Assistant Dog Warden Under Investigation in Ohio

The Petfinder page for the Gallia Co Animal Shelter in Ohio describes the facility as a “HIGH kill shelter”.  There are 4 pets listed as available for adoption at the time of this post.

On February 14, a group called Friends of Gallia County’s Animals posted on its Facebook page that “11 dogs were euthanized at the pound this morning because the assistant warden couldn’t wait a day for us to clean the facilities from the dogs who are leaving.”  Friends of Gallia County’s Animals appears to be referring to dogs who were pulled for transport to the New England area, where shelter dogs are also killed, for anyone keeping track.

WSAZ reports today that the 11 dogs who were killed were all vaccinated and friendly:

“There are 11 (other) dogs that we can’t help because they’re aggressive,” [Friends of Gallia County’s Animals board member Nathan] Weatherholt said. “They’re cat-aggressive, they’re food-aggressive, they’re people-aggressive. He could have picked 11 of those dogs and euthanized any of those 11 dogs. It would have still been tragic and horrible, but it wouldn’t have been the 11 dogs we were looking at.”

Never fall into this trap of saying it would be better to kill shelter dogs who don’t like cats or have some other perceived flaw than to kill animals who fit an arbitrary, subjective standard.  All shelter animals have the right to live.  Full stop.  If you aren’t advocating equally for the least adoptable animals in the place and the white and fluffies, you aren’t advocating.  What you are doing is buying into the culture of killing and bolstering the position that shelter animals have no inherent right to live.

An unnamed member of the Friends group alleges that the assistant warden killed the 11 dogs via heartstick without sedation.  Ohio code states that heartstick may only be used “on a sedated or unconscious animal”. The Gallia Co sheriff is investigating the matter and the assistant dog warden has been reassigned to a different county department while the investigation takes place.

Gallia County Commission President David Smith says the shelter is not a no-kill shelter, and it’s unclear at this point if anything wrong was done.

This is a consequence of maintaining a culture of killing.  If you believe shelter pets are born with the right to live, opt out.

(Thanks Clarice and mikken for the links.)

 

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24 Comments

  1. mikken

     /  February 18, 2014

    When you call your own shelter “high kill”, that’s…concerning. Add in an assistant warden who is apparently gleeful about slaughter (especially of friendly dogs?) and you’re into nightmare territory.

    Reply
  2. Keturah Wylemski

     /  February 18, 2014

    I am also concerned by the remark that the New England shelters are euthanizing too.I live in Georgia,and while I dearly want all animals to find great forever homes,have seen large amounts of our dogs rounded up and transported up north.There are even some rescues that want the dogs in Washington.This is perplexing to me as there are many,many dogs killed daily in New York,Florida,Texas and California to name but a few.I find this alarming as well.

    Reply
    • There is widespread ignorance among rescuers throughout the country on this topic. There is no state in this country that does not kill healthy/treatable shelter animals. Sending animals to “no kill states” is a lie.

      Reply
  3. New England is a multi state area. Connecticut and New Hampshire are very different places.

    Just for instance.

    New Hampshire does not kill shelter pets. If you have evidence to refute that, I would want to know about it. Connecticut does kill shelter pets, and has pounds that are appalling even if you buy into the idea that killing healthy or treatable pets is “necessary.”

    Transports going to Connecticut is one thing, and transports going to New Hampshire is another thing.

    I will go further. A No Kill, open admission shelter that takes in animals from anywhere that would kill them, and gets them adopted, is doing a Good Thing. Even if the pets are from kill shelters elsewhere, rather than down the street.

    The sad truth is that kill shelters may be more open to giving the oeys to out of area shelters and rescues because it doesn’t challenge their belief that the animals can’t be adopted THERE.

    As for the remarks made by the rescue that was to pull the dogs killed–I think you ate reading it with a gloss that isn’t entirely justified. They had animals tagged and ready to pull, and those dogs were killed. They had someone to take them, and they were killed. The rescue doesn’t say it would be okay if other dogs were killed; they say it would be tragic and horrible, but it wouldn’t have been the eleven dogs they were taking.

    If you think it’s wrong for them to be more angry and distressed over the dogs they had already chosen for pulling, you are setting a standard mere humans are not able to meet.

    I’d also question whether it’s a standard that really serves the pets. For a lot of reasons; for instance, an adopter is not going to be okay with “Oh, that dog was killed; take this one instead. He won’t be good with your cat, but that’s not a problem, is it?” And there’s a human factor for the rescue group as well. And Oskar Schindler saved as many people as he did in part because once he had a person’s name on his list, he had an Accept No Substitutions policy. Additions, yes. Substitutions, no.

    One also has to suspect a certain amount of malice on the part of the pound, in killing dogs due to be pulled.

    Reply
    • “New Hampshire does not kill shelter pets. If you have evidence to refute that, I would want to know about it.”

      I have searched extensively for any evidence to support the claim that NH is a no kill state. I have come up with zero evidence to substantiate the claim. I would love for it to be true because it would represent a tremendous success but with no evidence to back up the claim, I am unwilling to agree that NH is a no kill state.

      Reply
      • Ah, so no, you don’t have any evidence of pet killing by NH shelters, but guilty until proven innocent, and statements by people actually active in rescue in NH carry zero weight.

        Got it.

      • Lis,

        I am not sure why you are taking this hostile tone. My standards are applied equally to all claims – that is, verification by standard accepted means. In the case of shelter save rates, this is normally verifiable by the detailed annual reports from the shelters. In the case of the claim that NH is a no kill state, all that would be needed to verify the claim is the annual report from each shelter in the state. I have tried and tried to obtain these but without success. Until I do, I have no way of knowing if the claim that the state is no kill is true and therefore can’t stand behind it. If you or anyone else has these annual reports showing intake and outcome for the shelters in NH, please let me know. I would love to be able to trumpet this claim of NH being no kill if I had the evidence to back it up. That is the reason I have invested so much of my time in trying to get the evidence to verify the claim. I’m a friendly here. Think about how the lack of supporting evidence for the claim and the outright hostility towards someone who asks for it appears to those who oppose no kill.

    • sarahjaneb

       /  February 19, 2014

      Lis, it’s not a matter of “guilty until proven innocent.” NH, like every other state in the US, has a long history of killing shelter animals. Therefore the claim that the entire state is now no kill is an extraordinary claim, and as the saying goes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence – or at the very least something beyond hearsay.

      Reply
  4. Mary Ann Toy

     /  February 18, 2014

    I live in NH and can verify that all our shelters are NO KILL. As for CT and MA I cannot say the same…..they kill a lot

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  February 18, 2014

      Is it true that it’s against the law to adopt out an FIV positive cat in NH? This is what someone told me and I can’t verify it.

      Reply
      • No, that is false. Absolutely, totally, unmitigatedly false. Every group I’ve worked with adopts out FIV+ cats. It’s not illegal, and it’s not used as an excuse to kill cats.

    • I would love to see the verification that Mary Ann Toy has.

      Reply
      • mikken

         /  February 19, 2014

        Me too. I’d like to see any verification at all, actually. Because if NH is truly a no kill state, then it proves that others can be, too…

  5. Adrianne Mock

     /  February 18, 2014

    and… I truely believe that the kill rates woudl drop if shelters and RESCUES would STOP importing the overseas/ offshore/ crossborder dogs by the droves. That HAS to be stopped – so we can get dogs HERE into homes.
    And, shelters ABSOLUTELY need oversight – just like any other retail business. They are in the business of selling dogs and cats. Inspections, oversight, minimum (or BETTER than minimum) standards should apply to them as they do to all retail pet sellers.

    Reply
  6. spaycritter

     /  February 19, 2014

    One of my local impounds,( Greenville,SC) has at least one very active advocate for the dogs. She lives in NH… hoping she weighs in on this.

    Reply
  7. I can’t understand the reluctance to become a no kill shelter! Substantial information has been made available to the Shelters, yet they continue to kill! Maybe the ACO’s and Staff should be evaluated to determine if they are pro killing! I’m sure there are tests to determine this during the hiring process and those that get through should have their employment terminated, once it becomes obvious that killing a no big thing! This is so disgusting and has gone on long enough! What will it take to make change on a National level, because the current system is unacceptable!

    Reply
  8. KimTrenton

     /  March 5, 2014

    New Hampshire is a no kill state. You can read about how it got to be a no kill state here. http://www.shelteroverpopulation.org. Watch the videos. Read the book. The second video explains how bringing puppies in from out of state helps get the local shelter animals adopted by drawing people into the shelter. The shelter statistics aren’t published, but that isn’t proof they are hiding some crazy killing spree they are on and that no one notices, not even those of us in the animal rescue community. Have you asked the associated humane societies to see them? Have they refused? Have you EVER had someone send you one of those horror stories about shelter killings from New Hampshire? I live here. I am mystified as to why you seem so hostile to New Hampshire, since they would seem to be what you would want every state to be. I can understand being pissed off about all the sucky murderous places across the country, but when there is a place that truly doesn’t kill the animals, and you just don’t believe it and say it can’t be true, this actually shows that you don’t believe what you are saying, namely that it is possible for a whole community, state or country to be no kill. Well you are wrong. It is possible. We have it here.

    Reply
    • Yes I have asked for the stats and yes I’ve been refused. All that is needed to back up the claim is to publish the stats from the state’s shelters – an easy task. If I could back up the claim with that standard proof, I would be announcing the claim to the world and holding up NH as a role model state. Until I have that evidence, I remain hopeful that it will be provided.

      Reply
      • KimTrenton

         /  March 5, 2014

        Who did you ask? Did you read that book and watch the video I sent the link to? Did someone in NH admit to you that it is all a lie and they really are secretly killing animals? There is no evidence, zero, that New Hampshire kills shelter animals for any other reason than legitimate euthanasia, and its a very small number, as it should be. It is irresponsible to claim that they do, unless you have evidence for your claim.

      • sarahjaneb

         /  March 5, 2014

        There is no good evidence that they’re *not* killing shelter animals for reasons other than genuine euthanasia, and killing for space is the status quo for most shelters in every other state. That an entire state is no kill is an extraordinary claim that should not be accepted without hard evidence. Saying that more evidence is needed to believe the claim that they’re no kill is not the same as saying that they’re on a killing spree. I, like Shirley, am reserving judgment until I see the stats.

  9. Clarice

     /  March 5, 2014

    “The Gallia County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday concluded its investigation into the deaths last month of 11 dogs at the county animal shelter and has turned the case over to the prosecutor’s office.”

    http://www.mydailyregister.com/news/breaking_news/3132103/Gallia-prosecutor-reviewing-dog-deaths

    Reply
    • db

       /  March 5, 2014

      I’m hoping that the irresponsible public and true friend of the animals will not let this one go. At least the person named has been reassigned away from animals. Hoping for some justice for those poor dogs.

      Reply
  10. Clarice

     /  March 14, 2014

    Three past and present dog wardens in Gallia County have been charged with animal cruelty. The actions of the dog wardens were brought to light after accusations that 11 dogs were put down inhumanely at the shelter last month.

    http://www.wsaz.com/news/headlines/Gallia-Dog-Wardens-Charged-in-Dog-Euthanization-Case-250359501.html

    Reply

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