Law should bite back at someone


In August 2018 a volunteer dog walker at the Columbiana County Dog Pound was severely bitten. Personnel from the nearby county jail provided first aid and filed a sheriff’s report. The victim was transported to an out-of-county hospital and required emergency surgery for repair of wounds. The dog was euthanized.

Ohio Revised Code 955.261 requires that “no person shall kill a dog that has bitten any person until a (10 day) quarantine period has been completed. No person who has killed a dog that has bitten any person to prevent further injury…shall fail to do the following:

a) Immediately after the killing of the dog, notify the board of health…of the facts relative to the bite and the killing;

b) Hold the body of the dog until the board of health claims it to perform tests for rabies.”

Certainly knowledge of the law should be a pre-requisite for any one in charge of a dog pound. However, it was disregarded and broken by the dog warden and her supervising commissioner.

Three months later, another commissioner questioned a volunteer about the attack stating he had never been informed about the incident. This commissioner was being asked about it by the director of the county board of health who had also never been notified of the dog bite.

The director of the board of health, who has not had to deal with this in the past, stated he knows the law has been broken, but he is not the enforcer. Who does enforce this law? It appears to have been forgotten even though it was written to prevent people from contracting fatal rabies.

There were witnesses to the attack, but as is standard procedure at this dog pound, everything was kept secret. Were the medical bills paid by the county’s liability insurance or by the commissioners’ funds? Was the victim paid any type of restitution? How can we expect the dog pound management to follow laws in the community when they don’t follow them at the pound?

Karen Seidner