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Wapak woman voices concerns

July 12, 2011

Councilor-at-large Thomas Finkelmeier Jr.

A Wapakoneta woman with concerns regarding the Humane Society of Auglaize County pleaded with Wapakoneta City Council members to visit the facility before approving any funding for the organization.
Lynn Schweitzer, of Wapakoneta, did work at the Humane Society of Auglaize County, often known as ACHS, and told councilors during Monday’s meeting of her concerns for the safety of the animals, workers and volunteers at the facility.
“I am asking you to go out there, go through the big barn, see the dogs — but don’t go as a group because that would not be smart because they would know something was coming up,” Schweitzer said. “Go in there and look for the intercom system, there should be one in the big barn.
“When you go past the dogs are they lunging at you,” she said. “Now I want you to think do you really want my tax dollars supporting a place like that?”
During Monday’s meeting, councilors heard the first reading of an ordinance providing $7,500 to the local Humane Society.
While addressing councilors, Schweitzer reiterated many of the claims she made in a series of Letters to the Editor, which have run in the Wapakoneta Daily News.
She talked about a man performing community service attacked by a dog in the big barn and who had no way of informing workers in the office that he was harmed. Schweitzer, who was present at that time and helped the man, suggested an intercom system, even one for a baby’s room so activity in the barn could be heard.
Schweitzer, who is a registered nurse, complained the first aid kit at the facility contained two band-aids and a bottle of peroxide. She suggested a much better first aid kit.
She also suggested educational training for people adopting dogs so they can acclimate them to their home much better.
“I know dogs — I have been around dogs my whole life,” Schweitzer said. “I can train dogs, but I can’t train damaged dogs.”
She said a professional should be hired to determine which dogs can be trained and allowed into a home and those that cannot.
No one from the Humane Society of Auglaize County was present at the meeting to defend the organization.
Councilor-at-large Thomas Finkelmeier Jr., who chairs the Health and Safety Committee, recommended the contract be brought forward for approval. The contract expired in May.
Answering a question posed by Wapakoneta 1st Ward Councilor Jim Neumeier about the delay in its presentation, Finkelmeier said he wanted to to wait to see if the Auglaize County commissioners would approve the construction a new dog kennel and when it would be completed.
The new kennel, to be operated by the county dog warden, should be operational next spring. Finkelmeier did not want to enter into a two-year deal with the kennel opening next year at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds.
“I had heard through the grapevine that a dog kennel was being built by the county and I wanted to see how some of that would come to fruition,” Finkelmeier said. “In light of our presenter tonight (Monday), it is still advantageous for us to have the Humane Society as a dropoff point for both the dog warden and the police department.
“I think this should be revisited in a year when there is an alternative facility, but we still need their services for the next year,” he said. “To draw a line in the sand now would not behoove us as a legislative body because if we were to pull funding then a certain person would use that as fodder to scream from the hilltops and would actively try to work us on any dog care or any dogs we pick up or that the dog warden would pick up.”

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