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Cash-strapped Animal Charity ends assistance to calls of abuse, neglect

Published: Wed, January 12, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Denise Dick



Citing financial problems, Mahoning County’s only humane agency no longer is providing help for neglected and abused animals.

Gary Pilcher, chairman of the board of the nonprofit agency, said Animal Charity will return to its original mission: providing low-cost veterinary services, including spaying and neutering, particularly for low-income people.

“We decided to go back to our core principles, our core business,” Pilcher said.

Joe Borosky, and Nikole Baringer, former humane agent and chief executive officer, respectively, said they learned after a board meeting Monday evening that they were out of jobs. The Vindicator contacted them Tuesday for comment. Two part-time animal care-takers also were let go.

That means there is no agency in the county to handle animal abuse and neglect calls, Borosky and Baringer said.

“I have 15 to 20 calls right now of animals potentially suffering or dying,” Borosky said.

With winter temperatures and some animals kept outside, this was the worst time of year for the board to make the decision, he added.

Pilcher said it was a difficult decision that the board spent many hours contemplating. “We couldn’t ignore the fact that we’re in a financial crisis,” he said.

The agency had a difficult time making its last payroll and making the next one will be tight as well.

Borosky said he offered to work in January for free and to take a $6,000 pay cut from his $23,500 annual salary.

“I can’t work for free forever, but I do have a second job,” Borosky said. “I was willing to sacrifice for the animals.”

He said that with animal food donated and the humane agent’s van paid for, the humane department’s overhead is low.

Pilcher said it’s more than just salary, though. The agency must pay for gas for the van as well as its maintenance and insurance costs, which tend to be high.

Borosky said he can’t be a humane agent without a humane society, and he’s hoping to work with another animal agency.

Pilcher hopes another agency steps up to provide that service as well. Animal Charity just can’t afford to do it anymore, he said.

He also hopes that either a donor contributes to help Animal Charity or that the agency can partner with other animal organizations to try to reduce expenses.

While Baringer acknowledges that the agency’s finances aren’t great, she says it’s not in the financial disarray that’s being portrayed.

“The 2011 budget looked a lot better than 2010,” she said.

Baringer, who served as CEO for about eight years, said the decision to end the humane services and only offer the veterinary clinic means Animal Charity is no different from any other vet office.

“The part that kept Animal Charity not-for-profit was the humane part,” she said. “The vet clinic was a bonus because we have a vet on staff.”

She worries about people who donate to the agency, thinking their money will go to help sick or mistreated animals.

Pilcher said employees will work to find homes for the animals now at Animal Charity’s Market Street building. But no more animals will be accepted.

“Nothing is cast in stone,” Pilcher said. “If we find ourselves in a better financial position eight months, a year, 18 months from now, things can always change. Right now, we’ve had to take some drastic measures.”

Last March, Animal Charity bought and moved into the Boardman building at 4140 Market St. after nearly 50 years in Youngstown.


1kfromtheburbs(23 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

. Could not have happen to a better guy. After what Borosky did to the cats he siezed from the the cat ladies tells me he is not a very humane man. Karma always comes back to bite ya.and it bit him where it hurts, in his wallet.. The Mahoning County Dog Warden will be the overseers of abused animals now.

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2peedymom(13 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

The article states that Borosky still wants to be a humane agent and is hoping to work for another animal agency. If the Mahoning County Dog Warden will now be the overseers of abused animals, I sure hope they are smart enough not to hire this man who has so much controversy following him and his actions.

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3Stormieangel(136 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

This is not about Borosky right now. It is about neglected, freezing, dying animals in this mierable weather. What a shame to sacrifice them because of money. Now who do we call when we know an animal is left outside with no shelter or perhaps no bedding with which to survive the cold weather? This is a disgraceful situation for our area. Is the Humane Society funded only by donations? If there is tax monies going to them, I would suggest an audit to see how the money is being spent and why there is not enough to finance their operation, including rescuing abused and neglected animals.

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4Ginger76(178 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

well stated Stormie.

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5celedon48(1 comment)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

i agree Stormie. also someone should check to make sure the donations are being used for their intended purpose and not for other things. And if Borosky volunteered to work for nothing why didn't Animal Charity negotitate. And if Animal Charity is broke how did they BUY a building????????

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6Ginger76(178 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

I am pretty certain the Bldg was gifted to them. I remember hearing that.

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7LittleRiver(10 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

I believe Animal Charity's mission statements says something like to bring about a time and place when our services are no longer needed. Meaning when the suffering and neglect of animals has stopped, which it has not. Who is this Gary Pilcher? What happend to the Co-founder of Animal Charity Mr. Perc Kelty former President of the Board of Animal Charity? Animal Charity started as a Humane Society in the 60's going out and rescuing abused and neglected animals. The Spay Neuter Vaccination clinic was started part time in 1983 or 1984 to compliment the Humane Society by reducing the amount of unwanted puppies and kittens by providing low cost spay neuter. I remember when it cost $16.00 to neuter a male cat. Any money made by the Veterinary clinic went back into providing extra money to keep the Humane work active. You know I hate to see people loose their jobs, but THE BOARD made the wrong move in discontinuing the Humane Department! JEAN ALWAYS SAID THE ANIMALS COME 1st, and they should have layed other employees off and made pay cuts, etc before making this decision. I agree it was not perfect and perhaps some of the decissions staff/managment made were bad, but they should have never put people before animals. If there was a problem with an employee performing the job that should have been addressed and replace that employee not throw the baby out with the dirty bath water. Ohio still has that law that states that "Any person may protect" so look it up. If an animal is seen out that is in need of protection the good samaritan can remove the animal, but they must leave notice of where the animal is. I suppose the police can be called in extreme case's and charges filed.

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8AIRFORCEGIRL(1 comment)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

This is just another reason why Youngstown is lost cause. This city has given up on it's self, and now has abandon animals, I left Youngstown 12 years ago for the military and will never regret my decision. Good luck to all of you that have stayed on the sinking ship.

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9Rokscout(310 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

I wonder how much of this is about finance, or is it about the negative attention as of late. Make no mistake, something/someone needs to be in place to care for these abandonded and neglected animals.

You can call the police, but guess who they used to rely on, in many cases, to come get the animals? Our Dog Warden does his job in my opinion, but he can not handle the massive amounts of neglected animals in this county.

I'm sure it is a full time job just "rescuing" all of the Pitbulls running around Youngstown when the thugsters let them loose.

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10southsidedave(5175 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

It makes me sad to think about people who abuse animals. People are so cruel, not only to animals, but to other people as well. We all have to answer for our actions one day.

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11mycomment(3 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

It's the animals that will suffer. Maybe they shouldn't have moved out of Youngstown to Boardman...maybe they should have bought a building that was more affordable for them. Maybe they could have if the animals were their first priority. Sad, isn't it

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12aklenec(3 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

The dog pound is under staffed & under managed currently - I don't see how they can assume this responsibility - obviously there is a need for a humane agency so I am hopeful that something is figured out fast. The abused and neglected animals need a voice...

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13DJ0(72 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Obviously, spaying and neutering should not be limited to pets! Some humans need a dose.

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