A dog was left, for a few days, in an apartment in the City of Newark, after the alleged owners moved away. A complaint was called in to the Newark Police Department because Newark’s Humane Officer was out of town on vacation,.
Finding the dog in the apartment, police called the county dog pound. Even though there was no identification or license on the dog, the pound wouldn’t take it….because the pound only takes strays.
Since the City of Newark has no resources for animals that the pound won’t take (such as humane cases, cruelty cases and abandoned animals) I was contacted by a NPD employee . I spent a few hours of my time finding a place for the dog to go.
I tried to contact the police chief about the lack of a protocol for helping animals after hours. A sergeant told me that he actually broke the rules by allowing one of his officers to help the dog in the first place and it’s their policy to do nothing if the humane officer isn’t available. On many occasions, I spend my time and money helping Newark’s animals and it is a slap in the face when they can pay police officers overtime to eat strawberries on the square but won’t spend money on helping these animals.
Even when the humane officer is there, there are still no resources made available by the City of Newark. He has to call around looking for places to take these animals.
I believe it is the pound’s responsibility to take dogs that are not necessarily stray dogs. In fact ORC 955.12 states, “If a dog warden has reason to believe that a dog is being treated inhumanely on the premises of its owner, keeper, or harborer, the warden shall apply to the court of common pleas for the county in which the premises are located for an order to enter the premises, and if necessary, seize the dog. If the court finds probable cause to believe that the dog is being treated inhumanely, it shall issue such an order.”
Actually, a public records request did reveal that the Licking County Dog Pound (animal shelter) did take dogs that weren’t stray. They also weren’t from Licking County. They took dogs from two other crowded dog pounds: Franklin County and Morrow County. Isn’t it nice that there aren’t enough dogs in the Licking County pound that they can go to other counties and get some of theirs?
The Licking County pound uses the slogan “Where the lost are found again” and I think they might have to add….. “Where the lost are found again and then sold to someone else” after a recent complaint from a dog’s owners who claim that their dog got loose after being spooked by a storm. Their dog was picked up by the pound but was sold to someone else even though the owners called the pound before the sale telling them they would be there soon to get their dog. This seems to be a common complaint. Some people get their dogs back by going to the adopter and buying it back. Some aren’t that lucky.
Although the law only requires the pound to hold the dog for three days, that clearly is not enough time in many cases. The pound closes at 4 p.m.; they won’t answer the phone on Sundays; and you cannot leave a message on any day no matter what time. Just being able to leave a message about your dog would cost the pound NOTHING and would actually be beneficial in helping reunite owners and pets. But then who would have to retrieve the messages?! They have more employees than dogs. Only seven dogs listed on Petfinder but they have eight employees! I have a feeling that employee number will soon grow when another one of their friends needs a job.