Humane officer sought for county

Published 12:58 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A spike in reports of alleged animal cruelty brought two members of the Lawrence County Humane Society to the county commissioners’ work session on Tuesday asking for the re-creation of a county humane officer.

“These animal abuses need to be corrected,” Alberta Wise, humane society treasurer, said. “If the problem is not corrected, they would be cited to court.”

Abuse reports range from animals chained in mud to locked inside a shed without food or water.

In Ohio, animals must be provided with food, water and shelter, Wise said.

“We have had to make calls about horses,” said commissioner Bill Pratt who owns a farm off Big Branch Road.

Commission president Les Boggs asked if the humane officer would investigate calls alone.

If the officer needed backup support, Wise said there were law enforcement officers who have said they would accompany the humane officer.

“The humane society would pay the (police) officer to help with support,” she said.

Wise asked the commission to consider creating this post at an annual salary of $10,000. Right now there are three individuals who said they would consider the job, she said.

“It would be easier for us to do in the new budget year,” Pratt said.

The county hasn’t had a humane officer since at least 2003.