‘Investigation’ geared toward making shelter more efficient


An investigation that began at the Top of Ohio Pet Shelter is focused on ways to improve the overall operation of the shelter and not so much on specific past instances, the investigator said Thursday.

Steffen Baldwin, president and CEO of the company Animal Cruelty Task Force Ohio, said he met with the new leaders of the local pet shelter Tuesday and was asked to look into a few specific instances with the goal of making the shelter more efficient.

Prior to starting ACT Ohio at the end of 2013, Mr. Baldwin oversaw operations of the Union County Humane Society shelter. He wanted to create an organization that was able to respond to humane issues throughout the region.

Mr. Baldwin said he had met briefly with leaders of the Top of Ohio Pet Shelter in recent months, but said his first chance to meet formally with them was Tuesday, just days after board president Larry Mawhorr stepped down and former executive director Lori Plummer and humane agent Carol Souza resigned their posts.

In the midst of the resignations, the board of the Humane Society Serving Logan County voted to make member Gail Friend executive director, with up to 25 hours per week. She said she declined any pay for this position.

“I came up this week and they asked me since I have run a shelter of similar size if I would be willing to work with them,” Mr. Baldwin said.

“The impression I got is that the board wants to earn the trust of the community by being open and above-board in what they are doing. A few particular things have been brought to my attention, but there is no investigation of anyone in particular.”



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