Vet tech resigns: Animal shelter seeks replacement

NEW CUMBERLAND — The Hancock County Animal Shelter will be seeking to fill two positions, including one to replace its veterinary technician who left last week, as discussed during Thursday’s county commission meeting.

The commission accepted the resignation of Diana Ash as the shelter’s veterinary technician, with her resignation effective Oct. 10 with no reason provided.

Commissioners Jeff Davis and Joe Barnabei thanked Ash for her service with the shelter, where she served for the past year.

“I’d like to wish her well in her future endeavors,” Barnabei said. “Diana jumped on board July 1 of last year, and she’s helped us out to get this animal shelter to where it needs to be.”

“She certainly was an asset to the animal shelter, and I appreciate what she has done,” Davis said.

With Ash’s departure, the commission approved requests by Director of Humane Operations Nichole Felouzis to advertise for the full-time veterinary technician position as well as a part-time dog warden.

According to the advertisement, applicants should have a love and compassion for animals with concern for their comfort and welfare, and must have a current veterinary technician license or certification and/or comparable experience.

Among duties are providing medical care to all shelter animals in a safe and humane way, maintaining medications and medical records and equipment, consulting with adopters on health issues when needed, perform vaccinations and any medical testing or administration, and implement procedures to prevent spreading of any illness or disease.

In regard to the dog warden position, applicants must be able of being bonded to carry a firearm and pass firearm qualifications with duty weapon, and also must be able to lift 80-100 pounds and have the agility to capture animals on all terrain.

Among the dog warden’s duties are enforcing state laws regarding animals, investigating reported dog bites, investigating reports of animal abuse/neglet and capturing stray and injured animals.

Applications for both positions are available at the Hancock County Animal Shelter on Gas Valley Road in New Cumberland, and they must be returned no later than 4 p.m. Nov. 13.

Meanwhile, the commission approved the monthly reports for the dog warden department and the animal shelter.

The dog warden reported that animals picked up in September were 23 dogs, 33 cats and eight others. Among complaints received were 73 tag checks, 20 leash laws, 12 humane complaints, eight vicious cases, two barkings, six animal bites, and two others. Regarding rabies, eight raccoons were tested along with one dog, one cat, and one other animal, with all 11 testing negative for rabies.

Meanwhile in the animal shelter, a total of 169 animals were in for the month, including 91 cats brought in, 26 dogs brought in, three cats returned from adoption, 38 cats returned from fostering, six dogs returned from fostering, and five cats returned from other circumstances.

A total of 163 animals were out for the month. This includes the adoptions of 74 cats and seven dogs, eight cats who died on shelter, four cats and one dog who were euthanized, 17 cats and eight dogs all fostered, 10 dogs reclaimed, one cat released to the wild, and 24 cats and nine dogs transferred out.

In other business:

• The commission welcomed Bill Winkelried, general manager of Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort who joined the Chester casino four months ago. Winkelreid, who has been in the industry for 28 years, previously worked in Pittsburgh and most recently in Shreveport, La. at the Eldorado Casino and Resort, which is owned by Eldorado Resorts, Mountaineer’s parent company. In his comments, Winkelried said he looked forward to working with the commission and local businesses.

• During citizens remarks, New Cumberland resident Ian Wilson addressed the situation with littering, and stated that he has contacted some residents and business owners who would be interested in helping with the littering situation, as is Delegate Pat McGeehan. Wilson informed residents and commissioners about the county’s Recycling Center Facebook page, and also found out that the county has an abandoned building ordinance, where residents can file complaints regarding any unsightly properties.

He also addressed Sheriff Ralph Fletcher and inquired why the Sheriff department’s Facebook page had not been updated since late April, and asked why no one from the department issued an alert regarding a man who was reportedly being searched for earlier this week. Fletcher did not comment.

• Davis informed residents that Trunk-or-Treat will be held Oct. 28 at Tomlinson Run State Park in New Manchester. He also advised the public that the Hancock County Courthouse will be closed Nov. 10 in observance of Veterans Day.

The next regular meeting will be at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at the commissioners room at the Hancock County Courthouse.

(Rappach can be contacted at