I recently paid a visit to the Belmont County Animal Rescue League. I also have done some digging and what I have seen and found out completely appalls me. The fact they call themselves a “rescue league” is a shame. You see a true rescue league does not euthanize animals when rescues or foster homes have offered to pay adoption fees and take the animals.
A few weeks ago, a pug rescue inquired about 6 Pugs that were up for adoption at BCARL. A 501c3 rescue from Pennsylvania was willing to pull ALL 6 pugs and was fully funded to do so. Verna, the shelter director, DENIED their paperwork because she said, “They’re pure bred, they’ll get adopted.” So not only did she stop 6 lives from moving forward and getting out of the shelter, she prevented 6 more lives (the 6 dogs who would have taken the 6 pugs place) a chance of surviving. Several private adopters ended up adopting these pugs. One of which who’s eye was in such bad shape it ruptured a few days after leaving the shelter which immediately needed removed. The shelter told the adopter this dog’s eye was just “dry” and he had eye drops which of course they couldn’t find when the person transporting the dog showed up. Had this dog gotten proper medical care and been adopted out in a timely manner this probably could have been prevented.
Most recently, I came across a story on Facebook regarding Lori, a female pit who was pulled from a hoarding situation. From my understanding, there was a rescue (501c3) willing to pull her and provide her with all the love and care she needed; they just asked that she be cat-tested. Instead of taking the 5 minutes to cat-test her, innocent Lori was put to sleep for no good reason. I am completely disgusted about this! An innocent dog dies because someone is too lazy to see if she can get along with cats? Is it more cost effective to put her down than to have a fully sponsored rescue pull her? An innocent life was lost all because of someones stubbornness and laziness.
Also the condition of the shelter is nothing to be desired. It looks like a disgusting hoarding situation. All of the animals have something wrong with them health wise. I couldn’t begin to count how many animals had fleas and how many piles of feces had worms in them, which the dogs walk right through, which in turn just continues to pass the worms around and contaminate the soil.
Then there is the issue of how difficult it is to adopt a dog. It’s taken several people over a month to actually adopt the dog. Anytime adopters follow up on the applications no one answers their calls, no one responds to their emails or anything. The message at the shelter says the animal is no longer available if no one returns your call when most of the time the animal is still there, and secondly if the animal is not available maybe the person would be interested in another one then.
I’ve heard several stories where adopters were denied just because Verna didn’t like the way they looked, talked, or felt because of where they lived they couldn’t afford an animal. Who is she to judge people based on the city where they live?
These are just a few of the things. This place needs a complete overhaul. Innocent dogs are dying all because of the lack of management and compassion at this “rescue league”. I encourage all animal lovers everywhere to let all of the Belmont County commissioners know just how terrible the situation is and demand change!