Hocking County Dog Shelter temporarily closes for cleaning amid neglect accusations


LOGAN, Ohio - According to Hocking County Commissioner and President Sandy Ogle, seven dogs have been removed from the Hocking County Dog Shelter and placed at the humane society while cleaning is taking place at the shelter.

This comes after allegations of neglect at the shelter.

Anna Wright started her job at the Hocking County Dog Shelter three years ago because of her love of dogs. It's for that same reason, she says, she's speaking now.

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She says she has been to county commissioners multiple times because of issues like no hot water for baths and no heating or cooling at the shelter.

"It is considered animal cruelty," Wright said.

The Ohio Revised Code defines cruelty to animals as unnecessary or unjustifiable pain or suffering that is caused, permitted, or allowed to continue when there is a reasonable remedy or relief.

Wright says in 2017, for her annual review, she brought up the lack of heat to commissioners who told her they had never heard that and it would be fixed by the winter. By 2018, she says nothing had changed.

"When I went back they said they didn't know," she said. "I reminded them that I had mentioned it the previous year. They said they didn't know and that it was absolutely unacceptable and it would be fixed before the following winter."

In 2019, after months of research, Wright says she drafted a 24-page proposal for commissioners outlining, among other things, the lack of heat in the kennel.

"And they said that they didn't know, again," Wright said.

President Ogle, Monday, was not available for an interview but did say concerns on record were never brought to commissioners. She acknowledged Wright's proposal, but said it was not a complaint. On page 12 of that proposal, it says "there is currently no heating or cooling in the kennel area."

"This is Hocking County," Wright said. "It's a top tourist destination. Why aren't we taking better care of our dogs?"

Wright also takes issue with how she says donations are being handled. Recently, she says a middle school club had a donation drive for food, toys and treats for the animals. They were delivered in April in totes and baskets. Last week, Wright says they were thrown out.

"When I arrived to work last Wednesday, and I was cleaning, I opened the dumpster and I saw the toys and the unopened treats in the dumpster," Wright said.

Commissioner Ogle says there's more to it and that many toys were stuffed and it wasn't clear if they could be properly sanitized.

"I can't think of a logical reason," Wright said.

Wright says stuffed animals, to an extent, can be washed and rubber toys can be bleached. Wright says she loves working with animals. It's why she's speaking, even though she says she fears by doing so, she could be let go.

"Even if something happens [with employment], hopefully at least the shelter will still be improved," she said.