‘ACCUSED’ DOG WAS UNLEASHED

This letter is in regard to Kris Depuy (letter, April 20) and her service dog that was allegedly attacked by a German shepherd. First of all, let me state, I’m not trying to minimize her situation in need of a service dog.

This situation could all have been avoided if she would have had her dog on a leash that fateful day. The owner of the shepherd walks him daily and has done so since he was a pup for 6½ years. There was never a problem.

She was walking him that day when all of a sudden, Kris’ dog, which was unleashed and unharnessed, attacked him from behind.

Of course, he reacted, knocking his owner to the ground and causing her to lose her grip on his leash.

This shepherd is not a vicious dog. He is loving, loyal and very well socialized. I’ve dog-sat him on several occasions. He’s played with my dogs, he is a regular at Riverbend’s K-9 Field of Dreams, and he’s completely comfortable around other dogs.

He’s never an issue. I cannot stand to see this character assassination of him. He’s a wonderful dog and does’t deserve it, nor does the very responsible owner.

Kris needs to take responsibility, and be honest that she has caused all of this by not handling her service dog properly.

They are to be leashed and walked with a harness. Stop blaming an innocent dog and owner, when clearly this could have been avoided.

Protect your dog and others by keeping him on a leash! It’s the law!

Jane Campion Kinn

Findlay

STATE BUDGET WOULD HELP DSPS

Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed budget for the 2019-2021 biennium includes additional funding for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who work with Ohioans with developmental disabilities.

DSPs work closely with individuals with a variety of intellectual and physical disabilities and are required — entrusted — to provide intimate personal care, administer medication, teach, recreate, and provide emotional support and encouragement. They must manage finances, maintain a home, plan and prepare nutritious meals, anticipate needs, accurately document services provided, maintain a positive and respectful attitude, and overall ensure health, safety and well-being. These activities are carried out in home settings 24/7, requiring schedules that cover evenings, nights, weekends and holidays.

People who provide these hands-on services have big hearts combined with a commitment to serve those who cannot care for themselves. However, most DSPs earn income at or below poverty level. Many qualify for and receive public assistance. Low starting wage is the major cause cited for the alarming 40 percent-plus turnover rate in direct support positions, which causes significant disruption in the lives of those we serve.

Tiffin-based Renaissance House Inc. — a nonprofit — has been caring for area citizens with developmental disabilities in home settings for nearly 40 years. Like other direct support service providers in Ohio, we are now facing an unprecedented workforce crisis.

Under the current reimbursement structure from the state, we cannot compete for quality employees in a tight labor market. Since 2005 (14 years!), state reimbursement for DSP positions has increased by a meager 7.04 percent, while inflation has risen 29 percent.

Maintaining a stable workforce of qualified, compassionate and competent direct service professionals to work with those who need our services is crucial for quality care. Ohio’s developmentally disabled citizens deserve better. Ohioans should insist on placing a higher value on those who care for family members, neighbors and friends in their communities.

I encourage the Ohio Legislature to support the governor’s budget proposal to increase wages for DSPs so we can recruit and retain quality men and women to provide consistent care and comfort to Ohio’s developmentally disabled citizens.

Robert Weinhardt

executive director of Renaissance House Inc., Tiffin

WRITER JUMPED TO CONCLUSION

Don Iliff (letter, May 7) tells us about two Trump followers who assaulted a pair of Findlay teens in a restaurant.

The story appeared in the Courier (April 10). So I went back to that edition and found that story.

I was shocked to find there was not one single mention of President Trump in that story. There wasn’t even the mention of one of those troublesome MAGA hats!

One of these fools resigned from the Hancock County Engineer’s Office after appearing in a video showing a white doll, whose face was painted brown, hanging from a ceiling fan in a noose. The video also included a male voice saying the N-word. Again, the president wasn’t involved.

Iliff jumping to the conclusion that these two miscreants were Trump supporters is fake news being created locally.

Two New York City police officers were murdered by a black man, as they sat in their police car in 2014. I can just imagine the outrage Iliff would have experienced had I written a letter about that and referred to the killer as an Obama supporter.

But I would never do that. That would be stupid.

Dave Malone

Findlay

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