Humane Agent Program
Humane Agent Program
Our Humane Agent serves much of Licking County:
- The Unincorporated areas of Licking County
- The Village of Buckeye Lake
- The City of Heath
- The Village of Granville
- The Village of Hebron
- The City of Pataskala
- The Village of Alexandria
- The City of Reynoldsburg
- The Village of Utica
Newark has its own Humane Agent program. Reports of abuse and neglect there should be made to Newark’s Animal Control Officer, Toby Wills, at 740-670-7277.
If the animal is in a jurisdiction not listed above, please report your concerns to the local law enforcement agency for that area.
How to report abuse or neglect
The situations listed below are the most common causes of neglect. If you know of a neglectful or abusive situation involving an animal, please contact us through one of the following methods. Calls may remain anonymous.
Call The Humane Agent on duty at 740-644-2200. You will likely have to leave a message, as she is often out in the field. You may also contact your local law enforcement agency.
The Humane Agent investigates animal abuse and neglect.
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 go out to the site 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)
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 information about the humane treatment of animals and about animal laws in Ohio. If she or 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.
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.
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.
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.
Humane Agents are trained and validated by the state.
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, including training related to the investigation and prosecution of cruelty to animals, peace officer training, and approval by the Licking County probate court.
The Humane Agent does not collect strays or respond to “nuisance” reports.
Stray dogs roaming the streets (with or without identification) should be reported to the Licking County Dog Shelter. Contact them at 740-349-6562.
If we are contacted about strays, we will attempt to refer the information to the Licking County Dog Shelter, but action will be taken much more quickly and effectively if the Dog Shelter is contacted from the start.
The Humane Agent does not respond to reports of “nuisance” animals such as barking dogs, feral cats, cats up trees, or dogs safely tied outside.