Enabling Shelter Pet Suffering: A How-To Guide from Lawrence Co

Screengrab taken from a blog allegedly depicting a sick dog at the Lawrence Co pound in Ohio.
Screengrab taken from a blog allegedly depicting a sick dog at the Lawrence Co pound in Ohio.

This dog reportedly died in his cage, never receiving vet care or even having water in his bowl. Read how the “Friends” of the Lawrence Co pound attack the photographer and enable the neglect and suffering at the facility.

It sounds like the pets at the Lawrence Co pound need some friends in their corner, advocating for their rights, not covering up the abuse.

26 thoughts on “Enabling Shelter Pet Suffering: A How-To Guide from Lawrence Co

  1. It IS an ongoing issue that “shelters” force the silence of many of their volunteers (and “friend groups”) by threatening those people– that they won’t be allowed to volunteer, or network or work with rescues, so more pets will die. When those kinds of “shelters” claim they “don’t want to kill”, they are lying.

    1. Someone in Lawrence Co needs to stand up and loudly reject and condemn the county’s “We’ll let you save a few if you promise not to tell the public what we do with the rest” crumbs. Until that happens, the suffering will continue.

  2. if these shelter people spent the time cleaning and feeding and watering that they spend on harrassing caring people who want to right the things that are done wrong, then there would be much fewer wrongs that need fixing.

    1. Time and effort are two different things. Harassing and covering up are a lot easier than working. As Yesbiscuit noted not long ago on a job posting the salaries offered may not always attract the best and brightest talent. The only solution is going to be nokill private non-profit/public partnerships and even then it takes a heap of oversight to keep people doing their jobs.

      I had a hard time understanding the mandatory duty station rotations in the military. It didn’t seem to make sense to make people just up and move every two to four years but at a welcome briefing at one command the Executive Officer said that you had about 3 months to get started with any changes you see needing to be made because after about six months you become part of the problem.

  3. I’ve been watching Lawrence County. They used to have an 80% kill rate, now claim that they have not killed anything since September of 2012. On the surface, it looked like a massive turn around.

    But I always wondered about the fact that the same dog warden is in place. This article was interesting-

    A county commissioner asked the warden to try and get more animals adopted out and … ta da! He did. Which is enough to make you say, “Hm.”

    1. I believe the reduced kill rate is due to the fact that in the early fall of 1012 this dog warden finally allowed volunteers, rescue groups and transporters to come in to pull dogs. The dog warden has done nothing to improve the horrid conditions at this pound. No vaccinations are given, no veterinary care provided and the lack of any disinfectants used have rendered any cleaning efforts woefully inadequate. The majority of the dogs leaving the pound alive are going into rescue organizations due to the efforts being made by those volunteers. These volunteers A.K.A. “friends of the pound” are quick to defend the dog warden and hide, lie or explain away the poor conditions and any neglect otherwise the dog warden will banish them. They may be “friends of the county pound” but that doesn’t necessarily make them friends of the dogs there.

  4. The photo says so much about Lawrence County pound and their so called “Friends.” You have to wonder, how many more photo opportunitys like this are missed? Just one photo is proof enough of their lack of compentence.

  5. I have no doubt that the Friends had good intentions. There are accusations of egos getting in the way, preferential treatment of certain rescue groups (Lawrence doesn’t seem to have the preponderance of bully breeds that many other Ohio counties have, so the smalls and the fluffies move quickly), and lack of communication.

    Lawrence is in a VERY rural area on the southern border of Ohio. This shelter gives no vaccinations (they have started trying to raise money for them), has no medical staff (sick animals must be taken to the vet), and just (according to them) got rid of the last of the wooden “beds” and replaced them with the cot-type beds donated by a member of the irresponsible public.

    So yes, they’re up against it in the funding department, but I get the impression that they had this idea of saving animals (which is good) without working to develop the tools to do it efficiently and effectively (which is bad). The whole “we can do the show right here!” mentality will only get you so far without an actual PLAN. And since there’s not an abundance of leadership (life-saving or otherwise), it’s little wonder they’re struggling and animals are suffering for it.

    1. But the whole subsequent “why did you take a picture but not DO anything?” that the “Friends” are throwing around is inexcusable.

      The photographer watered the dog. That was, apparently, the last kindness this dog saw.

      There are many reports of ill animals coming from Lawrence pound. One must suspect that leaving food on the floor (rather than in a bowl) and poor sanitation/cleaning greatly contribute to that. One must also suspect that even though more animals are being moved out of Lawrence alive, the lack of care and slipshod hygiene of the old days when 80+% of dogs were killed there continues.

      It does not matter what kind of good intentions the “Friends” have if the LEADERSHIP to get the job done is nonexistent. The fact that the same dog warden who was killing with wild abandon is still in charge speaks volumes to the mindset – he’s content to let the volunteers and rescue groups do the heavy lifting as long as he doesn’t have to actually make any sort of extra effort. And should there be trouble (like photographs of dying dogs with a pool of blood in the cage), then his response is to shut down any weekend efforts made by the volunteers because hey, that’ll teach the troublemakers.

      This tactic of “keep your mouth shut or the animals will suffer more” is very common among these abusive shelters. The fact that “Friends” do not stand up to it loudly and publicly the very first moment it happens allows it to continue. And continue it does..

      “Friends” of a shelter are no friends of the animals if they enable the abuse to continue.

  6. I have seriously had just about all I can stand of this crap~ you all defend the person that took the picture~ also who was in there saying she was with a RESCUE group~ pulled 3 dogs under deception~ has several charges of harbouring viscious animals~ look up the mugshots~ what were her intentions of the dogs she took out and leading us to believe she was with the rescue group~ALSO~ we have worked our butts off trying to save dogs~we have had a great turnaround as far as euthanisia~ also as far as cleaning ~ the shelter follows HSUS guildines as far as cleaning and such and they have also been in the shelter to evaluate ~ as they do with others~ the facility closed on Friday at 4 and we were back in at 10 on Sat~ can you believe that dogs run out of food and water and they do poop and pee overnight~~ if anyones dog does not poop overnight~ good land please let us know how you get your dog to not crap and eat and drink~ everyone wants to say do this do that and say how horrible we all are that volunteer~ I DONT SEE ANY OF YOU DOWN THERE HELPING~ IF YOU WANT TO TALK THE TALK THEN WALK THE WALK~ just as the person who took the picture~ she took pictures and then turned her back~ but yet took 3 other dogs out~ full blooded sheps and redbone~ and she has a criminal background~a vet was consulted ok~ the dog had no other signs Saturday afternoon~ we are very sorry the dog passed~ i soooooo wish all the efforts on this dog would be put towards saving others~ there are SEVERAL RESCUE GROUPS THAT VISIT THE SHELTER~ yes dogs and cats both are provided a voucher to get spayed or neutered~ vaccines cannot be given as we do not have funds for this~ we have tried to get donations~ but no one has helped~ everyone wants to yell and say :why are vaccines not give: but do not want to donate to get those~The dog warden as bent over backwards to help us work with all of these wonderful groups that have been pulling dogs~ I started helping last year and it has been wonderful how many furbabies have found a place~we the volunteers do not have funds to vet the dogs~ we need donations to do so~ we had a wonderful lady donate funds recently and we were able to vet 5 dogs~and yes all of the kennels now have beds thanks to a wonderul lady who donated those also~ there is no wood in any kennel now~but if you want to sit behind your computer and say a bunch of crap~ why dont you just get in the car and visit the shelter~ go and in get your hands dirty and help~ if you have never been in the shelter~ you dont know what it is like~ and would really really to know why you are bashing the lady that donated the beds~ seriously~ get a life~ I dont see you all donating ANYTHING to help the dogs and cats~~ I only see that crap over and over and over~ but yet you all think it is all right for a person to pretend to be with a rescue that has a wrapsheet~took a picture of a sick dog~ turned her back and walked out instead of taking the dog to the vet~ she did not even pay pull fees for the dogs she took and is now soliciting funds to pay the fees so she dont have to and she already has adopted one out in which she received the fee but did not cover what she owed the shelter~like i said ~ if you want to sit and gripe and point fingers~ point your car in the direction of the shelter and visit~ i spend hours and hours and hours every day working to find those babies a place~when there is only a couple of us doing this we do the best we can~I dont work there but give a lot of time and energy to the shelter~ but is ya want to run your mouths~ close it and go in and volunteer since you all seem to know the whole story

    1. They also apparently bleed out overnight. But you seem to feel this is acceptable because someone with an alleged arrest record pulled 3 dogs and didn’t pay the pull fees. Gee, I wonder why you are having trouble getting more people to donate and volunteer to support your pet suffering facility.

    2. I’m volunteering at my local shelter, where a serious and generally successful effort is made to ensure that the dogs, in addition to having food and water, never have occasion, if they are healthy enough to have control of bodily functions, to eliminate in their kennels.

      When dogs are sick, they get treated by the vet, not left to bleed out overnight.

    3. Wow, I must say, if you were my employee or my volunteer coordinator, I would either require you take a class on professional engagement with the public or remove you from interactions with the public. I hope you take a moment to read your entry and the thread on that other blog…your behavior, blaming, and attitude are both unprofessional and inappropriate. It won’t enhance your position or encourage others to support your cause.

    4. Dear “Friends”, you wrote a pretty long story here without actually saying anything about the conditions of the dog. I really don’t care about the background of the person pulling 3 dogs or your other wonderful rescue groups. Why in the world is a dog laying in the kennel with a puddle of blood underneath it? Please do tell me that the dog was taken immediately to a Veterinarian. All the other BS you wrote really doesn’t matter here.

  7. This is so awful… poor, poor little puppy… fire the heinous lot at the shelter and get animal loving people to care for the shelter pets… NOW

  8. It does not matter what we say to this effect everyone would rather believe the horror stories rather than come find out for themselves. It is a matter of public record in our local paper stating how many dogs were adopted and how many were euth. And how many were returned to owner. No one wants to put forth the effort to find the truth. Just jump on the bandwagon that all shelters are horrid. You may keep beating the bushes about this Choco lab and keep yelling that it was horrible and I will agree it is horrible that the dog passed. But as a shelter and as a group we have to focus on the dogs that are there now. We have to find them homes or rescues. Really just wish instead of repeating things and sounding like you know the truth you would put forth the effort of really finding out the truth for yourselfs….

    1. Let’s be clear: This dog did not “pass” as the Friends put it. A dog who is loved and cared for and lives until old age and/or untreatable disease ends his life “passes”. This dog suffered until death finally dug its claws all the way in while the Friends sang their own praises on what a swell job they’re doing by saving some pets at the pound.

  9. This is useless to explain to people who just dont have a flippin clue~ yes defend the one that turned her back and said she was there with the group ~ do you people see nothing wrong with that~ she led us to believe she was there for the group~we work with our rescue groups different on when pull fees are taken care of ~ Scioto County does also~I will be going forward to save other dogs~ this childish bickering is nonsense~ no one has the full story~ nor does anyone want to listen~ just listen to what the so called rescue person has to say and the one that took a picture of a sick dog and turned her back~ she could have pulled this dog and took it to a vet~ I cant wait~ she posted she is going to start helping Greenup County~ Heaven help Greenup ~ she done stuff to that shelter and caused trouble there~ but she says she is going back to help that shelter~ I hope she is watched~ Thank you all for not helping as I seen NO ONE as offered to visit the shelter or help in any way~ if you want to donate to a vet fund~ you can send to a local vet of your choice and we can vet dogs when the get ill or arrive sick~ or you can donate for vaccines so that we can vaccinate upon intake~ i see people still just want to sit back and hide and point figers that do not know the whole storey ~ but yet do not offer to do anything to help~our rescue groups have different people go to the shelter to pull dogs for that group~ she found out when the group was going in and arrived when the other lady did~ alot of folks in groups ~ as I said~ do not know each other~so no red flags as that she was not with the group~ the groups has been contacted and she is not a verified puller with that group~ this was a weekend day and the pound was not open~ people apprently cannot figure out that dogs eat their food and drink water and potty during the night~ like i said if anyone can tell us how to not have the dogs do all of this overnight~ we are open to suggestions~ they are watered all day when open~ fed again at closing~ if anyone also would like to donate to an auto water for each kennel that would be nice~we had been talking about this for a while and trying to fund such would be great for the dogs~ as i said the wooden benches were all taken out and nice new beds have been given to each kennel~ this is a county pound~ we do not have funds for vetting and we have been fortunate to have donations for the vetting of several dogs~like I said a vet was contacted and asked opinion on this dog and advice~ I contacted one right after the ladies left~ the dog did not bleed out like a gutted dear~ he had this episode~ which is dry in the pic~ he had no other signs that evening~done posting so if anyone would like to actually help~ then i thank you in advance ~ the others that apparently do not have a life and only have the energy to post negatives~ well………..

    1. First off, I was not bashing the donator of the beds – the “irresponsible” in “irresponsible public” is meant sarcastically because we OFTEN see shelter attack “the irresponsible public” for “dumping this problem on us” which they then have to “clean up” (i.e. kill pets). And yet, the “irresponsible public” are the people who donate beds, donate money for vetting, and yes, adopt pets and care for them responsibly. Attacking one’s own community for creating homeless pets won’t get you very far when you *need* the community to help SOLVE the problems you face. So obviously yes, a huge thank you to the woman who donated the beds because she’s a good person doing right by the animals in her community.

      That said, the dog is dead because he did not receive vetting in a timely fashion. What *should* have happened that day is “OMG blood in the kennel!” and the immediate move to get the dog to the vet. No money? Put out the call with a photo – “HELP! We’ve got a dog who desperately needs vetting (see pic), but no money to do it! Can anyone help us in the next two hours with funds?” Because no shelter/volunteers can save pets alone. You NEED the community’s help and now you have a means to get it (social media).

      Throwing around blame when this dog’s life was the warden’s official responsibility is both unhelpful and unjustified. I don’t care if the photo taker made faces at the dying dog before she left the building, the responsibility for the dog’s health and well-being legally and ethically rests with the pound, its staff, and volunteers. Learn from this. Make sure it never happens again.

    2. Don’t kid yourself. Many shelters do a much better job than yours does, and don’t need to deliver disrespectful lectures to people in other states about “not volunteering.”. The three shelters closest to me manage to have clean kennels, water in the bowls, and dedicated veterinary funds without ranting at strangers online, for instance.

  10. Let’s say the dog did develop something like parvo and had his very first case of bloody stool overnight. That could legitimately happen.

    That doesn’t answer WHY the shelter didn’t immediately mobilize on behalf of this dog as soon as the blood was spotted. It doesn’t answer WHY that dog and others lost weight while under the shelter’s care. In all of the tirades from the “friends’ of the shelters, these questions have been utterly ignored.

    So, ‘Friends’, I ask you…please answer these questions. I don’t care about the rescuer’s history. Just tell me why the sight of blood in a kennel didn’t send everyone in the place running for the phones and computers to get help for that animal. Tell me why dogs enter the shelter at a healthy weight and leave with their bones protruding.

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