COUNTY POUND REFORM
An OHIO SPCA Priority
In 2002, the OHIO SPCA, then known as the Ohio Humane Education association (OHEA), began investigating reports regarding inhumane treatment of animals at county dog pounds. Our volunteer county coordinators gathered documentation and evidence. In an effort to work with the dog wardens and county commissioners, the OHIO SPCA offered help and submitted proposals for change. When we were ignored, we went to the media and in some cases, help from pro bono attorneys was required and legal action was taken. As a result, guns were silenced, the use of engine exhaust ended, and gas boxes and gas chambers dismantled.
During the early morning hours on December 15, 2022 the Ohio House passed SB 164, which bans the use of gas chambers in Ohio animal shelters. Although this bill is good for the record, the last gas chamber was removed in Erie County in July of 2021. For nearly two decades, the Ohio SPCA went county by county, and through public exposure and three lawsuits, we stopped the use of bullets, homemade gas boxes, and gas chambers. Our volunteers were on the ground to dig up dogs that had been shot in the head and to photograph homemade gas boxes and gas chambers. The graphic images they faced will never be forgotten. As a result of the dedicated work of our volunteers, thousands of dogs did not die a horrific death. County shelters switched to lethal injection and shelter adoptions increased.