Sunday, August 14, 2011

Animal shelter inspections not required in Ohio

By Cornelius Frolik

Local officials said the recent removal of more than 650 dogs and cats from rescue shelters in Huber Heights, Bethel Twp. and Piqua because of poor living conditions and neglect highlight a loophole in Ohio law that does not require shelters to be inspected.

Animal advocates and officials said that even shelter operators with the best intentions can accept too many animals and become overwhelmed, which can result in the animals suffering serious neglect.

“Other states have some stringent inspection requirements,” said Mark Kumpf, director of the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center. “We don’t have those here in Ohio.”

In another neglect case, a few of the 50 exotic birds found at a home in Troy are being cared for on the property by the Miami County Humane Society. Officials said charges could result from their ongoing investigation.

On Wednesday, officers with the Animal Resource Center executed a search warrant at Circle of Love animal rescue shelter at 6721 Spokane Drive in Huber Heights after complaints about the smell and noise coming from the home.

Officers seized 85 cats and 46 dogs from the residence, some of which had fleas, skin problems, ringworm, upper respiratory infections and feline herpes virus, Kumpf said.

Circle of Love, incorporated at the Huber Heights address in 2008, is a nonprofit that adopted out about 200 animals a year, the owners said. It had a commercial kennel license from the county, but the city prohibits such businesses from operating in residential neighborhoods..." More

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