MIAMI COUNTY — A new director took over at the Miami County Animal Shelter, and she has been spending the last four months in the position getting acquainted with her new role and looking at possible improvements.
“We are hoping to make the shelter friendlier and welcoming. We are looking at working with rescues, volunteers, and other partnerships,” said Kandice Kriebel, manager and dog warden, whose background includes previously working as a veterinary assistant and an animal control officer out-of-state. She was also involved in 4-H and FFA.
In regard to euthanasia, the animal shelter currently does not have a euthanasia policy and will be looking at the animals they come into contact with individually to see if that is a necessary option for them.
“After visiting with other shelters, we have decided not to put a policy in place. Each circumstance will be (on a) case-by-case basis,” Kriebel said. “We will continue to do our best to adopt those animals that are adoptable and look at other valuable resources like rescues to help.”
Those circumstances that they will look at will include how aggressive the animals are and their health conditions.
When asked how residents can help animals be prevented from being euthanized, Kriebel suggested, “Spay and neuter your dogs/cats, vaccinate, take pet to veterinarian for annual check-up and/or when ill, socialize your pet with people or other animals, and be a promoter of adopting from shelters/rescues.”
A records request in July 2018, under the previous director Marcia Doncaster, showed that approximately 17 dogs — 12 of which were owner-requested — and 67 cats were euthanized in that one month. The majority of the documentation for the cats did not provide a reason. In August, Doncaster explained that cats are not governed by the Ohio Revised Code as far as retention, licensing, etc., and are considered “free-roaming animals,” so the animal shelter is not required to hold them for any period of time. The animal shelter’s “space for cats is much smaller, intake is much larger, and the majority of the cats we receive are feral,” Doncaster said in an email.
Being in her new role for only a short period of time, Kriebel could not say whether or not those numbers were typical. She said that “things are still evolving and changing” and that they are working on bringing euthanasia numbers down with the resources they have available.
“We try to do the best we can for the community,” Kriebel said.
Kriebel said that they have started to work with some of the rescues in the area and are in the process of looking at how they can use fosters. “We will continue to look at other partnerships and resources,” she said.
For local residents looking to help out the animal shelter, Kriebel suggested donating one’s time or animal supplies.
“Volunteer, donate cat litter and food, and go to our web page for other ideas on our Amazon wish list,” Kriebel said.
To view a copy of the wish list, www.co.miami.oh.us/110/Animal-Shelter and click the link under “Donations.”
Kriebel added that they are also looking at implementing improvement projects in the future at the animal shelter that they may need volunteers for in the future.
“The animal shelter really values the (community’s) support,” Kriebel said.