Our Humane Agent investigates animal abuse and neglect in contracted areas throughout the county.
Cruelty to animals is illegal in the state of Ohio. The Ohio Revised Code gives the Humane Society the right to appoint a Humane Agent with the necessary qualifications and training. For more information, please see the Ohio Revised Code 959.13, 1717.04, and 1717.06.
When LCHS receives a report of animal abuse or neglect, the first step is to determine what’s going on. If the situation is in our jurisdiction and falls under one of the following categories, the Humane Agent will have the ability to investigate:
- Animal abuse, beating, or other cruelty
- Improper feeding of animals
- Inadequate or no fresh water
- Inadequate or improper shelter
- Improper care
- Unsanitary conditions
- Animal has been abandoned by owner (different from a stray roaming the streets)
Please refer to the information below for where we have jurisdiction and who to contact if you have a referral.
If the animal is in a jurisdiction not listed above, please report your concerns to the local law enforcement agency for that area.
What are we NOT able to investigate?
Stray dogs roaming the streets (with or without identification) should be reported to the Licking County Dog Shelter. Contact them at 740-349-6562.
The Humane Agent does not respond to reports of “nuisance” animals such as barking dogs, feral/stray cats, cats up trees, or dogs safely tied outside.
A vital job of the Humane Agent is determining the severity of the situation.
- If an animal is in immediate danger of dying, the following steps may be skipped and the animal confiscated.
- If the animal is not in immediate danger, the Humane Agent will attempt to work with the owners to improve the situation.
One of the Humane Agent’s most important jobs is providing education. Often, an animal is being mistreated because the owners do not know what they are doing wrong, or do not know how to get help caring for their animal. The Humane Agent will provide the owner with information about the humane treatment of animals and about animal laws in Ohio. If LCHS can assist people in resolving these problems, we will try to help or direct them toward other resources.
When contacting the animal’s owner, the Humane Agent will give a notification of the violation and a limited time to solve the problem. If the problem is not resolved when she returns, the case may escalate to appropriate law enforcement departments.
If the situation still continues, the owner may be charged for animal cruelty and the animal confiscated.
The Humane Agent investigates domestic animal and livestock cruelty.
The Humane Agent works with domestic animals such as dogs and cats. She also has jurisdiction over large animals such as horses, cattle, goats, pigs, and sheep. Abuse to any such animals should be reported for investigation.
Investigations are prioritized.
If multiple cases of abuse have been reported, priority goes to the animals in the greatest danger. Seriously injured animals (life at risk) are the highest priority, followed by situations that require speedy action: young nursing animals without a mother; near-death starvation; animals without food, water, or shelter; weather-related situations such as extremely cold or extremely hot conditions; or abandonment.
Lower priority is given to non-emergency police and government assists, such as animals being released during a homeowner eviction, or general welfare calls. Efforts will be made to respond to these situations, but cases where animals are in great danger will be dealt with first.
Funding and Animal Care
Through partnerships with Licking County, as well as some of the municipalities, the Licking County Humane Society cares for confiscated animals or arranges for foster care/boarding until they are adopted into safe homes.