Serving all the communities of the Buckeye Lake Region

More disturbing reports about the Licking County Animal Shelter



Editor:

Before I continue sharing an exit interview letter (from a former pound employee) from last week, I’d like to share something else I found to be disturbing at the Licking County Animal Shelter (dog pound).

A recent public records request revealed that Dog Warden John Silva, was spending money on everything from handcuffs to Smart TVs but failed to make sure their euthanasia drugs were still good!

Records (euthanasia logs) show that employees at the pound euthanized about 40 animals with EXPIRED DRUGS! After I posted the logs and my comments on Facebook, and in an effort to try to disprove me, I received an email from a male pound employee on Sunday stating, “FYI – a copy of a record recently provided to you regarding the date period of 6/12 to 9/12 had a mismarked header, noted with a 7/12 expiration date. It has been corrected to show the actual expiration date in 2014. I apologize for the confusion.”

I asked for and went to the pound to pick up the “corrected” log on Monday and was told that he had sent me another email telling me that they reviewed the record again this morning and found that the record was right to begin with. Here’s the second email he sent: “After another officer’s review, the original record actually stands correct. Therefore, its information will remain shown according to the record you already have. To help clarify the expiration date noted, it technically applies through the month of July. In addition, the solution’s efficacy period evidently extended beyond that date. Nevertheless, thanks for your inquiry. It became an opportunity to review such matters, and share this with other staff.” It took a few minutes, but I finally got the “corrected” and then “uncorrected” record showing they had crossed out a “lot number” and “expiration date” and then changed them back to what they originally said.

Silva made an attempt to explain the “efficacy” (effectiveness) of drugs to me. First, I reminded him that I’ve had training, too, and that drugs have expiration dates for a reason and it is his responsibility to make sure they are using drugs that are NOT expired before shopping for new cell phones and Smart TVs. In addition, there are State and Federal Laws that regulate the accountability of these drugs and their logs. I also spoke to the company who sold the euthanasia solution and they stated they DO NOT RECOMMEND using Fatal Plus if it is expired!

While I was at the pound that day, and while the employee was making me a copy of the “corrected” and then “uncorrected” log, Silva, in what I believe was an attempt to impress me, went to the door to greet a couple coming in. He asked if they were here to see the dogs and they said they were. Silva told them, “We’ve got a few (dogs) for you!” There was ONE adoptable dog in the whole building!

This is a continuation of an “exit interview” letter from a former employee of the Licking County Dog Pound who resigned in good standing. As I stated previously, the letter gives credence to some of the questionable activity that I believe Dog Warden, John Silva, is involved in. Although I am not naming the ex-employee and some current employees, here are some more excerpts from the letter:

“During November, I worked a Saturday, and was called that next Tuesday by (a male pound employee) questioning me about missing money. I was first told one hundred dollars, then two hundred dollars. I told (the employee) that I knew of two transactions I handled that day, and recalled the money I was given. I was told that the books had not been balanced (for a span) of nearly five days, this is when they found the money missing. I never once spoke with a supervisor about the issue, and even offered to go to the LCSO and do a polygraph that day to clear my name. I was told by (the employee) that Silva did not want me to send any emails to him talking about the issue, because he did not want public records created. I never heard anything else, and when I brought up the issue to Silva before I left I was told the money was put back in and that was it. It was after this incident that the pound stopped taking cash, and started with credit cards and checks or money orders only. I questioned Silva about this, and he said this was easier and that the credit cards do not deposit on time causing issues.

I want to make one thing clear. Silva hires who he wants, and pre-plans his hires. For a recent job posting, he told me… that he already had a person from Knox County Dog Warden’s Department taking the job, even though the posting was already up. He said the man would work as an on-call back-up, back-up. Meaning that this person would only do overnight on-call nights when I could not do them for normal staff, and that the staff would keep the dog trucks at their homes so he could drive his vehicle into the County and then grab a truck and respond.

I found this funny that he was wasting a position for someone who may only work a night a month if that, what was the point. Also, the fact that this person would be allowed to drive a new truck and that I was never allowed to drive a new truck when I was on-call, since they were at staff members homes sitting there for them to drive back and forth to work on the county dime. I had to drive the old van with improper equipment inside, and cages that made it hard to stow dogs inside. There was not even a catch pole in the vehicle, but I had to work with no protection while the other staff at least had bullet resistant vests and a Taser, which I finally was allowed to use if it was there my last two months of employment, while the other officers went to peoples home with protection and I was had nothing more than a dog leash. Even though we both did the same jobs.

There is a lot more information in this written exit interview which will be continued next week.

Bonnie Mansfield
Buckeye Lake



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *