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Volunteer seriously injured, Humane Society creates new safety protocols

The Hancock County Humane Society is putting more safety measures in place after a volunteer was bitten by a pit-bull mix earlier this month, and seriously injured.

Director Paula Krugh said the dog bit the volunteer while they were playing outside on Feb. 1.

“He really didn’t attack her. He just kind of decided to turn her into the chew toy,” Krugh said.

Krugh said the injuries were serious enough that the volunteer had to seek medical attention. The dog, which was on the adoption floor, was euthanized and a rabies test was conducted on the remains. The test was negative.

“It felt very defeating,” said Krugh. “The volunteer really loved this dog. It was hard for her, and everyone understood that,” she said.

The Humane Society has about 30 to 50 volunteers on site daily, Krugh said. All are trained to safely handle the dogs and each must sign a liability wavier incase of injury.

In the past year, four dogs, all pit bull mixes, have been euthanized for biting volunteers. The most serious injury was on Feb. 1.

Public dog shelters were able to start putting pit bull and pit-bull mixes up for adoption in May 2012, after Ohio ended a 25-year-old law that labeled all pit bulls as inherently vicious. Now, many of the dogs at the county shelter are pit bulls or pit-bull mixes.

“It’s just the prevalence of this breed,” Krugh said.

All dogs are tested for aggression.

New safety protocols will include panic buttons, the buddy system and more cameras at the shelter.

Reporter Denise Grant will have more on this story in Wednesday’s edition of The Courier.

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