CAMPBELL, Ohio (WKBN) – The Mahoning County Dog Warden’s 2021 report shows more than 1,200 pets have been taken to kennels, including more than 180 that were abandoned by their owners.
For Carmelo the dog, his owner’s surrender ultimately saved his life.
Campbell Police Officer Jim Conroy heard Carmelo’s screams as he responded to another call. The dog lived outside on a 2ft chain for eight years.
“I’ve heard incessant barking and usually when I hear barking like that, I know there’s something more,” Conroy said.
Conroy found Carmelo without food and dirty water. After talking to his owner, they returned Carmelo.
Around Christmas, Conroy found a shelter to take the dog to, but was unsuccessful – so he posted on Facebook to see if anyone could help.
A pet shelter in Boardman responded.
“We were tagged there and that night, literally, Carmelo was in our care,” Pet Lodge co-owner Scott McCuskey said.
Pet Lodge is currently caring for 12 rescues in need of homes. Scott and his wife Kim tell me caring for animals is their passion.
“We’re big animal lovers and we just do it mindlessly,” McCuskey said.
Conroy and the McCuskeys said animal cruelty needs to be taken more seriously. They said stricter regulations for breeders and puppy mills can help, but talking to a dog owner who lets their dog outside can make a difference.
“As a police officer, there are always different things you can apply. You can say, “Hey, if you don’t take care of it, I can charge you”. What you want to do is educate them and hopefully they’ll take care of the dog,” Conroy said.
“People and animals share the same emotions and things – so why should they be ignored?” McCuskey said.
Carmelo is a different dog from his channel. Officer Conroy said he was very playful and affectionate.
He is now neutered and vaccinated since his arrival at Pet Lodge and looks forward to a bright future.