I need to ask from the users of this community for your voice and your support. I learned of an absolute nightmare that had been living in my (now former, moved last month) home town of Findlay, Ohio. This is in regards to incidents occurring at The Hancock County Humane Society.Our facility has one person responsible for the selection and euthanizing of surrendered dogs and cats, a job which most of us would have a difficult time performing on a routine basis. But I could not imagine anyone who could be an advocate for the humane care at the end of an unwanted pet's life to actually take pleasure in the process. realize this is considered hearsay as I have not witnessed this personally myself, but the documented cases of co-workers at this shelter which have been not only been reported for several years, but also echoed by both current and former employees, speaks loud enough to believe something of the rumor. The string that began unraveling this horror story was a Doberman named Teddy. He was a typical surrender for the area, nothing grossly disturbing about health or temperament to warrant immediate culling and was considered to be a good candidate for fostering in the opinion of local dog daycare owner Cindy Smith. Frequently in to check out the new faces, she had made an agreement to pick Teddy up this past Monday to his temporary caregiver.
Only she couldn't. Because he had already been put down.
Not only had the person in charge put down a dog which was involved in a placement agreement, but they beat the dog senseless when it struggled to get off the procedure table during it's euthanasia. This was not the first time acts of this nature have been reported of this specific employee. Though due to the politics of the city, these incidences were kept internal and never further addressed or reprimanded.
The city of Findlay's dog community is in an outrage, and as such have retrieved the HS's statistical records for 2007 (a public document available upon request at their facility.) Out of 2700+ cats, only about 250 found homes. And of 1500 dogs, another approximate 250 were placed as well. These numbers were for the entire calendar year of '07. It is understandable that some surrenders are not ideal for adoption, either being too ill or too dangerous, but the percentage achieved compared to city contributions, donations, and fund-raising is a far cry from anything even remotely close to an actual effort on their part.
Some action has been taken, the person in charge of euthanasia has been terminated of their position and duties, and is no longer affiliated with Hancock County Humane Society. Local interest groups are gathering to discuss suggested changes and propose an action plan to help resolve the inadequate placement percentage as well as a change in board members for the HS.
What we really need right now is connection. Names of people and groups that can help give good suggestions for program outlines and policies, provide assistance in this pending overhaul of a broken down system, or volunteers willing to do the groundwork needed to spread awareness to the communities at large. Depending on how things play out, foster homes may be needed in large numbers. This is not a cry for money but for community outreach and networking.
I ask that you spread the word about Teddy to other dog lovers, to let his suffering not go unheard. This has gone beyond the matter of a "SPO" (stupid pet owner) into a realm that should have a measurable difference of intolerance for this kind of behavior. If you have a suggestion as to where to look for guidance, please reply in the comments or relay them via email to email@example.com. Your assistance in any way is greatly appreciated.
(I'm writing this in the aftermath of a very long day, so forgive me if things are a bit out of sorts. I will be posting links to any news articles or public documents on this subject matter as they come available.)