This blog is a first in a series that the SCPR is reporting, in detail, on the long-term problems at the Stark County Dog Pound which have been unsolved by the Stark County commissioners going back at least five years. Moreover, The Report will be commenting on the status of attempts to rectify the problems and whether or not they are being effective.
About a week ago, there was a re-eruption of discontent among Stark County dog lovers that surfaced at the Stark County commissioners regular weekly meeting on October 20th when the Michael Greathouse, II family appeared at the meeting to get answers as to why, on October 13, 2010 the family dog (Roxy) was on October 13th accidentally euthanized by personnel of the Stark County Dog Pound.
Ohio statutory law requires that a dog be kept a minimum of 72 hours by a county dog pound prior to being euthanized. Roxy was missing a mere 14 hours prior to the Greathouse's learning that their dog had been euthanized.
Kristen Greathouse was back to the commissioners meeting on October 20th wanting to know why they had no answers after two full weeks of waiting for the outcome of the investigation and a report of the disciplinary action taken.
The SCPR attended a meeting of the Stark County Dog Pound Advisory Board (SCDPAB) on October 21st, the day after the Greathouses appeared at the October 20th commissioners meeting at which they lodged a complaint with the commissioners and asked for reasons why their dog was euthanized.
At the SCDPAB meeting (which is held monthly at the North Branch of the Stark County District Library at 6:00 p.m.), another family (the Beaver family) surfaced telling a tale of horror of how their dog who was properly licensed, sheltered, secured and maintained in terms of being vaccinated up to standard was attacked and mauled by neighboring pit bulls whose owner, they said, had not properly licensed, sheltered, secured, maintained and insured them.
Because the Beaver family dog was so badly mauled it would have cost upwards of $22,000 to have the dog surgically repaired without any guaranteed of recovery, the Beavers elected to have their dog put down.
The Beavers had been working with the Stark County Dog Pound (SCDP) since June of this year to deal with the pit bull owner's failure to comply with being cited by the SCDP with corrective action, but to no avail.
The Beavers believe that the SCDP's failure resulted in the mauling and the need for them to put their dog down.
The SCPR has much video footage to present to the Stark County public on the many, many problems at the SCDP.
The Report is digging into why the Stark County commissioners have been so out-of-touch with the problems at the pound; apparently working to resolve the many complaints about personnel staffing the pound, but seemingly spinning their wheels.
It seems to yours truly that the commissioners have not effectively taken charge of correcting problems at the pound that the current commissioners and their predecessors have long known about.
Commissioner Meeks told The Report on Wednesday evening the commissioners are proceeding cautiously because a number of years ago a pound employee was found to have been improperly disciplined by the county and the finding cost the county in the neighborhood of $50,000 to settle.
One of the looming problems facing Stark's dog lovers and the volunteers at the pound is that two of the three commissioners dealing with the current outcry will be gone in a matter of about two months.
Commissioner Todd Bosley is vacating his commissioner's job effective December 31st of this year as he is running for state representative in Ohio's 50th District.
Commissioner Steven Meeks is likely to be defeated in his endeavor to be elected to a seat on the Stark Board of Commissioners by his Republican opponent Janet Creighton.
Even if he should win, which the SCPR does not expect, he still will be required to step down for at least five weeks because the term he is serving now (the unfilled term of former Commissioner Tom Harmon) will expire as soon as the Stark County Board of Election certifies either Democrat Tom Bernabei or Republican James N. Walters in the election to fill the remaining two years of the Harmon seat.
The Report has gone into the political side of the succession of office to acquaint readers with yet another complication that citizens actively engaged in trying to work out the problems of the pound with commissioners will have to face.
By following the daily blogs of the SCPR, readers can become well informed as to what the problems at the pound are, who is dealing with them, what is being done, and whether or not "real" solutions are being achieved.
Commissioner Bosley (the president of the Stark County Board of Commissioners) has demanded that Warden Reagan Tetreault have a final report on the investigation of and disciplinary disposition of Roxy's erroneous euthanization by next Tuesday's scheduled commissioners' meeting.
Next up: Episode 2.