Demand Reform Now at Summit County Animal Control
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Demand Reform Now at Summit County Animal Control
The City of Akron and Summit County as a whole have been making national headlines with the positive changes and community commitments we have been making. With the brand new additions of the Goodyear Theater as well as the many activities popping up all over our community, we are making a name for ourselves in a positive light, nationally.
There is so much to be proud of in our community; however, we are not proud of Summit County Animal Control (SCAC) or its leadership, and do not believe that its practices reflect our compassion or aspirations as a community.
SCAC and their policies do not align with Mayor Daniel Horrigan’s vision and consistent messages of being progressive, valuing efficiency, effectiveness, and most importantly TRANSPARENCY.
With Ilene Shapiro taking over for Russ Pry after his untimely passing, she promised to stand by SCAC and continue to monitor its reform and progressiveness. This seems to be lacking on her part.
We ask you to join us in this petition to reform SCAC, their staff & leadership, and outdated policies & culture.
In looking at the Summit County website, there is no way to look up the annual report for their facility; however, the website is easily navigable to find the information on human death rates. This is quite disturbing that as a community, we can see the total number of human deaths and their causes, but we cannot easily access the data from our local animal control facility.
In order to learn and grow, access to this data is KEY in improving the practices and policies at SCAC. Intake and Outcome data are necessary in holding this facility accountable.
As voting citizens, we should find this unacceptable and we should demand this information be made public.
With a $2.96 million dollar facility, SCAC should be a bright spot in our community, as well as a model to other communities in Ohio and their animal control efforts. However, with the same staff that came under fire in 2004 and years to follow, for the poor treatment of animals, it is hardly the bright spot we were promised it would be.
We propose the following immediate changes be made to ensure the progressiveness of SCAC and an IMMEDAITE CULTURAL change.
First and foremost, we as tax paying citizens of this community, demand that annual reports on Intakes and Outcomes be readily available to the general public immediately. How can we measure the success of this facility without knowing what is going on behind closed doors?
- Establish a Rescue Program: Create an active and inclusive partnership and contract with the MANY reputable rescues in our area. Not just a few, as many as possible. It has come to light that SCAC and its leaders have requested volunteers to stop networking and contacting local rescues to help save animals. Local rescues will focus on rescuing the animals in need if given the proper chance at communicating with the staff, volunteers, and administration. Currently, SCAC is not rescue friendly. SCAC needs to propose and follow through with creating a contract between local rescues and SCAC. Without this, the lives of innocent animals are at risk every single day.
- Establish a WELL-MANAGED Volunteer Program: Presently, it is unclear whether there is support of the volunteers at SCAC by the staff, management, and the administration. The staff is currently not friendly or accessible with the current volunteers. As citizens, we want to know the specifics of our volunteer program. Screening process? The hours? The tasks? Training requirements? For the safety of the community, and most importantly the animals, we want to implement a Volunteer Coordinator position who is strictly in charge of the entire volunteer force. Provide training, not just a meeting, but hands on training to the volunteers to ensure safe handling of all animals. Follow the lead of local rescues such as One of a Kind Pets and the Humane Society of Summit County as examples in how their volunteer force is managed.
- Raise Visibility and TRANSPARENCY of ALL Impounded Animals: ALL animals should have the opportunity to have their photo and biography posted on all social media outlets. Not just the animals on the adoption floor. Animals that are in isolation and in danger of being euthanized for the multitude of reasons SCAC euthanizes for, need to be networked with local animal rescues. Take for example the direction that Franklin County Dog Shelter has taken, create a website and email list to market the animals who are not available to the public to local rescues. Allow the animals who are in danger of being euthanized the chance at SURVIVAL. Whether it be a medical or behavioral reason that euthanasia is considered, use this information to reach out to local rescues, with whom you create a contract relationship. Stop hiding the animals that are in danger. It is no secret that an open in-take facility such as SCAC euthanizes for medical, behavioral, and space issues, so stop hiding the ones who have the opportunity to be saved by local rescues, who may not be adoptable to the general public.
These requests are only a beginning. We propose a sit down meeting with Mayor Daniel Horrigan, Ilene Shapiro and the Humane Advisory Board where positive ideas and facts are exchanged to create a PARTNERSHIP for permanent change. Summit County citizens want leadership with intention and determination to make SCAC part of our compassionate and progressive Summit County Community.
Join us to reform Summit County Animal Control and ELIMINATE this outdated, ineffective culture.
The below links may be helpful to further educate the community.
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