Animal shelter

Dear Editor,

The Belmont County Animal Shelter is open 365 days per year, closed to the public on county holidays. I am sure someone reading this will be eager to share their advice as to how the shelter could be more successfully operated, and I encourage you to do so, but not anonymously. Enough with the Facebook comments, critical letters to the editor, and TV segments. Apparently, it’s very easy to pass judgement on everyone associated with the shelter when it can be done from the safety and warmth of your home.

Comments have been made in recent weeks about innocent dogs dying and the “lack of management and compassion” at the shelter. I am curious as to how much time was actually spent at the shelter to make these serious accusations.

I am a volunteer at the shelter. I have, among other chores, washed food dishes, floors, crates, and unending loads of bedding. I have scooped poop from floors, litter boxes, pavement, and grass. Yes, I have walked in it. It IS an animal shelter, and there is poop. My observation is that the information being given to the public by a few people is erroneous, at best.

It is true that innocent dogs are euthanized, but there is much more to the story. As for referring to the shelter as a “disgusting hoarding situation,” perhaps the person (or persons) who offer this comment have never actually seen a “disgusting hoarding situation” firsthand. I have seen several, and the conditions at the shelter are not even close. Also, how can we be hoarders when we “kill” so many innocent dogs? It can’t be both ways, so pick one.

Regarding the difficulty in adopting a dog, no situation is perfect. Does anyone (who knows her) really believe Verna would rather euthanize an animal than find it a “forever home”? Hundreds of dogs must be euthanized every year at shelters across the country, and not because it’s an enjoyable part of the job.

Maybe someone reading this can give tips on how THEY would distract the dog while a needle is put into it’s arm. Maybe they can also advise how to keep that dog calm, maybe happy, while he looks into your eyes and takes his last breath. What’s the easiest way to do this several hundred times a year? And let’s not forget how to choose the dog who will die in the first place. That’s Verna’s job, too.

Until you have walked the walk, save your judgement about the animal shelter and the people who work there 365 days per year. When you have seen it for yourself, THEN decide if there is a lack of “management and compassion.” Please don’t base your feelings on the comments of a few people.

Thank you.

Lorraine Fedak


Proud volunteer and supporter of the Belmont County?Animal?Shelter