Monday, December 28, 2015



UPDATE:  07:45 AM
From:  Karen Kirsch
Today at 7:39 AM
Good news for the animals! Thanks for sharing this information and bringing to public attention the plight helpless animals also face if/when disaster hits.

(Central Ohio Kennel Club)
Stark & Adjoining Counties



Stark County getting its very own (sort of, actually it is to be shared with nearby counties) Pet Disaster Relief Trailer is an example of local government(s) working together to wit:
  • county to county, 
  • county emergency management director in relation to the county dog warden to the county commissioners,
  • county commissioners vis-a-vis non-government entities (i.e. AKC and its affiliates), and
  • the like,
The prime mover for Stark County getting in on the ground floor to have the county as the home base for a newly donated Pet Disaster Relief Trailer was Stark County Emergency Management director Tim Warstler.

According to Stark County chief administrator Brant Luther, Tim became aware of a first of its kind project for Delaware County (May, 2015) to find a way to rescue pets from a disaster situation.

The impetus was a Congress enacted piece of legislation in 2013 the cost of implementing was laid on state and/or local governments.

Tim's pick up on the significance of having a disaster pet rescue facility was akin to that of a professional colleague (in the sense of being a county emergency management [EMA] director) for Delaware County; namely, Sean Miller who proved to be the impetus for Central Ohio Kennel Club official Jon Green (also a delegate to the American Kennel Club) being heard in Ohio in terms of getting the ball rolling to raise funds to have a trailer in Ohio.  (LINK to newspaper report).

At today's prices, the trailers cost $23,000 each to put together which is funded by AKC affiliated clubs.  A local AKC club is the McKinley Kennel Club (LINK) which does not have the financial resources (reference:  Jon Green in video below) to provide money but nonetheless is a supporter of making the trailers available across Ohio and, of course, right here in Stark County.

Also playing a critical Stark County role in securing a rescue trailer (delivered in mid-November, 2015) for Stark has been Stark County dog warden John Barber who was hired in August, 2013.   (LINK to SCPR blog on Barber's hire)

Before Barber, at least in most of the decade before him, if not longer; the Stark County Dog Pound (SCDP, Pound) was plagued with administrative oversight and effective administration problems.

In a November 6, 2015 Stephanie Ujhelyi of The Alliance Review did a review (LINK) of the overall history of the Pound.

Recently, Barber retired.

The Stark County commissioners are on record with a policy of not rehiring retiring county officials.

However, there was an outcry by many knowledgeable about the history of operations at the facility that the commissioners make an exception to their policy.

Though the SCPR has received complaints about Barber which seem to focus on the retire/rehire thing, yours truly thinks that a rehire of Barber was warranted conditioned however on his training a successor who can take over in a seamless qualitative transition to younger generation leadership.

For Barber, it had to be music to the ears to know that the newly acquired trailer can handle up to 65 dogs on an emergency basis.

Here is how the story unfolded as told by Stark County chief administrator Brant Luther (see above re: Warstler) and Green.

Two years ago Green was at the American Kennel Club annual dog show where he got wind of the trailer project and the fact that no such trailers existed in Ohio.

Green agreed to be sort of a liaison to secure a foothold for getting the disaster rescue trailers into Ohio in volume.

(LINK to AKC Website Page)

As the SCPR understands Green, he tried to interest State of Ohio disaster relief officials in the trailer but they were not all that interested because they had/have higher priorities.

Here is where Delaware County's EMA Director Sean Miller played a hugely import role in getting the project started in Ohio.

An example of bottom up as contrasted to top down government.  Refreshing, no?

And, as it turns out, Stark County's very own EMA director Warstler in a key person in terms of expansion of the first effort which undoubtedly will result in additional units being placed across Ohio.

Although, according to Green, and as is pointed out above, there is now federal law on the books that requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide for pets during a disaster; he makes the compelling point in terms of overall animal welfare that many disasters in which animals could be victims if not looked after are not what he called "FEMA recognized."

Accordingly, many local disasters could result in animals not being attended to but for the American Kennel Club (AKC) and affiliates (e.g. Central Ohio Kennel Club) effort in getting pet disaster relief capability into Ohio's counties as a part of the AKC et al overall national program.

Here is a video of Jon Green explaining the history of the evolvement of the pet disaster rescue operation/facility.

Be sure not to miss the highly humorous remark of Commissioner Janet Creighton to the effect that availability of more trailer units in a good thing for Commissioner Bernabei.

And here is a video of public officials taking a close up view of the Stark County Disaster Relief trailer.

1 comment:

Karen Kirsch said...

Good news for animals. Thank you for sharing this information and for bringing to public attention the plight animals also face if/when disaster hits. Stark County is especially blessed to finally have Jon Barber, an outstanding dog warden.