Support change for the Hocking County Dog Shelter

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The Hocking County Dog Shelter is a small facility that only has 13 permanent kennels. They are consistently full and usually overcrowded, bringing in donated cages and kennels to sit in any open space available. The Shelter staff includes a Dog Warden, and one part-time employee, Anna.

The Hocking County Commissioners have been sitting on a 24 page proposal on improvements needed at the Hocking County Dog shelter for over 3 months, only responding with, "we are working on it". The commissioners meet twice a week. The proposal was drawn up by Anna after many discussions with members of the community on the multiple concerns about the safety of the shelter and the well being of the dogs being housed in it. The issues outlined in the proposal are not new, and the Commissioners have been made aware of these same problems before. But consistent with previous years of ignoring complaints and pleas for improvements to our shelter and for the dogs well being, nothing seems to be getting done.

This proposal, outside of the 24 pages, also contains potential applications for a volunteer program, fostering, transporting (Anna coordinates all transports and works with rescues across the state of Ohio to try to save as many dogs as she can during working hours, and more often than not, on her own time), and how to "know our dogs" from the minute they walk through the door. She created a table of contents and included a note asking to talk about certain points before others, knowing that some issues are of higher priority for the dogs. She included information on Save-A-Pup Shelter care, a nonprofit that Anna created to provide vet care, treatments, prevention, and spay and neutering as many dogs as she can since the commissioners do not allow for that in the Dog Shelter budget as well.

Each of the three County Commissioners received their own binder containing the proposals along with suggestions and ideas on how to bring in more funding if the already allotted funds will someone not cover any improvements. 

The dogs in the Hocking County Dog Shelter were without heat this winter, and the commissioners were already aware of this. This caused the dogs to be without water at times because their water would freeze. Now, going into summer months, this incredibly small facility has no air conditioning in the kennel area as well. We cannot allow our county to keep dogs in their possession in conditions that we don't allow citizens to keep their own dogs in. 

Last year, after enough members of the community spoke up, the dogs were able to be removed to temporary spaces during the annual 4th of July fireworks display that is held directly in front of the dog shelter at our Fairgrounds. Without as much community support as we had, the dogs would have been forced, for another year, to stay trapped in their concrete kennels during the display.

Several years ago, the Ohio SPCA was able to force the county commissioners to stop using the 'homemade gas chamber' at our shelter for euthanizing its dogs by bringing forth a lawsuit for the humane treatment of the dogs. The Commissioners tried to have the case dismissed and ignored the concerns and complaints by members of the community, but the Ohio SPCA won and they were forced to stop using it.

We will need as much support as we can get to help the County Commissioners see the importance of the improvements needed for our shelter dogs. The surrounding counties are able to have new shelters, volunteer and foster programs, improved housing for the dogs, access to vet care, and multiple fundraising opportunities to continue improvements and care. We cannot allow our county to be left behind. We cannot allow our county to fail our dogs.

Please sign our petition and help us by contacting the commissioners and asking them to seriously consider the proposal to improve the Hocking County Dog Shelter and help save the lives of our county's most at-risk dogs.
Phone number: 740-385-5195
Email: commissioners@co.hocking.oh.us