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Humane is good; shelter not so much


I, like many others, have succumbed to Facebook. It’s a wonderful way to stay in touch with family and friends far away or to network with people who share your same interests. But in the hands of someone who is vindictive, retaliatory or simply a liar, it can be a tool to create wildfires and personal attacks on innocent people and it is sometimes difficult to sift through what is true and what is not.

Although I’m not surprised, I am often disappointed in the actions of people who look past the truth and purposely create harmful drama. Maybe Facebook should be called Facesbook or, better yet, TwoFacesbook because so many people have created fake Facebook pages, or pages using the names of their dog or cat, just as a way to “spy” on people!

Most recently, I have seen attacks on the Licking County Humane Society and the Newark City Animal Control Officer Toby Wills. These attacks are baseless. Some are actually the result of actions/inactions by the pound because some people just cannot get it through their heads that the Licking County HUMANE Society is NOT the pound and the NEWARK Animal Control Officer does NOT work for the pound!

Part of the reason people confuse the pound and the humane society is the name of the pound “the Licking County Animal SHELTER.” Although “shelter” implies a safe place, it is not necessarily safe. Generally, county-operated shelters are kill shelters. Some of them can’t help being a kill shelter because they take in all kinds of animals and never turn anything away. Regardless of the facility, the best interest of the animal should be top priority.

In the Licking County pound/shelter, they adopt animals to whoever comes in. No screening is done to make sure the new owner will provide a suitable home or that the home is a good fit. Pit bulls are not adopted to the public and can be euthanized after 72 hours if not redeemed by their owner.

In the case of the Newark’s ACO Toby Wills…Toby gets a lot of flack from people who live inside the City of Newark who have pit bulls that are not in compliance with Newark’s City Code. (Unless the dog passes a “good citizen” certification, pit bull owners in the CITY OF NEWARK must maintain liability insurance, buy a yearly permit, etc. in order to keep their pit bull inside city limits.)

Toby’s job is to enforce the law… not to create it. If Newark citizens don’t want these pit bull restrictions, they should go to their council meetings and encourage the City of Newark to change the law. Toby works for the City of Newark…not the Licking County Animal Shelter (aka dog pound). He might take cats and dogs to the pound (because he has to) but he is NOT the one who makes the determination to kill them! That is John Silva (Licking County Dog Warden).

I have known Toby Wills for several years. I consider him my friend. Not many people know this but Toby has saved the lives of NUMEROUS animals, pit bulls included…. LOTS OF THEM! He isn’t the type of person who tells how many rescues he has done or helped with. But I know how many he has saved because he has called me (and many others) throughout the past several years to get animals to safety.

So here’s a way to keep from being confused. If “humane” is in the title (Licking County Humane Society) it is humane and safe and it is NOT the pound. If “shelter” is in the title (Licking County Animal Shelter) it is the POUND and they are not safe for pit bulls. And if “Newark” is in the title….it is Toby Wills and he doesn’t work for the pound OR the humane society. He simply enforces the laws created by the City of Newark and doesn’t kill anything!

Bonnie Mansfield
Buckeye Lake

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