Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dog Pound Situation

Proposed revamp of dog laws approved
Warden says, 'My dogs are dying'

Written for the Toledo Blade by JC Reindl (  Click here for the article.

Right after the Lucas county's Dog Warden Advisory Committee (DWAC) voted to send its new, nine page law to Toledo mayor Mike Bell and the Toledo city council for their rubber stamp of approval, the new Lucas County dog warden Julie Lyle (Tom 'Papa Doc' Skeldon's replacement) shocked everyone into silence with her report on kennel conditions at the dog pound.  From The Blade:

Shortly after voting on the plan, committee members heard the dog warden's distressing report about illness running rampant.

"I'm just so shocked," said Deb Johnson, head veterinarian with the Toledo Area Humane Society.

Why should she be? This condition is nothing new. It's been going on for years, and in any case Deb Johnson is an experienced veterinarian. She should know what the conditions are like at the dog pound. I'm just so shocked! D.S. (like B.S., only different)  She's shocked she has to respond in a public forum.

Asked if volunteers could help her operation, Ms. Lyle replied that she has yet to receive the necessary permission from her department's employees' union.

And there we have it: Labor unions. They won't do the work themselves, but they won't let a non-union worker who needs a job do the work because that would be taking work away from the union. They won't even allow a non-union volunteer do the work. Clearly, the labor union is much more important than the health and suffering of a few dogs.  Notice that DWAC members didn't gripe about the labor union or the fat benefit packages that union members get, or if they did The Blade didn't print it.  No surprise either way, I'd say, but just bring up an entrepreneur, a licensed veterinarian and the committee goes bat shit.
Several members voiced criticism of the county's veterinary care contract with Dr. Roger Spiess of Wauseon. Dr. Spiess and his associate, Dr. Cindy Thurston, have provided veterinary services to the pound under a contract approved by county commissioners in January.
Doctors Spiess and Thurston have a billing rate of $40 an hour, with a minimum four hour charge per visit.  They both bill for travel time.  This is a very reasonable rate, and the rate should actually be closer to $60 an hour, given that the doctors take care of their own taxes, benefits, expenses and union dues.  Well, probably not union dues.
Committee Chairman Steve Serchuk said he will speak with Lucas County commissioners about changes to the contract.

"I think we need to have a few people sit down with the commissioners on this one issue," Mr. Serchuk said.
You do that, Steve.  While you're at it, see if you can get cheaper veterinary care somewhere else, because I'm betting you can't.  I also think the Lucas county commissioners should call you on the carpet and clean your ears out, then tell you to keep your yap shut.

I also think the real reason this side note got any print at all is due to the author, JC Reindl.
Dr. Spiess did not return a message left yesterday on his personal cell phone.
It's likely Roger Spiess didn't want to get involved in the issue.  Maybe, just maybe, Dr. Spiess has to work for a living and doesn't have time to waste on hacks like you.

We the people are not beholden to the press; certainly not to The Blade.  We don't have to return your calls, and we don't have to talk to you.  In this case a fairly intelligent professional saw that The Blade was trying to find some sensationalism and declined to participate, which is something that should happen a whole lot more often.

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