I live in N.J. This shelter is friendly to out of state adopters, and a few years ago, I saw a large female dog online that appealed to me. I applied, and they followed the approved procedure of contacting my vet for references. When I went to pick the dog up, she had been bathed and made ready for me. She had come in with a partner, and I ended up taking him too. Both dogs had been in the prison program and both were wonderfully trained. Because they had been there so long, they had been taken home at times by the staff, to keep them from getting kennel crazy. The male died two years ago of old age, but my female is still with me. Based on my experience, both on the day of adoption and follow up they did afterwords, I would recommend this facility. I don't know what political issues are presently occurring, but I know that I am most grateful to them for the wonderful dogs they provided me and my family.
Through the years (decades?) I have gotten numerous animals at the Belmont Count Shelter. I have ALWAYS been treated with respect and professionally. There is a small group of people who, if you read between the lines on their Facebook page, are being led by a disgruntled ex-emploee to try to make the shelter and its management look bad. From my experience, if there is a problem with the management, it is just that they just care too much as to who gets their animals.
Every time I have been there the shelter has been clean or, in the mornings, in the process of a complete cleaning. They do not have the grounds that other shelters have... but, they do not have the same funding either. That is the only reason I give only 4 out of 5 stars.
Review from Guidestar
Jennette63, open your eyes. That shelter needs a complete overhaul. The dog warden needs to go first. The whole board needs revamped. The care of the animals come first. Period. You must be a friend of the dog warden. You must believe her lies.
I must say I have read a lot of negativity about the shelter on other pages. Most are lies. The director s one of the most caring and loving people I have ever known. She has always had a tremendous amount of love and concern for all the animals. Many times I have known her to literally give of her own personal time to be with the animals. Some have stated the adoptions are not run properly. Yes, she is very picky about the adoptions, but only in the best interest of the animals. You cannot just allow people to adopt an animal unless one knows the animal will be taken care of properly. Again --the director is an outstanding-loving and caring person concerning all animals.
I have had many dealings with BCARL over 40 years and I feel that both the staff and the shelter conditions have deteriorated badly. I have both adopted, volunteered, and worked with the prison dog program (the shelter provides dogs for the inmates to train and then be adopted out) . It is a good program and everydog that I saw adopted I would follow up to see how they were doing and everyone was very happy with their trained dogs. That being said- I know that Ms. Painter did not care for the program and was always trying to get rid of it and on a few occasions even pulled a few dogs and after all the training and time invested in them- had them put down. She told me they were "unadoptable". Which was not true because I checked on all the dogs every single day I worked! I also know many people that had bad experiences trying to adopt dogs from there -too many to even count. I always tried to ignore the rudeness and unprofessional attitude at the shelter because of my concern for the animals. I don't mean to imply that staff and board members were all that way but everyone was afraid to "make the boss" angry .
I saw a Doberman chained to a dog house standing in mud and was told that they were crowded. I contacted a Doberman Rescue in Ohio and they were told that by the staff that they will not release dogs to breed rescues. They had rather keep that dog in horrible conditions than let someone help find the dog a home.
To me if you can't provide a shelter for a dog other than mud, a chain, and a ruin down doghouse that you need to work with rescues to place these dogs. It is the humane thing to do.
Then, I have later heard they put many dogs down. Why are they not working with rescue? Who is running this shelter? It's sad and a disgrace. People can do better and things need to change. You will get more donations and support by doing right. The people that run this shelter do not appear to have the dog's interest in mind, but $$. People won't support this kind of cruelty.
I called about some cats that my neighbors abandoned when they got evicted over the summer. Verna told me she would give me a voucher to have the poor things euthanized! Why would these poor babies be sentenced to death because their previous owners were idiots? She was NOT helpful at all. I found homes for all of them myself.
This shelter has been a God send up until about a couple years ago. I know a few of the workers that have served there and they have had concerns about what animal is being put to sleep, it is usually a VERY adoptable dog, So many things I feel need changed but the most important is that an investigation and one that they are not being made aware of takes place. Due to the fact the husband of the person running the place is on the board. I feel from the stories I have heard she makes a good impression on those she needs to and treats others like dirt. I hope you take all of these concerns seriously and have the shelter take ALL the necessary means to save ANY dog or cat or whatever animal they have to use all the fosters or no kill shelters they can to help these animals get through the tragedy they have already experienced and give them every opportunity possible to live a full happy life.
I just don't understand the refusal to work with rescues or to allow fosters to take some of the animals out of the shelter environment. I don't understand not utilizing every possible means, social networking and Pet Finder, specifically, to help the dogs get out of there so that they do not have to be killed. And I don't understand how an organization which is not a humane society and has no legal authority to hire humane officers and dog wardens can do so. This puts the animals in the community at risk because every abuse seizure can be legally challenged, which would permit the abusers to keep their animals and continue abusing them. This does not help anyone.
I have been a volunteer there, and I personally have never been treated badly. I don't let other peoples' bad days get in the way of helping the dogs. I understand the difficulty of working at a shelter where dogs are put down. I became attached to many of those dogs and cried like a baby over every one of them that was not adopted. But I have heard of far too many instances where some of these dogs could have made it out alive and did not, based on management decisions. There are rescues willing to pull. There are people willing to foster. There are social networkers willing to cross post. There are volunteers willing to transport. There is an entire community of caring people who want to help. They need to be utilized to the fullest capacity. Why is this not happening?
Over the years, I myself and other members of my family have adopted various dogs from BCARL, but in the past few years it really seems like the staff at BCARL are involved in it so they can tell friends they work at a "Animal Rescue League", and not really there for the sake of the animals.
It really seems like to me, that now, over just the last couple of years, at BCARL, if your not a personal friend of someone working there or a "In Town" donor of some sort, its almost impossible to adopt from them. Even if you have a large fenced in yard, established with a good vet, and up to date on your other animals, if you have any at the time.
I sorry to give the place such a negative review, but BCARL has really went down hill in the past few years and only seem to cater to personal friends or the so-called town well to do's.
One it is not a humane agency like they are saying they have no legal authority, they are a not for profit business. That is a big difference. The employees are not what they say they are.They do not follow proper protocol when it comes to running the shelter. They do not adopt these animals that they take and i do believe that stealing animals and then discrediting the person they stole the animals from is not the proper protocol. IN NEED OF NEW MANAGEMENT A.S.A.P.
I really hate to say anything negative about a nonprofit organization but in the case of this shelter an exception needs to be made. BCARL is a very poor example of how animals should be housed. The dogs are chained on a short chain in the mud and the smell in and around the shelter is one you will never forget. These issues are actually the more pleasant ones! After spending a short time volunteering, several other issues became very apparent. When people come to the shelter with good intentions they are met with various rude dispositions, so they leave with uncertainty on their minds. If people fill out applications they may wait for up to a month with no word or no connection with the shelter, so they go elsewhere. This shelter should be able to let people know one way or another what is going on with the dog or dogs they were hoping to adopt, that would be the decent way to treat people. There is a my way or no way set of rules at the shelter, concerning the dogs and employees alike. Employees are very standoffish as if they have a fear of losing their job. The more time you spend at BCARL the more obvious it becomes there are many things that are quite troublesome. The lack of working with the public and volunteers certainly does not stop there. The shelter refuses rescue after rescue who are willing to pull their dogs and take them to a safe haven, instead it is common practice to kill adoptable, healthy dogs, no matter what the age may be. When the supervisor has no supervision the innocent animals are the ones who ultimately suffer. After a couple years it became increasingly annoying to continue donating my time and money to BCARL when there are so many other organizations that are far more thankful. If not for my love for the dogs I would have never volunteered as long as I did, but I will continue to fight for better living conditions and quality of life for the animals of Belmont County.
I can say that the woman who runs the Belmont County Rescue league would rather see animals die, than even attempt to find them forever homes. She enjoys puttng dogs down for what ever reason she can find. And god FORBID a cat get taken to the pound, they stand no chance. It is sad and sickening. God Bless the true animal lovers that do rescue from thier homes.and God Bless all the fur babies at Belmont County. I pray someone finally steps in to help them.
If Belmont County residents feel this is the best they can expect from their money, then I am heartily glad I don't live there. If you feel that giving more money to people who are so obviously incapable of running a county shelter is somehow going to magically make things better, then by all means, foolishly empty your own bank account. You will kindly refrain from the libelous and personal accusation that I am a lying, cold-hearted animal hater who just doesn't care as much as you because I refuse to follow people like you down that rabbit hole. Dogs are being killed because of they are not liked or not of a certain breed! You call this a shelter...These dogs are being murdered! New management that is all it is going to take to get this shelter on it's feet....outside interest is needed to help place these dogs....Stop the killing!
Over the years, I have donated my time to walking the dogs and cleaning the cat room, as my daughter would give love and attention to all the cats. I have also donated food, treats, litter, blankets and toys. In all the years of volunteering at the shelter, I was hardly ever greeted with a smile or even a hello, let alone to hear a thank you or please stop back but I continued to go back, for the animals. That's what it is all about, the animals. I have brought several friends to the shelter to fill out applications for animals that I knew were in danger, but most of them were not given the chance to fill out an app, but were told how difficult the animal they were interested in was or told not to waste everyone's time because who's to say the couple wouldn't break up 3 months or a year down the road and just dump the animal back at the shelter?!! How is the director helping these animals?? Not giving them a chance at a forever home! Not allowing the animals to be fostered in loving homes, out of the high stress environment of the deplorable living conditions at the shelter!! Not allowing rescues to pull more of these animals to safety!! Anyone can see and smell the filth everywhere you look. There is no excuse for the conditions at the shelter. None! Those poor voiceless animals desperately need a change at BCARL.
BCARL is a rogue organization that needs attention by the authorities. For years, they have run rampant around the county without any supervision by anyone. They are contracted by the county to oversee the shelter, but they allow the shelter manager to do whatever she wants, however she wants. She euthanizes indiscriminately by playing God and picking and choosing who lives and who dies based on her personal preferences. She claims to know whether a dog will be adopted within 10 minutes of it walking thru the shelter door. On the BCARL Board of Directors sits the husband of this shelter manager. Not only is he on the Board; he is also the TREASURER. Also on the Board is the shelter manager's close friend of over 30 years. This woman is the PRESIDENT. Additionally on the Board is a close friend of the shelter manager who she refers to as the daughter she never had. Is this not nepotism and unethical? The Board never challenges anything the shelter manager does. The only Board member who challenged her when she killed 2 dogs that had rescues offering to pull them was kicked off the Board after she called the manager a murderer. The kill rate at this shelter is over 50 percent. Dogs are dying needlessly and something needs to be done.
Review from Guidestar
I have been at the BCARL shelter many times as a volunteer dog walker. Like so many volunteers, I will not go back. The shelter claims to have policies and procedures in place, but if they do, they are invisible to the public.
They do not follow any best practices for the process of euthanasia.
A reputable shelter posts its criteria for dogs in danger of losing their lives: sick, elderly, or un-adoptable dogs because of aggressive behavior, are supposed to the the first on the list. Dates for proposed euthanasia are publicized. The process and procedures are transparent.
BCARL does not follow any identifiable procedure. The Shelter Director will not tell anyone when a euthanasia day is approaching; she says volunteers can't handle it. Dogs seem to be picked at random- one week it might be an older dog, but it is also not unusual for them to kill puppies. For example, by their report, in 2012, seventy-one puppies were euthanised. Any rescue organization will tell you that puppies are the most adoptable dogs. Of course, a few might come in sick or injured. But seventy-one?
BCARL has no transparent criteria for which dogs get euthanised. Elderly dogs can be there for more than a year, while younger, healthier dogs are put to death.
Review from Guidestar