Central Ohio animal rescue operations remain unregulated despite abuses.


Recent news reports Recent news reports about animal cruelty and neglect including the story of one Columbus woman who allegedly drown hundreds of dogs and cats have raised questions about pet rescue operations in Central Ohio Some rescuers operate out of their homes, others out of kennels or boarding facilities. But in any case, pet rescue facilities are largely unregulated. WOSU’s Marilyn Smith reports. In Franklin County, animal abuse or neglect cases are routinely referred to prosecutor Bill Hedrick. Hedrick says most of the areas thirty-five or more rescue operations are well run but admits there are no laws or regulations on the books to guide animal rescuers.Hedrick typically gets involved in extreme cases in which rescuers have taken on too many animals.

Mary Nevius’ home sits on a large lot in New Albany. Two-black brindled boxers occupy large crates in the garage. Nevius estimates she rescues two-hundred boxers a year, and she cares for others while their owner works. Nevius has come to be known as “The Boxer Lady”

Nevius says in the past she has cared for as many as fifteen dogs at a time but she also cautions problems can occur when rescuers take in more animals than they can properly care for.

On those occasions when Nevius feels she is approaching her “dog” limit she houses some of them at nearby “All Tails R Waggin” at Route 161 and Mink Road in Pataskala. There, owner Renee Nichols operates a kennel and grooming facility. In addition to boarding dogs, cats, pocket pets, reptiles and birds. A few years ago Nichols decided to use empty runs to take in animals who have been abandoned or abused.

Animal rescuers like Nichols and Nevius usually charge an adoption fee to offset the cost of having animals vet checked and spayed or neutered. Vets often give rescuers a discount because of the work they do. But Renee Nichols says, rescuers rarely break even.

Animal rescuers Renee Nichols and Mary Nevius are strong advocates of regulations for rescuers and both call for laws requiring pet owners to spay or neuter their pets.

Officials at the Frankin County Animal Shelter says they euthanized more than six-thousand dogs last year