their protection.

      Thanks for the link – I’ll spread it forward.

    *Get a life people
    You have been nothing but a trouble maker who likes to spread lies..Everything I do here is posted on our page..can you read?? You are just angry because we don’t want or need you.
    By the way..way to go having someone call here pretending to be the Dept of Agriculture. We have been taking dogs across statelines for months and we are not as dumb as you think..they have certificates. I dont’ have time for your nonsense any longer and lose my email.
    I don’t want to ever hear from you again and you need not worry about what I do at this pound.
    I am the Warden and I have the last say here! You activist need to focus on something besides my pound!
    I have enough people posting and helping with MY dogs Margaret…find another pound to harass and leave me alone.
    If you continue to do this I will take legal action against you. I will not tolerate it any longer!* ** *Tina DeWalt* *HARRISON COUNTY DOG WARDEn

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