Licking Co. Warden Accused Of Mishandling Dead Dogs

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Animal advocates on Tuesday were calling for change at the Licking County Animal Shelter, after a YouTube video showed dead dogs being dragged to an incinerator.

Bonnie Mansfield runs the Bark Animal Rescue in Buckeye Lake, and said rescuing and caring for dogs from the Licking County shelter is a regular part of her job, 10TV's Lindsey Seavert reported.

Mansfield said not every dog from the shelter is receiving the humane treatment it deserves. 

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She acted on her suspicions that dogs were not being treated properly and filed a public records request, seeking video from the shelter's cameras on days dogs are euthanized in a gas chamber.

In September, Mansfield said Warden Jon Luzio dragged dead dogs on the ground before loading them into an incinerator.

"He just looks so insensitive," Mansfield said. "Look, the little thing just flops around there.  It's unbelievable that our county dog warden is getting paid to do this."

Mansfield put the video on YouTube and as of Tuesday afternoon it had been viewed nearly 4,000 times, Seavert reported.

"There has been quite an uproar over it," she said.
 
Luzio said he was targeted for simply doing his job, Seavert reported.

"It really hurts bad because I love animals and that's why I do what I do. To be portrayed improperly, it hurts very much," Luzio said.

Luzio said it may appear callous, but the dogs were too heavy to carry for his bad back, Seavert reported.

"It sort of does look that way, these animals have been deceased for some time, just trying to transport them out of the freezer into the crematorium," Luzio said.

Luzio said he may change how he transports dead animals.

"I am not a heartless person in fact just the opposite," Luzio said.

Mansfield said that treatment is anything but humane.

"Even if the dogs are dead, you can't be insensitive, you are in the eye of the public, he has a job to do and he should be doing it with some compassion," Mansfield said.

Animal advocates have organized a meeting in Kirkersville scheduled for Sunday afternoon to discuss their call for change, Seavert reported.

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