Allegations of poor animal care in the Ohio Animal Rescue League are reported to authorities

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – A former humanitarian worker with the Belmont County Animal Rescue League (BCARL) shares her concerns.

Jennifer Maas says cats with serious communicable diseases were kept with other healthy cats because no isolation was possible at their center, the former Sunset Motel outside of Morristown, Ohio.

She said that in many cases healthy kittens would get sick and die.

Maas said she began to suspect that sick animals were not receiving their medication as directed.

She said she counted a cat’s pills after giving her the prescribed dose one day, then Maas counted them again after five days off work, and all but one pills were still in the bottle.

She said the dogs were left for such long periods of time in their cages that they developed skin irritations because they couldn’t get away from their own urine and feces.

Maas said recently that after one person at the head of the group was fired, there was no one in charge.

Maas showed images of diapers of cat litter and old dry cat food with towels placed on them, rather than being cleaned and replaced. And she said even towels were only added every three days or so.

Maas said she raised her concerns to BCARL superiors and gave them three weeks notice of her departure.

The next day, she said she received a call from a council member telling her to leave immediately, that she was no longer needed.

“In the past, BCARL has saved animals from bad situations and rehoused them,” she said. “But the level of care has steadily declined now.”

BCARL spokesperson Nathaniel Blake told 7News there was a shortage of staff and volunteers.

He also admitted they were overcrowded with animals, due to the pandemic, but said they were constantly looking for other animal shelters to alleviate their overload, even in the Columbus area.

He denied the claims of improper dosage of the drugs.

And he said he couldn’t talk about staff.

Maas says she delivered a report to the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department.


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