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Mahoning County seeking new dog warden



Published: Mon, May 13, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.

Euthanizing dogs declined during Ditchey’s tenure

By Susan Tebben

stebben@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Mahoning County Dog Warden Matt Ditchey has mixed feelings about leaving his post of two years. His work companions have made his job rewarding, and he wonders who will take care of the dogs.

“I’m excited about a lot of the stuff we’ve done while I was dog warden,” said Ditchey, whose last day on the job was Saturday.

“We’ve only euthanized one dog this year, and that’s really amazing.”

The agency has done so by working with various animal organizations to move dogs around and avoid them staying in one pound or shelter that was too full to accommodate the dogs.

“You can’t save every dog, but we work with rescue groups to try to send dogs to areas where there aren’t as many dogs, where there is the room to keep the dogs until someone can come and give the dog a home,” Ditchey said.

Ditchey is an attorney by trade, but his love for dogs drove him during his time as warden.

“There’s not as many dog wardens that actually like dogs as you’d like to think,” he said.

When Ditchey was hired in April 2011, he said he planned to keep his law license current while working as a full-time dog warden. Commissioners approved his salary at the time at $45,000.

Now that Ditchey has left the post for medical reasons, the Mahoning County commissioners begin the task of finding a dog warden that will “do what is right when it comes to the dog,” as Ditchey puts it.

The commission put an advertisement in The Vindicator classified section for a dog warden, with a May 22 deadline for applications. Not only does a dog warden have to have animal control experience, but also Ohio Peace Officer firearms training. A salary is not listed in the ad.

The commissioners are looking for more than just the resume qualifications as well, because of Ditchey’s example.

“[Ditchey] has done a great job in kind of turning this county around from one of the counties that euthanizes the most dogs to a state that does it the least and I think it is important is to continue in the direction that [Ditchey] started,” Commissioner Dave Ditzler said.

One of the most important points Ditchey said should be in the near future for the agency is a new county dog pound to replace the deteriorating building.

“It’s a sad, sad place,” Ditchey said.

Though the commission is “still in meetings” about ideas for a new or renovated dog pound, Ditzler said the facility is important to the commission as well.

He said he would like to see a partnership between the county and possibly Animal Charities in the venture.


Comments

1k9girl2223(19 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

I personally hope that they do not hire someone from within. I am not real good with the group of people that work down there right now. I do believe that Matt has done a good job and Dave Nelson continues to put his heart and soul into the dog pound but the other people that work down there I feel just work there to collect a paycheck. Thank God for Friends of Fido this organization is ran extremely well and helps get these dogs out of the pound and into rescues or loving homes. Please carefully consider who you make Dog Warden for the sake of the dogs.

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2auntiem4cabs(113 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

I think the officer on the Armstrong Pets program should apply. He is so loving towards those dogs.

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3DToohey(10 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

The Officer on pawsitively pets is very dedicated to his role in helping each dog find a loving home and i encourage him to apply as well. I think he would perform the duties of Dog Warden quite well.

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4Ytown4Life(6 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

I've lived in Youngstown my whole, long life. Whenever I went to the dog pound to get my dog's license or once in awhile just to look, I was usually warmly greeted by a wonderful & very tall deputy who was so kind to me. Something about the tall deputy with the kind smile stood out to me so I asked him his name and he said it was Deputy Shawn Toohey. My vote is also for him as new warden for our pound! I've seen him there for years, and he's so professional! He's great with the public, great on TV, and so kind to all the dogs. He also very patiently and knowledgeably answered all my questions about dogs, proper care, and county rules when Warden Dichey wasn't there to help. I haven't seen able to visit in a few months because of health reasons but I hope when I can go again, he is my new dog warden!

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5Corvina40(2 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

The deputy who does Pawsitively Pets is fantastic! He is always so caring and gentle with the dogs on tv and is very professional and friendly when I go to get my license every year. He has been there for many year and knows his job well. He would make a wonderful new warden.

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6mashgrl83(1 comment)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Deputy Toohey is an excellent choice for the new dog warden. He is great with the dogs, efficient and very caring. He does his best to work with the local rescues and is very innovative when it comes down to the well being of every dog that comes through the doors. I believe if he is appointed the the mahoning county dog pound will continue going upwards and will become better organized in the long run. He is very dedicated and hard working and he will continue to do so no matter what the future holds.

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7butterflykisses(1 comment)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

I've been to the pound on several occasions and each time I have dealt with shawn toohey. He is very knowledgable with the questions I had and it is evident that he cares a great deal about the well being of the dogs and the pound. He is an excellent choice for the warden position and I hope that he will get it. He is very professional and will get the job done.

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