WAUSEON — Fulton County has put a new leash on life when it comes to canines.
At one time, conditions of the former county dog pound, situated in a barn where two dogs froze to death, were described as deplorable, atrocious, and archaic. Boxes or burlap sacks filled with unwanted dogs often were abandoned on the dog warden’s porch — his home doubled as the dog warden’s office.
Conditions prompted commissioners to fire the dog warden and expedite plans to convert a chicken coop into a dog pound just north of Wauseon. Not terrific, but better.
Eventually, commissioners collared dollars to build a modern dog warden’s office. And now that facility — professionally run and clean as a whistle — is introducing an online photo album to promote adoptions of dogs housed in its kennel.
“We are encouraging the adoption of dogs,” said Paul Barnaby, president of the Fulton County commissioners.
“We have gone on record, we want dogs to be adopted rather than taking care of them in other ways. We want to get these dogs moving out. That’s what we are trying to do, find a home for a dog rather than destroy it” Mr. Barnaby said. Posting photographs seems to be the quickest, easiest way to get the word out about dogs waiting for people to welcome them into their homes, he said.
Success so far? Swift as a hunting dog racing back after retrieving a game bird.
Within hours of its photo being posted, a Chihuahua was adopted. On Thursday, three dogs — a schnauzer, a Lab mix, and a hound mix — were featured on the dog warden’s Web site at fultoncountyoh.com/dogwarden, and already, the heart-tugging schnauzer has been spoken for, plus there’s a waiting list to adopt the friendly furball, found running at-large in Archbold.
Sadly, the new online feature came too late for a beagle picked up and housed at the kennel. By the time an area resident found out that the beagle belonged to a neighbor, it was too late to rescue it. When the kennel lacks room, dogs are killed.
In addition to its new please-adopt-me photo album, the dog warden’s office has expanded its hours dramatically. Dog Warden Brian Banister said in the past, the hours were limited from 8 to 10 a.m. Monday-Saturday, but now the office is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturday. Too, his office’s Web site will be updated in the coming days to provide oodles of dog-related information.
Several county officials, including commissioners and Administrator Vond Hall, have been involved in making improvements to spread the word about services provided at the dog warden’s facility, Mr. Banister said.
In general, dogs housed in the kennel for more than three days are available for adoption at the dog warden’s office, 9200 Co. Rd. 14, two miles north of Wauseon.
On average, the dog pound takes in 15 dogs a week. Some go home within a day, after dog tags are checked and owners notified.
No longer is the dog pound taking in large litters of puppies on a regular basis as what was happening 10 years ago. That reduction is related to pubic awareness of spay/neuter, Mr. Banister said.
The adoption fee is $25, and to license the dog, it costs $20. No medical care is provided. Most of the dogs, Mr. Banister said, are healthy. “We have corn-fed dogs out here,” he said, tongue-in-cheek, referring to the county’s rural personality.
But, when it comes to his mission, and to his message, he’s doggedly determined and serious: “We have dogs to adopt. Please someone, come and get them.”
Contact Janet Romaker at: email@example.com or 419-724-6006.