Chesterton Tribune

Animal Shelter board letter raps officers' handling of raid that brought in 82 dogs

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Members of the Porter County Shelter Advisory board sent a letter to the Porter County Commissioners last week expressing their opinion that animal control officers could have handled rounding up the 82 dogs from a rural home in Westchester Twp. more efficiently.

Board chair Toni Bianchi confirmed the letter was sent regarding the board’s concerns over how the shelter workers would be able to receive the large number of dogs and asked why the shelter board was not consulted prior to the raid. Instead of bringing the animals in all at once, the board felt it would be more manageable taking in just a few at a time.

“It is our opinion that there was a better way to do this. We just thought it could be handled better,” Bianchi told the Chesterton Tribune this morning.

The dogs seized over Wednesday and Thursday by animal control officers were housed in a building near the shelter on the old county home grounds as a temporary home where they could be evaluated by a veterinarian and an animal behaviorist, Porter County Commissioner President John Evans told the Tribune last week.

Evans said the animals had to be removed from the residence and noted his satisfaction with how the shelter and animal control handled the situation. He said he will consider the board’s concerns and will adjust procedures appropriately for incidents like this in the future.

“There’s always ways where things could be done better and we know what to do better next time,” Evans said this morning.

The commissioners brought back a shelter advisory board in recent months, while moving enforcement responsibility to the county sheriff’s department.

Animal control officers began an investigation of the residence in the 100 block of C.R. 1400N in November after the county health department received concerns from neighboring residents that animal waste was contaminating their ground water. A search warrant at the residence was executed by PCSP last Wednesday resulting in the seizure of a least 82 dogs.

Evans said some of the older and vicious dogs have been put down and it may be a while before the other dogs are released by the county.



Posted 1/16/2012