Lost Pets Being Shot, Dumped Into Mass Graves By County

McCONNELSVILLE, Ohio – Action News' Scott Taylor traveled to Morgan County to find out why more than 600 pets were shot and killed by the local dog warden last year and dumped into mass graves.

His report was an Action News exclusive investigation.

"That right there is the face of an unwanted dog," Ohio Humane Education Association spokeswoman Lori Godby said, pointing out a dead animal in the grave. "That was shot probably in the eye, and thrown in there dead."

It's routine practice in Morgan County. After county dog warden Jeff Driggs puts a bullet in your pet's head, it's tossed into a mass grave.

When asked if he thought shooting dogs was a humane method of controlling the pet population, Driggs said, "Yes it is."

The American Veterinary Medical Association disagreed with Driggs' assessment. An AVMA spokesperson said that when it comes to routine euthanasia at shelters, gunshots should not be used.

Emily Matusek, of the Ohio Humane Education Association, said that she wants the practice stopped.

"It's horrible. It's just horrible," Matusek said.

"It looked like they were trying to claw there way out," she said of some of the dead animals.

So far this year, Driggs has shot 103 dogs. Only six have made it out alive through adoption or redemption by their owners.

Morgan County Commissioner Ron Moore told Action News that the dog warden reported that at least 600 dogs were shot last year.

When asked how many dogs he shot last week, Driggs said, "I don't have any idea."

He added, "I don't have anything to say to you guys."

Matusek said that the county should be ashamed of itself because there should be people caring enough to "do something about it."

It might all be legal in Ohio for now, but Matusek said that it's just not the right way to treat man's best friend.

The county justifies the violent policy for pets by saying that it's cheap.

If you're outraged by Morgan County's policy for controlling the pet population, you could express your displeasure by contacting Morgan County Commissioner Ron Moore at (740) 962-3183. You could also send him a message via e-mail at ron_moore@mnp.net.