WAVERLY, OHIO – Earlier this week, Action News' Scott Taylor went to Morgan County and found out that the government there has authorized the shootings of many lost pets. In continuing his investigation, he discovered that the situation is even worse in Pike County.
This is a story that you could only have seen on Action News.
Pike County captured 1,300 dogs last year and killed each and every one of them.
Five years ago, public pressure made most counties change the way they put down lost animals. Many counties had used kill boxes where the pets would be gassed. Most counties switched to lethal injections, but some, including Morgan and Pike counties, started shooting the animals and placing their dead bodies in mass graves.
Morgan County shot more than 600 pets last year, and earlier this week, Action News asked them to stop.
After Action News exposed the violent policy on Monday, public pressure has started to mount to stop the shootings.
"We feel it is humane," Morgan County Commissioner Ron Moore said. "It has been considered humane. We wish we had other options."
The truth is that Morgan County does have options. Lethal injections cost only 54 cents a dog. Plus, the Ohio Humane Education Association has offered to help develop an adoption program.
Still, the county continues to shoot your pets.
Now, there's another option. The Animal Protective League in Cleveland is willing to help.
"There are three reasons why we don't shoot dogs: one, it's inhumane; secondly, it's very hard on the staff; third, it's not a sure destruction of the animal," APL spokesman Jeff Kocian said.
The APL uses lethal injections, but after seeing the Action News story, they are more interested in picking up dogs at the Morgan County Animal Shelter and transporting them to Cleveland for adoption.
"I would say almost all of them will get homes," Kocian said.
Morgan County might have their solution, but we've discovered even more disturbing news. Pike County uses a gas box to kill lost dogs. The dog warden there picked up 1,300 dogs last year and gassed them all.
Pike County commissioners call their adoption program, "not a good one." They have promised to work on it.
To put pressure on Pike County commissioners, you can call them at (740) 947-4817 or you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources have told Action News that Morgan County will accept the offer from the Cleveland APL.