Penny wise, pound foolish
For the past two years, I have been a devoted volunteer at the Columbiana County Dog Pound. I was born and raised in Lisbon and felt good giving back to this community. All I ever wanted to do was walk puppies and help out. During that time, I came to know several other volunteers who shared the same goals and dreams as I have for making the pound a better place.
About a year ago, we formed a group to promote adoptions and raise money to help improve the pounds worn out facilities.
We called our group Friends of Columbiana County Pound Dogs. Last Christmas we walked the dogs in the area Christmas parades and, April of this year, we conducted a community donated rummage sale and benefit at the county fairgrounds. We realized the need for outside kennels and play yards and felt as a team we could make this dream come true. Together with the employees of the pound, the commissioner and David Rutecki, we designed the playgrounds for the puppies. The town of Lisbon supported us and we raised $9,000 of the $13,000 needed. To our surprise an anonymous donor gave us the remaining $4,000 to make our dream come true. I never imagined it could happen this fast, but again the volunteers stepped up and we cleared and prepped the lot that the commissioner selected.
Our group of volunteers has spent countless hours at the pound helping in every way needed. Along the way we have witnessed numerous areas of concerns. I kept quiet for longer than I should have, but felt that I would suffer retaliation and the threat that I could be replaced by inmates.
I feel that my personal conversation with one of the commissioners was the deciding factor in six of us being banned from the pound. My continued concerns can be validated with facts. With the pending lawsuit against the previous warden and any upcoming against the current warden, these ongoing issues need to be brought to the public’s attention. Being that the Columbiana County Dog Pound is operated and staffed at taxpayer expense, the residents should be concerned. More than once in the past two years I have heard that money is missing at the pound. And still there are cash-only transactions.
The fact that our group’s financial assets were questioned is appalling. We can account for every penny we raised along with the personal money that supplemented the account to help it be successful. Can the county auditor say this for the pound? I think not.
Unfortunately, we were unable to work together due to different work ethics and growing concerns. Thankfully there are still selected volunteers to love on the voiceless puppies and continue walking and socializing them. After all, the puppies are and always will be what this is all about.
Kathleen Butream Beadnell