I am writing to inform the community of my recent experience with the director of the Preble County Humane Society and the events that occurred after our family dog “Tippy” went missing on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
In the days following Tippy’s disappearance, I reached out numerous times to both the PCHS and County Dog Warden. I left detailed messages with descriptions of Tippy with staff and the PCHS Director who reassured me that a dog matching his description hadn’t been brought in. The Tuesday following Labor Day I visited the shelter to ensure Tippy wasn’t there. I again spoke with the director who confirmed he hadn’t come in.
It wasn’t until Sept. 13, that I was able to confirm through Facebook someone did take Tippy to the PCHS after picking him up near our home the day he went missing. This good-natured citizen felt she was taking the correct precautions to keep Tippy safe and ensure he would be able to return home. Once I had confirmation of this occurrence, I returned to the PCHS to seek answers from the director. Only then was she able to recall the dog that was “old, with no tags or a microchip” and how she put him in the Preble County Humane Society’s van and personally escorted him to the kill shelter located at the Preble County Fairgrounds. This was done immediately after Tippy was brought in, without any record made of him arriving at the PCHS.
To be sure it was in fact our dog, I went to the kill shelter the morning of Sept. 14, and met the warden and asked to see his records and the dogs he had in his possession. I did not find my dog among the numerous empty kennels anxiously awaiting me to come get him. I found him in the bottom of their freezer in a trash bag with his orange collar still on. The records confirmed he was euthanized on Tuesday, Sept. 4. This is less than a week after his arrival and immediately following a three-day-weekend, which affected business hours for the PCHS and greatly limited access to the dog warden.
Even after being what I consider publicly slandered by the Preble County Humane Society on their Facebook page, I made the conscious decision to refrain from engaging on social media. Their personal attack only leads me to further believe that this was their way of damage control and saving face while realizing their mistake and attempting to cover it by shifting blame. Fortunately, it backfired and ended up being removed after several of their statements contradicted previous ones. It is reassuring and heart warming to have read each and every comment left on the posts. We were overwhelmed that so many people agree that the dishonesty, lack of empathy, and corruptness displayed by the PCHS.
The first sentence of the Preble County Humane Society’s Mission Statement reads: To provide temporary refuge for lost, abandoned, abused, unwanted, or injured animals. We feel Tippy was denied temporary shelter; even though he was clearly a well cared for dog wearing a collar. As unfortunate as it is, I hope our story continues to shine light on other situations that got swept under the rug. I should have properly recorded the conversations with staff and documented my calls and visits. At that time I felt I was dealing with an honest, caring, individual who had the animals’ best interests at heart.
Going forward, I have full faith that the PCHS board of directors will further look into this matter as well as reviewing other unfortunate experiences recently brought forth pertaining to the mishandling of information and animals at the PCHS. With further support from the community, my goal is to use our story to bring about the procedural and hopefully staffing changes necessary to ensure that no other family or their pet endures this kind of treatment.