Our educational programs remain a top priority for the Stark County Humane Society. These programs contain age-appropriate instruction regarding responsible pet ownership. Generally, the programs include videos, discussions with the students and interaction with shelter animals that are transported to the schools by volunteers and/or staff. Through these educational efforts, it is our hope that these children will grow into responsible pet owners who love and care for their animals. We also welcome volunteer groups of students to help at the shelter. We teamed up with the Louisville Library over the Summer Reading Season and hosted a Volunteer Child (accompanied with an adult) to come into the Shelter and read to a furry friend. All children were entered into a chance at a prize of a Petsmart Gift Card. Winner was pulled at the end of the Summer Reading Season.
During 2018, educational programs were presented at a number of schools including:
As many of us know, animals offer companionship, comfort and much joy. For nursing home residents and others with special needs, our pet therapy program provides the opportunity to enjoy friendly visits on a regular basis with a shelter volunteer or staff member and a puppy or kitten.
Among the facilities visited during 2018:
Our employees continue to respond to complaints regarding cruelty, abuse or abandonment of animals throughout the county. The education of pet owners may be appropriate in some cases. However, our employees are trained in compiling evidence in order to successfully prosecute pet owners who violate the law. In 2018, a total of 888 complaints were investigated. A large number of these complaints were due to pet owners moving and not taking their pet(s) with them. We've had a number of calls from health departments and social services because an owner was not able to care for their animal(s) or had a large number of animals in their home. Ohio still is behind the rest of the country in updating cruelty laws. Many of our animal laws are over 150 years old, and desperately need to be revised. Our vehicles cover the entire county for cruelty investigations, and pick up stray sick and/or injured animals. In 2018, we had a total of 975 day and night calls. In 2016, we were able to have a Humane Agent sworn in by Judge Dixie Park. This was the first ever on record of Stark County having a Humane Agent.