OH Dog Warden Charged with Animal Cruelty

The dog warden from Pike Co Ohio, Randy Mustard, has been suspended from his job after being charged with 11 counts of animal cruelty.  A couple was at the pound looking for a dog on Tuesday when they heard whimpering coming from a trash bag.  The dog warden was apparently not there and the only employee was a recent hire with no training.  The couple called the sheriff’s office and Major Jeremy Masters responded to the scene.

At the pound, Major Masters opened the bag to find a dead mama dog and 11 newborn puppies – 10 of which were still alive:

The [employee] allegedly told Masters the mother dog had died and Mustard told him to “bag them up” and throw them out, including the puppies. He alleged Mustard never administered a lethal injection to euthanize the puppies, Masters said.

Mr. Mustard contends that he examined the puppies on Tuesday – one day after the family was turned in as strays – determined they would not survive and administered fatal injections to each puppy.  He says he instructed the employee – the one with no training – to monitor them and after verifying death, to place them in a trash bag.

After Major Masters arrived, Mr. Mustard says he sent the employee home for violating his orders and placed the live puppies into a cage where they quickly died.

Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk said his office does not believe Mustard’s version and that the employee is not a suspect.

All 11 cruelty charges are misdemeanors.

9 thoughts on “OH Dog Warden Charged with Animal Cruelty

  1. I wonder if heartstick was used to kill the puppies and that’s why they did not die immediately, or did they die from being separated from their mother and placed outside in the cold. It sounds like the new hire has no common sense or compassion, and should be fired along with the dog warden.

    1. We are taught from birth that when an authority figure says “jump”, we respond “how high?” so I can understand this guy following the experienced dog warden’s orders, perhaps believing this is standard practice and somehow “humane”. On the other hand, while I can understand someone doing it, I can see myself – and many others – saying “No way” if told to bag up a live litter and put them out in the cold to be taken to the landfill. My hope is that, with more exposure of stories like this and more public awareness about no kill, more people will be inclined to buck the system when it comes to pounds harming pets.

      1. I read some of the comments in the article and had to respond with the No Kill suggestions…especially as there was a person that said it was sick that any dog had to be injected to die. Hoping it will reach just ONE person…..

    2. I don’t believe Pike County uses heartstick…or at least they did NOT when I was there last a few years ago. They did use Fatal Plus at that time and since it’s the same warden I am going to hazard a guess that they are still doing Fatal Plus. But don’t etch it in stone!

      I think the biggest issue with the pups is the mom was in VERY poor health – nothing appears to have been done for her, but again I haven’t seen records just going by “word of mouth” on this right now. She was at least allowed to have the litter and died not long after. I believe the pups died because the damn warden stuck them in a cage with alone and if I had to hazard a guess they probably died because there wasn’t someone feeding them and caring for them – like a foster/rescue would have done. But again – this is based on what I have seen & word of mouth from others that have been there.

  2. My BIGGEST issue with this is that there was a gentleman that was hired to work at the pound – and he had NO training! Not only that – but the warden had the “day off” and the ONLY employee there was this gentleman with NO training trying to handle things at the pound. Just doesn’t ‘sound’ right to me! With NO training how is he supposed to determine if the pups were in deed dead or not. BUT – honestly I don’t think the warden DID give them a shot of Fatal Plus…or anything else for that matter.

    He was hired through a program from Job & Family Services (welfare) and due to this (been there & done that) they put all these stupid stipulations into work when you go through that program to get a job – like you have to do your job because if you lose your job over NOT doing it then you will lose precious benefits from the program – they provide food stamps, health insurance & assistance checks – which I am sure he needed for his family. So having been through this myself I KNOW that if you get fired for refusing to do your job then you lose your benefits, at least until you find another job – which isn’t very easy to do right now.

    I DO know that not I , or anyone I know in dog rescue got (or knew of) a call being placed for ANYONE to help with the pups. And that is AFTER the mom died, or after Mustard got called in on his day off and just stuck them in a cage…essentially to die. Mustard is not stupid – he knew they wouldn’t make it. He could have done a million things right then and there to save their lives – he chosen the idiot path and just shoved them in a cage.

    While I do not have stats on Pike Co. I know they ‘try’ to help as many dogs as possible – they DO work with rescues….and the article says that they don’t have a “euthanasia” day – but Pike DEFINITELY churns out a LOT of “urgent” requests. While the article states that (according to Mustard) he’s only put down ‘about’ 50 dogs…I have to believe that with him being there for a good amount of time and knowing how other county shelters operate in OH that this number is really low. So low – that I HIGHLY doubt it is true.

    How do I go about filling the FOIA paperwork to find this stuff out at the pound in Pike???? I’m not familliar with the method as the local pound I DO know more about has all the info online where I can find it – not so with Pike County!

  3. Why didn’t the people who were there looking for a pet seize the pups and say “over our dead bodies”????? This is akin to those who film a brutal crime on their cell phones, but never intercede on behalf of the victim(s). What is wrong with people? Fear of “authority”?? Bullshit. When faced with Hitler and his minions, it is always a ‘do or die’ situation. Many of my fellow human beings disappoint me.

  4. ANOTHER fine example of the types who has ran “shelters” across America for far too long. The information surfacing on these people & “Humane” groups is now finally being circulated, with the help of Yesbiscuit!, Facebook & many dedicated rescue people. These folks with no heart or souls will be exposed & hopefully harassed out of the business. It just doesn’t happen fast enough for me.

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