2007-10-20 / Editorials & Letters

Watchdog' is checking out the county dog pound

Editor:

Don't worry, Kirkersville GOB's, I haven't forgotten you, but this week I felt compelled to focus on some of the GOB's (Good Ole' Boys) at the county level.

As one of the people that complained to county commissioners about the dog pound, I want to clear up a misunderstanding about that complaint. My complaint was NOT that dog warden Jon Luzio is "euthanizing" aggressive dogs as the Newark newspaper implied. My complaint is that he is GASSING dogs to death without prior sedation AND deeming frightened and injured dogs aggressive. I do not use the word "euthanizing" because that word implies a HUMANE end to life and there is nothing HUMANE about what happens.

The new policy at the pound is that Jon Luzio must assess each and every dog before it can be adopted out.

On many occasions, Luzio deems frightened or injured dogs aggressive. When he deems a dog aggressive, the dog is put into the gas chamber WITHOUT sedation and gassed to death! One incident that broke my heart and led to the most recent complaint was a Boxer mix that had been injured. This dog lay in the pound for four days, INJURED and was deemed aggressive by Mr. Luzio. On the fourth day, he put a catch pole noose around the dog's neck and proceeded to drag the dog to the gas chamber. He said the dog broke its teeth off on the pole. This was outrageous and absolutely unnecessary. In prior meetings with Luzio, rescue groups and County Commissioner Marcia Phelps, it was agreed that an injured dog would be assessed by a veterinarian...not the dog pound!

Another incident that was mentioned in a Commissioners' meeting was that two dogs were brought to the dog pound at the encouragement of a volunteer at the dog pound. The dogs' owner was told to leave the dogs there and a rescue group would pick them up. But there was no rescue group coming for these dogs. Shortly after the owner left, the dogs were put into the gas chamber (no sedatives) and gassed. However, fiveminutes later, the dogs were alive in the gas chamber and were screaming and panting (suffocating to death)! It was officemanager Korie Glover operating the gas chamber. Jon Luzio came in and "re" gassed the dogs for her. Luzio claimed, in a County Commissioners' meeting, that someone tampered with the gas control valves and that is why he had to "re" gas the dogs. However, I found that there are TWO padlocks on the box for the control valves and only the dog pound employees have the keys. If the locks are not disturbed, how could someone have tampered with the valves? It is my opinion that Ms. Glover made one of her "errors" and Jon Luzio was covering for her. It is also my opinion that Ms. Glover and Mr. Luzio should be FIRED for causing these dogs to suffer and deceiving the dogs' owners.

These are only two of the most recent HORROR stories! More than anyone, know that you cannot save all the animals. But I do, however, believe that you can be humane when having to end their lives. I urge you to call, write, or email your County Commissioners to demand accountability and compassion for Licking County animals. Go to www.Lcounty.com to get the phone numbers and addresses or you may call me at 740-964-9651.

Bonnie MansfieldBuckeye Lake

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