Although there is currently not a humane agent in Highland County to call to report instances of animal cruelty, the Highland County Humane Society is working to fill the role.
“We know that there is a huge need for one and we have been working on it,” Highland County Humane Society Shelter Director Richelle Fair said. “I know it may not seem like it outwardly in the public, but we have been looking for people, talking to people about taking the job and trying to find someone who already has some kind of experience to make this better, but we do have someone interested.”
She said the candidate for the position may be trained in November when the required class is available and would be sworn in to the position in December.
“It’s not the easiest to find somebody who wants to do that kind of work, and the training is only three times a year, so you have to get all that coordinated,” said Fair.
In the meantime, Fair suggested that reports of animal cruelty be referred to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office, local police department, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (in the case of farm animals), or the Ohio SCPA.
“The dog wardens are not actually certified to do it, and we cannot do it because we are just average citizens ourselves,” said Fair. “It’s a tough situation right now, knowing who does what, and of course the sheriff doesn’t have anywhere to house animals if they take anything.”
Fair said the humane agent is a difficult position to fill.
“It’s a tough job for not very much pay, and it’s not regular hours, and you have to go through special training,” she said. “You actually have to go through physical combat training because people are not happy to see you when you come out. People want to do it because they care about the animals, but some of the things you see — because you care — make it hard to keep going.”
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.