Allegations of animal abuse at the Jefferson Co pound in Ohio are not new. In fact, county commissioners installed cameras at the facility specifically to address these concerns. On Saturday, a camera at the Jefferson Co pound reportedly caught dog warden William Bell hitting a dog named Misty in the head with a shovel. There were volunteers who witnessed the incident as well, including children.
Bell had reportedly broken up a fight between Misty and another dog in an outdoor yard by separating the two. After Misty was alone and lying down, Bell reportedly returned with a shovel and whacked her in the head with it. Misty sustained head and neck injuries and was apparently treated by a vet.
The vet’s report, along with the video evidence, hasn’t yet been made public by Jefferson Co but they won’t be able to hide it forever. The county prosecutor has reviewed the evidence and charged Bell with misdemeanor animal cruelty. Bell is currently on paid leave.
And the excuses are already pouring in. Jefferson Co commissioner Tom Gentile told a local news reporter that no situation is “perfect”:
Any time you have human beings as employees, things are going to happen. That’s just part of management.
Those problematic humans. You never know whether they are going to pilfer paper clips from the supply closet or take a shovel to a dog’s head. It’s all in a day’s work.
Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla wanted the TV news to know that Bell could have swung the shovel harder:
“I thought at first it was gonna be a heavy swing where he really hurt that dog, but I don’t think that that’s the way it was, but apparently it was bad enough.”
Maybe the sheriff would like to demonstrate a light swing of the shovel on his own head, so we can better understand.
If convicted, Bell faces a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail. The Jefferson Co prosecutor explained that Ohio law is limited when it comes to punishing animal abusers and that even if Bell had beaten Misty to death, the charges would be the same.
Bell’s violence against Misty is obviously part of a pattern of abuse. It’s why the cameras were installed in the first place. And he is paid by taxpayers to protect the community’s animals from harm. The county commissioners are supposed to decide on Bell’s future as dog warden by the end of today. Because that’s a thing that must be thinked about.
Ho hum. Another day in We All Want the Same Thing Land. And remember, don’t criticize unless you are willing to go down there and start beating dogs in the head your own damn self.
(Thanks Clarice for the links.)