For several years the SCPR has been publishing blogs about the vociferous and vigorous complaints by some activist Stark County dog lovers (Activists) on conditions at the Stark County Dog Pound (Pound).
The complainers - for the most part - are volunteers at the Pound who recount eye witness incident after incident after incident of what they allege to be abusive treatment of dogs who land at the Pound.
In late 2009, the outcry got so marked that the then commissioners were forced to act. In early 2010 the fired Warden Evert Gibson and replaced him in May, 2010 with former Holmes County Dog Warden Reagan Tetreault who still is Stark's dog warden.
On December 26, 2010, yours truly did a blog who described the transition thusly:
On January 27, 2010 (nearly one year ago), Stark County commissioners (Bosley, Ferguson and Meeks) fired Evert Gibson as dog warden because of unresolved problems. Gibson had been on the job for several years.Ever since there has been simmering discontent among much of the Activists community with the management style of Tetreault.
After some controversy between the commissioners and members of the Stark County Dog Pound Advisory Board (SCDPAB) over the appearance of a non-SCDPAB recommended person as one of five finalists, the current warden Reagan Tetreault (on the list) was appointed (May 5, 2010) with a starting date of May 24, 2010 subject however to a 120 probationary period.
Commissioners have been aware of the rumblings and have been trying to keep a lid on it.
But at yesterday's regular weekly meeting of the Stark commissioners the lid exploded off "the can of worms" which The Report believes descriptive of the mishmash of turmoil afflicting Pound operations.
A video of Stark County citizen Ellen Shankle, (a former volunteer at the Pound and, according to a source, a former board member of the Friends of the Pound [Stark County], who was the primary complainer at yesterday's meeting, to wit:
On August 21, 2011 the SCPR did a blog that is an extensive review of the longstanding grievances of SCDPAB with Stark commissioners going back beyond the current board. Click anywhere on this paragraph to link to the prior blog.
The story of Roxy who on October 13, 2010 through a series of errors was euthanized at the Stark County Dog Pound to the horror of his owner family. Click anywhere in this paragraph to link to the Roxy blog.
EXHIBIT 4 (See videos below)
THE COMMISSIONERS RESPONSE
The SCPR's impression is that yesterday's outburst was a surprise to them.
Apparently, they did not see this coming. But The Report believes that they should have in light of what is going on with Canton City Council with its mulling over as to whether or not to continue with its present program of animal control of trapping wild animals (mostly cats) and then having them euthanized.
Opponents to the current program have besieged council with demands that policy be changed to TNR (trap-neuter-return).
The focal point of the TRN advocates cause is a viral YouTube video showing Canton Animal Control Officer Phil Sedlacko (also an employee of the Stark County Dog Pound) and his handling of a dog which he had captured.
The commissioners did hold a press conference after the presentation of Ms. Shankle and two other citizens.
In the main the response was:
- we have been working on this problem and will continue to do so until it is remedied,
- we are sending Chief Administrator Mike Hanke to spend the day (Friday, February 24) at the pound to get a first hand take on the situation of the Pound,
- we will hold public work sessions with dog warden to get to the bottom of problems,
- we deem the Pound in important concern, but it is not our top priority.
One would think that Commissioner Tom Bernabei would especially be interested in zeroing in or solving the festering SCDP problem inasmuch as he is up for re-election in November.
The SCPR could see this Republican opponent Craig T. Conley (who in the view of The Report has little else to pounce on Bernabei about) using this issue as a difference maker as to who gets elected.
In any event, to yours truly, it is high time that the commissioners (with the sales tax increase having been passed and the county budget having been completed) move to resolve the seemingly eternal Pound problems to the top of their list and getting a resolution "once and for all!"
Here is the video on the press conference.