I would like to answer Ms. Hawke's question, "What is the dog pound for?"
As dog pound employees, we are hired to follow the Ohio Revised Code concerning canines. Anyone interested in familiarizing themselves with this code can easily access it on line by simply typing in "Ohio revised code dog warden."
I can certainly understand Ms. Hawke's frustration in not wanting to be held responsible for the trap. However, with only two traps in use for our county of over 500 square miles we cannot afford to replace them should they be misused or stolen each time they are set.
The traps are approximately $220 each. We ask that someone sign to be responsible for the trap if anything should happen to it, with the exception of the dog itself damaging it. We also ask that the party call us if/when the dog is caught enabling us to pick up both the dog and the trap.
The dog warden and the deputies are equipped with the following equipment when attempting to capture running-at-large dogs: collars, leashes, catch poles, blankets, treats, dog food, and two traps. Unfortunately, we have no special tricks when attempting to catch a dog. We use the above mentioned items along with our time, patience, and love for the animals. We are willing to do what it physically possible with the equipment that we have to work with. If there is a situation such as Ms. Hawke is referring to, we defer to the use of a trap.
In response to Ms. Hawke's comment that we will "come take your pet because you didn't get tags" ... well, that is simply not true. We do not take dogs from their homes just because they do not have a license, there are always extenuating circumstances involved. We do, however, issue citations for no license.
To further expound, I would like to take this opportunity to inform everyone on the improvements and advances made at the pound in the last five years. In 2003 the pound had a total intake of 1,369 dogs and euthanized 759 of those. In 2008 we took in 1,227 dogs and were forced to euthanize only 69 of those for inadaptable reasons. We are now considered a "low-kill" shelter due to the fact that we have not had to euthanize an adoptable dog in over five years. There is no longer a gas chamber on the premises; the dogs are humanely euthanized by injection.
We encourage everyone to visit us at the pound to see the vast improvements made. There are now indoor/outdoor dog runs, full roofs on the outside kennels and new perimeter fencing.
Every dog that is adopted is current on all vaccines, licensed, and spayed/neutered. The staff works relentlessly with approved rescues and private individuals to find our dogs permanent and loving homes. Most of our adoptions are from out of state due to the fact that other more progressive states have mandatory spay/neuter laws.
If people would start to spay/neuter their pets then the running at large situation may not be as out of control as it is presently. Dog owners must understand that it is state law that their dogs must remain on their own property.
The true culprit in this matter is not the dog pound but the owner themselves of the dog in question.
Rose Ann Hack
Columbiana County Dog Pound and Adoption Center