It shouldn’t be sad. Most of these animals are going to get their forever home. Even though it may not be your home, they will still be loved.
Animals stay in the shelter until they are fostered, adopted, or rescued. WCHS’s goal is to never euthanize an adoptable pet because of space.
- Found animals are held for 3 business days after their arrival date.
- On the fourth business day, the animal belongs to the Humane Society.
- At the earliest opportunity thereafter, the animal is processed for adoption (e.g., temperament test, heartworm or FeLV/FIV test, veterinarian exam, etc.).
- Depending on these results, the animal may or may not be available for adoption.
- In addition, any time prior to adoption, a verified owner may claim his/her animal during our published business hours.
Stray and owned animals come to WCHS by various means, e.g., left at shelter, public brought to shelter, owner surrender, dog warden impoundment, court order, humane agent seizure, etc. These animals also leave by various means, e.g., adoption, foster care, owner redemption, rescue pull, euthanization, etc. Aside from owner redemption, the animals are property of and dispositioned at the discretion of the Wayne County Humane Society. Therefore, when it comes to disposition of an animal, the only information we release is whether or not the animal is currently at the shelter. That information is available on our website. If the animal is a recent arrival, it can be found under our “Lost & Found” section and if it’s ready for adoption, it can be found under our “Animals” section.
“No-kill” shelters are considered “limited admission” and may refuse animals until there is space available. We feel the compassionate way to deal with animals is to provide for their immediate care and to not refuse any stray from entering our shelter. The Humane Society may make the decision to euthanize for several reasons. The animal's age, health, temperament, rescue options and available cage space are all considered to determine an animal's outcome. Note: All dogs are sedated to ensure a calm and stress free euthanasia.
No! “Urgent” means the animal has been on the adoption floor for several weeks and it’s time for the animal to go to its furrever home. In keeping with our philosophy that no pet belongs in the pound, we use the “Urgent” status to draw attention to these animals. We also lower the adoption price and make the animals available to approved rescues, which provides yet another opportunity to find a lasting home. From a business perspective, by the time an animal reaches the adoption floor, we have invested quite a bit of time, money and supplies, so it would be financially detrimental to euthanize an adoptable animal.
Yes, the WCHS has a Rescue Coordinator that is in contact with numerous pet rescue organizations, such as:
Berea Animal Rescue Fund (ARF), Berea, Ohio
Big Dogs Big Hearts, Rochester, New York
Camp David Presidential Pits, Wooster, Ohio
Kaleidoscope K9's, Seville, Ohio
My Pitt is Itt Rescue and Advocacy Group, Wooster, Ohio
Paws & Prayers, Akron, Ohio
Save Ohio Strays (SOS), Wadsworth, Ohio
Star Mar Rescue, Wooster, Ohio
We also advertise our pets for adoption through PetFinder.com and AdoptAPet.com.
We view and treat our animals as if they are our own pets. If we must humanely euthanize one of them (based on the reasons in the "no-kill" FAQ above), the animal is then picked up, cremated and buried through an arrangement with Western Farm Pet Crematory and Cemetery in Grafton, Ohio.
Cruelty investigations are always done as soon as possible after being reported (if there's adequate information to identify the animal and venue). Education is the first attempt at rectifying a bad situation. WCHS agents can only do what Ohio law allows, so animals cannot be seized unless the basic elements of care, water and food, are missing.
WCHS does not disclose specific details of the investigation of any complaint. Complaint matters are either "open and under investigation," "completed and turned over to the Prosecutor," or "completed and closed." If completed and closed, that means the issues have been resolved or there was insufficient evidence to take the matter to the Prosecutor. If a matter is turned over to the Prosecutor and that office decides to file charges, all public information is available on Wayne County CourtView at www.waynecourts.org (select the Public Access option).
The dog warden is appointed by the board of county commissioners to enforce the applicable sections of Ohio Revised Code 955 (Dogs). This section of the law pertains to registering dogs and dogs running at large, but not dogs barking. Nonetheless, counties, municipalities, cities and townships may have nuisance laws that are enforced by the applicable law enforcement agency. Please check with your local authorities to see if a nuisance (barking) ordinance exists.
If the dog warden receives an actionable complaint about a barking dog, i.e., name, address and phone number of the complainant as well as the address (and name, if known) of the dog owner and description of the dog, the dog warden, when time permits, will check to ensure the dog is registered and vaccinated against rabies.
If the dog warden receives an actionable complaint about a dog running at large, i.e., name, address and phone number of the complainant as well as the location and description of the dog, the dog warden, if able, will determine if the dog is registered and vaccinated against rabies. However, the dog warden cannot take enforcement action regarding the running at large violation solely based on the complaint. If the dog warden sees the dog running at large, the violation can be addressed at that time.
The Wayne County Dog Warden covers an area of 555 square miles, from West Salem to Mount Eaton, Doylestown to Shreve, and all parts in between. The dog warden responds to calls concerning unrestrained, unlicensed, stray, sick, or injured dogs in Wayne County. All complaints are logged, prioritized and acted on as time permits; this service is provided Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM, excluding holidays and other emergencies.
Please note that in most cases, the dog warden may not be available to respond to a running at large dog when the complaint is made. Further, the running at large dog is usually not there when the dog warden shows up. For this reason, it is an ineffective use of limited resources to respond immediately, possibly from the other side of the county, rather than completing the case currently in work. In addition, we normally receive great support from the complainants, which increases our ability to take enforcement action regarding the running at large violation.
There are two primary measures that complainants can take to help the dog warden:
1) If the dog is friendly and will go into an enclosure, e.g., a garage, fenced in lawn, etc., let the dog go in, close the door/gate and call the dog warden. The dog warden will come and seize the dog as soon as possible during normal business hours; and/or
2) Complete a witness statement with photos of the dog running at large and email them to the dog warden.
The two photos beneficial to support the complaint are: a) A close up view of the dog (to identify the specific dog, not just any dog that looks like it) and b) A zoomed out view that places the dog off the owner’s property (e.g., by the complainant’s mailbox, a car in the driveway, front porch, etc.). It needs to be clear that the specific dog is not on the owner's property.
Ohio Revised Code requires any Ohio humane agent to investigate reported cruelties against any “dumb” animals and children.
The Ohio Farm Bureau has assisted WCHS with training for agricultural livestock investigations. They have recruited OSU professors and OSU extension agents for trainings, which have provided WCHS agents with science-based information.
WCHS is not affiliated with or supported by any national, state or local organization. Our goals may slightly differ from those mentioned above. Furthermore, WCHS is an “animal welfare” organization not an “animal rights” organization.
All humane agents in the state of Ohio are required to take 20 hours of Ohio Peace Officer Training. WCHS agents are required to attend “shelter operations”, National Animal Control Academy training and Certified Euthanasia training. Customer service and agricultural livestock standards are a few of the additional trainings we provide to our agents.
WCHS does not endorse or recommend any particular veterinary clinic in our area. We feel all veterinarians in our area are highly trained. At WCHS we have a highly trained veterinarian on staff who performs all necessary surgeries, including spays and neuteres, and tends to the health and general well being of our animals.
Some tests, such as heartworm, feline leukemia, parvo, can be done with accuracy at the shelter, but we always recommend that you take your pet to the veterinarian of your choice for a complete examination. We vaccinate all incoming dogs with DH2PBL and cats with FVRcP, the same vaccinations that are available at your veterinary clinic.
Yes, and we appreciate the support from our community, but there are some restrictions due to the nature of our work.
The initial contact with WCHS must be in person during business hours.
After the initial paperwork is completed, a community service volunteer may work:
- Tues-Fri: 6AM-5PM
- Sat: 6AM-2PM
- Sun-Mon: 6AM-12PM
All nonbusiness hours must be scheduled in advance.
There are some community service volunteers that will not be permitted to work at WCHS:
- Convicted felons, even if the community service is for a misdemeanor violation
- Individuals convicted of pet/people abuse/violence (does not include disorderly conduct)
- Individuals convicted of a drug abuse offense as defined in section 2925.01(G) of the Revised Code (other than minor misdemeanor possession of marihuana).
No, but we do provide a list of known dead stock removal/disposal companies for your convenience.
Flesher's Deadstock Removal, Norton OH, (330) 388-6161
Waste Management, 1-800-963-4776 (no pickup service)
Western Farm Pet Crematory and Cemetery, Grafton OH, (440) 748-1716
Note: See ORC 941.14, Disposal of dead or destroyed animals, for disposal requirements.