recipient: Hope Taft, Ohio's First Lady, The Office of the First Lady
More than 6,000 cats, dogs, puppies and kittens enter this facility each year, most of them never leave alive. By signing this petition, you are asking the assistance of First Lady of Ohio, Hope Taft, to address the long-standing conditions at this facility that fail to meet even minimal animal welfare standards under Ohio Revised Code.
You are also voicing your concern that Summit County Ohio Executive James McCarthy has repeatedly continued to ignore information obtained from public records and first hand witnesses to address these cases of animal abuse and cruelty.
For more information on this facility, please visit:
9/12/06 UPDATE: As expected, the proposed residential site was voted down by a large margin (9 to 1). A member of the animal rescue community attended the council meeting and spoke with several knowledgeable people afterwards who reinforced the opinion that James McCarthy never had any real intention of building a new animal shelter.
9/1/06 UPDATE: A proposal to build a new animal control facility on county Metro Parks land in Tallmadge was placed on second reading, but may fizzle when the council holds its next regular meeting Sept. 11. Council member Dan Congrove, D-Akron, said the proposed facility to be located in his district does not appear to have enough votes to pass. The measure also has local opposition. Tallmadge Mayor Chris Grimm told the council his residents oppose clearing five acres of "pristine woods'' on Eastwood Avenue within 60 to 90 feet of homes. Dyer told council members that McCarthy wants the project to go forward as it is. With all due respect to the executive,'' Grimm said, "if he thinks this is a neat thing to do, the city of Tallmadge will buy a lot 90 feet from his house and build a dog pound.''
It should be noted that the present facility was designed as a stable to house horses back when the County was a horse and buggy town at the turn of the last century. It is completely inadequate to humanely house the many thousands of cats and dogs that are unfortunate enough to find themselves impounded there each year.
8/16/06 UPDATE: SCACF Director, Chrissy Congrove, has mailed letters to all rescue groups that have raised concerns about the treatment of impounded animals at SCACF. Included as part of this letter was a demand to immediate access of each rescue group's adoption and veterinary records. It appears that Congrove and Summit County Supervisor Craig Stanley are planning to void each rescue group's contract in retaliation for speaking out against the continued cases of animal cruelty and neglect at this facility. If this happens, it is projected that hundreds of additional deaths of impounded animals will occur each year.
We the undersigned urge you to do everything in your power to make Summit County Ohio Executive James McCarthy understand that the people of Ohio, the United States, and the world will no longer tolerate the inhumane treatment of animals at Summit County Ohio Animal Shelter. Long-standing conditions that fail to meet even minimal animal welfare standards under Ohio Revised Code have recently grown worse.
The most horrendous abuse occured in early November 2005, when then shelter director Anthony Moore injected 2 cc of sodium pentobarbital into each of 18 dogs, some of whom weighed up to 100 pounds. This dosage is clearly under the 1 cc per 10 pounds of body weight mandatory for humane euthanasia. Undoubtedly, some (if not all) of the dogs regained consciousness while trapped inside a freezer. It is difficult to imagine their pain and fear as they slowly froze to death. The fact a "shelter" is responsible for this act of animal cruelty is particularly appalling.
We call upon you as First Lady of the State of Ohio, to help initiate a full investigation of animal mistreatment allegations at Summit County Animal Shelter. We urge you to advocate prosecution to the maximum extent under the law for all culpable parties.
An animal's unwanted status makes him or her no less vulnerable to abuse, yet Summit County shelter workers seem to view their four-legged charges as inanimate objects. Over an 18-month span, at least 53 dogs and cats wound up dead in cages. Witnesses have described cleaning chemicals splashed on dogs, cat bowls encrusted with mold, and ailing animals left to die. Dogs languish in cubicle cages more than 23 hours a day with no exposure to fresh air or sunlight. They are confined with only one meal per day due to insufficient staff to clean cages if fed twice, according to a pound worker's statement.
Ohio Revised Code stipulates animals subsist no longer than 13 hours between feedings. It also specifies a Warden as the only employee who may authorize a dog's euthanasia before the three-day hold period ends. Summit County Supervisor Craig Stanley has ordered euthanasia in violation of this Code.
Almost one-third of the shelter's cats and kittens are destroyed within 24 hours. The space reserved to annually kill 5,000 animals does not even have a euthanasia table, so animals die on a concrete floor. Under the current supervision of county employee Craig Stanley, the Summit County Animal Shelter has become notorious for inhumane euthanasia, erroneous record keeping, poor sanitation, and mass killings.
Animal cruelty is an act of violence which is often an indicator of other violence that is being perpetrated along with animal abuse, or a predictor that such individuals are at high risk of becoming increasingly violent offenders. It is a well documented fact that the victimization and abuse of a companion animal often coincides with the physical abuse of children, women and even the elderly.
For all the reasons above, we hope you will do everything possible to help overhaul this facility and replace current staff with qualified, responsive professionals from animal welfare, shelter, or veterinary backgrounds. Please take immediate action to help stop the abuse and neglect of companion animals inside Summit County Animal Shelter.