BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) — A former humane agent with the Belmont County Animal Rescue League (BCARL) speaks out about her concerns.
Jennifer Maas says cats with serious communicable diseases were kept with other healthy cats, because no isolation was possible at their center, the former Sunset Motel outside Morristown.
She said in many cases, healthy kittens got sick and died.
Maas said she began to suspect that sick animals were not receiving their medicines as directed.
She said she counted one cat’s pills after giving her the prescribed dose one day, then Maas counted them again after she had five days off work, and all but one pill were still in the bottle.
She said dogs were left for such long periods in their crates that they developed skin irritations from being unable to get away from their own urine and feces.
Maas said recently, after one person in leadership was let go, there was no one in charge.
Maas showed pictures of layers of cat litter and old dry cat food with towels placed over them, rather than being cleaned and replaced. And she said even the towels were only added about every three days.
Maas said she reported her concerns to the BCARL higher-ups, and she gave them three weeks’ notice that she was leaving.
The following day, she said she received a call from a board member, telling her to leave immediately, that she was no longer needed.
“In the past, BCARL did save animals from bad situations and re-home them,” she said. “But the level of care has been consistently been going down now.”
A BCARL spokesman Nathaniel Blake tells 7News there is a shortage of staff members and volunteers.
He also admitted they are overcrowded with animals, due to the pandemic, but said they are constantly looking for other shelters that can take some animals to ease their overload, even in the Columbus area.
He denied the allegations of improper medicine dosing.
And he said he could not discuss personnel.
Maas says she has turned over a report to the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department.