2010-01-30 / Editorials & Letters

Writer challenges ‘Watchdog’


C.S. Lewis said that,”The Devil’s greatest accomplishment is convincing the world he does not exist.” Bonnie Mansfield’s greatest accomplishment is convincing people that she really cares about the welfare of the animals in the Licking County Animal Shelter.

Her method is known as the “Big Lie”. The Big Lie is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf for a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”. Her overblown rhetoric used against both The Licking County Dog Warden as a “killer” and “murder” and the officials of Kirkersville as GOBS and “Computer Jerk” should raise a red flag with anybody interested in a rational discussion of public policy or politics.

I would like to introduce one element into this discussion that has never raised it’s ugly head in any of Ms. Mansfield’s monomaniacal screeds about the Licking County Animal Shelter (LCAS) and its Director, Jon Luzio, the facts.

LCAS is open for general business 6 days a week and five days for adoptions which includes Saturdays. Have you tried to do business with other county offices on Saturday? The method of euthanasia used by the LCAS is approved in the 2007 AMVA (American Veterinary Medical Association) Guidelines on Euthanasia (appendix 1) available online at: http://www. avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/euthanasia. pdf . LCAS provides a 30 day adoption window for non-aggressive/healthy canines instead of the state mandated minimum of 3 days. The national average for canine euthanasia in shelters is 56%. LCAS has a rate of only 16% due to to an aggressive pro-adoption policy. Mr. Luzio is a member of state and national associations of animal control officers who set procedures and standards for effective and humane animal control policies. LCAS has operated under budget for many years and returns that surplus to the General Fund. LCAS provides monthly veterinarian checks of its animals that are not required by state law. The funding for this service has come from private citizens who are true animal lovers and has, at times, been put in jeopardy by Ms. Mansfield’s outrageous accusations. LCAS runs a cat rescue operation that is not mandated by state law. Finally, these policies have led to LCAS being considered to be one of the most progressive animal shelters in Ohio.

Ms. Mansfield runs an animal rescue service of some sort. I wonder if her constant self promotion doesn’t have something to do with

encouraging contributions to her rescue operation? Perhaps her efforts would be better spent lobbying and promoting a one cent per pound “use tax” on dog and cat food. This would provide additional revenue for shelters to provide spaying and adoption services.
Sean J. Ahern
Harbor Hills

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