OH Shelter Clings to Its Terrible Behavioral Assessments and Its Fatal Plus

SideeyeThat asinine plastic hand is waving more shelter dogs into the kill room – this time at the Franklin Co Dog Shelter in Ohio.  Just how many dogs are being killed because they don’t wag their tails and exclaim, “Thank you sir, may I have another?” when someone jabs them in the face with a fake hand on a stick while they are trying to eat is a matter of dispute.  Volunteers say way too many.  The assistant director says zero. Then there are the numbers:

Last year, [Franklin Co] recorded an 82 percent success rate of adopting, rescuing, or reclaiming dogs.
In March alone, 139 [dogs] were euthanized. Debbie Finelli, Assistant Director Franklin County Dog Shelter says that’s because 52 out of the 140 dogs that came in were terminally ill or terminally injured. “I couldn’t do anything for those,” she explains.

If I’m reading this correctly, 140 dogs came in and 139 were killed in March. Of the 139, 87 were apparently either healthy or possibly had some treatable minor illness/injury. So she “couldn’t do anything” for 52 of the dogs and didn’t do anything, except killing, for the other 87. BUTOFCOURSE:

“I don’t like to euthanize. (I) wish I never had to, but we’re an open shelter (and) have to take every dog that comes in here.”


Several shelter vols who spoke with the local news on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution (stellar indicator of a progressive shelter) say that many dogs are needlessly killed after failing to bow to the Fake Hand of God. Which has mercifully declined in use over the years:

The ASPCA tells 10TV “We have determined that food guarding assessments are not useful tools for shelter dogs because they are not reliable predictors of overall behavior in the home.”

The Franklin County dog shelter uses the ASPCA guidelines to run its shelter, but says it has no plans to remove the assessment.

“Maybe when a new director comes in they’ll have the ability to take that out of the behavioral assessment, but at this point, I don’t have the authority to take it out of the assessment, Finelli explains.

Really?  Is that the hill you want to die on?  I wonder what is supposedly necessary for Franklin Co to bring itself into compliance with the guidelines it claims to follow – Act of Congress? Presidential executive order? Directive from a burning bush?

Soooooo we follow the ASPCA guidelines, except for the one that would prevent us from needlessly killing good dogs, which is mostly who we kill, but we don’t like to kill but we kill as many as we take in but we have an 82% save rate.  I guess.

Franklin Co needs to stop putting healthy, friendly dogs in the dumpster and put its pokey-in-the-face-stick there instead.

(Thanks Clarice.)

15 thoughts on “OH Shelter Clings to Its Terrible Behavioral Assessments and Its Fatal Plus

  1. I disagree that the pokey stick should go in the dumpster. I think every Assess-a-Hand in existence should go right back where it came from – into the deep dark recesses of Sue Sternberg’s “brain.”

  2. sarahjane YES meanwhile look at this ..Paul Upton dogs being tested by the ASPCA.. note what the first thing the evaluator says.. “She was in her WHELPING BOX’ then they go on to say she is “trembling and whining and shaking ” as she paces around and tries to hide under the desk.. they do not even know that she is in LABOR of course she was trembling and whining and shaking.. she gave birth to 6 puppies shortly after the “test ” five of them died..ASPCA can BITE ME https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEr8KxfupCY

  3. Well, I guess competence and compassion aren’t exactly ruling the day, are they?

    But hey, they get to keep their phony baloney jobs, so yay!

  4. Who made the ASPCA and HSUS the ultimate authority on animal care? They all make me sick.

  5. Even the f****** creator of that test now says it should not be used. Somebody give the article to the morons at Franklin County.

  6. Originally, it wasn’t a bad idea. And, I have used it…not with temperment testing, but in training, to keep from loosing my own hand.

    But, only in seriously hard core dogs that truly want to kill

  7. The current (then acting) director admitted under oath she didn’t follow the proper regulations before handing Piper the Sheltie to COSR. That happened in April of 2014. The owner technically has Piper back, but the case is still going on to the tune of $140,000 cost to the owner.

    Why? COSR has a pro bono lawyer (who also works for the humane society/SPCA of Ohio) who is doing everything he can to drive up the bill for the owner. Why? She wants to win by default. Bell said in open court the goal is to ensure the second a rescue gets ahold of an animal, no matter the circumstances, the rescue owns the animal and never has to return it.

  8. There are way too many shelter managers with a God complex. its not for the animals, its an “I have the power to kill you” complex. I blame whoever does the hiring Our Commissioners would not even interview a woman who had run a very compassionate and successful Humane Society in an adjoining county but instead hired a big oaf who’s only claim to fame was he had been a bouncer in a bar! He was later fired for theft. Surprise!!

  9. Thank you for the article and for setting the record straight…82% save rate my arse!!! What a joke our capitol dog shelter is….Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right..these poor animals are stuck in the middle with these inept players..ugh…Archaic assessment tool, dogs not getting out to potty for days, dogs being killed for their behavior in the clinic..(who doesn’t have to drag their dog to a vet)….or cage behavior…So sad that people cannot think outside the box. What a shame this shelter is to our community.

    1. Cass, I don’t think the numbers quoted in this article are correct, based on what volunteers at the shelter have told me. They impounded way more than 140 dogs in March. We can’t rely on the numbers on their site because they pad intake by double counting dogs in some cases, so their kill rate can only be estimated, but it’s more like 20%-40%, not 99%. Still horrible. Still needs to stop…but I’d rather be armed with accurate info.

  10. Sad that as civilized as world is thats only way to assess a dog come on they come in scared to death anyway no shelter dog should be labeled

  11. Why do guys save them just to turn around and kill them.they all deserve better and to be loved.

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