CIRCLEVILLE — Pickaway County Commissioners heard from a group of advocates for changes at the Pickaway County Dog Shelter.
The group, after protesting for two hours at the Pickaway County Courthouse on Monday, presented a series of topics they wanted commissioners to consider in making changes to the shelter.
The group also brought signs with pictures of euthanized dogs they said didn’t need to be euthanized, as well as pictures of the conditions at the dog shelter.
Jonna Curtiss, former volunteer and organizer of the shelter, said the herald earlier this week, the group’s concerns are: lack of care for dogs; decisions made by unqualified and inexperienced people, staff and governing bodies on matters that harm dogs and sometimes people; and lobby for the shelter to adopt policies in line with industry standards
Curtiss spoke for about 20 minutes to address some of those concerns and others, including a dog that recently had puppies. She called out each of her points as requests for the commissioners to consider.
“The most current situation requiring special attention involves a young female dog and her puppies being held at the Pickaway County Dog Shelter against her best interests,” she said.
Curtiss went on to say that as a group they felt the dog should be sent to the rescue with the puppies, which she said was allowed under Ohio’s revised code as long as no money was left. was traded for puppies, citing health risks and future harmful behavior of dogs kept as puppies.
Curtiss shared the stories of four dogs who were euthanized because she said the shelter was full and the dogs were picked because staff thought they had behavioral issues.
She described the ways she felt these dogs weren’t given the opportunity to thrive and succeed outside of the shelter.
“[A dog’s] euthanasia was not necessary based on the assumptions made by staff,” Curtiss said. “She should have been sent to the rescue with her puppies.”
Curtiss spoke about what she called “the shelter’s inexperienced staff” and gave examples she said demonstrated this, including a dog that was returned to the shelter for aggressive behavior. ND was later sent to the rescue in Montana and has since been adopted.
“It is clear that the staff do not have the knowledge to draw these conclusions about these dogs in the shelter, and these conclusions result in them not being adopted and sometimes having their lives taken,” a- she declared.
Curtiss said she felt “there had been a definite disregard” for the shelter and wanted to “bring the shelter up to date with current best practices.”
“It’s clear that operating by current standards, or lack thereof, is detrimental to many people involved,” she said.
The commissioners made no concessions at the meeting, with commissioner Jay Wippel saying they had their contact details if they had any further questions.
Dissatisfied with this response, the group began asking the commissioners additional questions before Wippel said, “Ninety-nine percent of the animals that come into this shelter are either adopted or rescued.”
Of the litters of puppies at the shelter, Wippel said, “We’ve had litters of puppies delivered there for years and that’s how we handle it.
“Unlike if you think we are following the law, we have to follow the Ohio Revised Code. They are isolated and supported.