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Helping abused, neglected animals in rural counties: ACT Ohio

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Little Zylah is one of the many animals helped by the Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio (ACT Ohio) since it’s inception a month ago. And according to founder Steffen Baldwin, the task force is busier than it can imagine.

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Six-month-old pit bull puppy Zylah was found beaten in Lawrence County. The puppy had cracked ribs, hearing loss and neurological damage.

In Marion County, ACT Ohio saved two elderly and emaciated boxers, Candy and Daisy (see their photos in the slideshow). In Harrison County, the task force provided assistance when a box in the snow was found to contain six tiny one-week-old German Shepherd puppies. And in northern Union County, ACT Ohio was there to take care of a starved pit bull found shivering in the snow.

In rural areas, the task force has also been providing bales of straw to keep outdoor animals warm during the frigid temperatures.

Not all Ohio counties have a Humane Agent to fight animal cruelty. The Ohio Revised Code only provides funding of $25 per month for one Humane Agent per county. And the ORC prohibits Humane Agents from enforcing laws outside of the county they live in.

In other words, abused and neglected animals in some Ohio counties have had no one to fight for them. Until now.

When Baldwin, former Shelter Director at the Union County Humane Society, realized the need, ACT Ohio was formed. Currently, the Marion Area Humane Society, PAWS Urbana (Champaign County), the Hardin County Humane Society and the Union County Humane Society have partnered with ACT Ohio, at no cost to these groups. There is a waiting list with half a dozen other rural counties.

“When people ask me how the new business is going," said Baldwin, "I feel weird saying good because of the nature of what we’re doing, but as far as new businesses go we have been slammed with work in rural Ohio since day one, putting in over 3,000 miles and going as far east as the Ohio/WV border and as far south as the Ohio River and Kentucky in our first month alone.”

In one month’s time, ACT Ohio has already saved many animals. Just imagine how many more dogs, cats, horses and other animals will be safe - even alive - thanks to this organization.

ACT Ohio depends on donations. They also need people to foster various animals, including livestock. If you are interested in supporting this much-needed program, individuals interested in fostering animals for ACT Ohio can email Steffen Baldwin at Director@actoh.org. Tax-deductible donations can be made online at www.actoh.org or mailed to ACT HQ, 323 S. Main Street, Marysville, Ohio 43040.

As for puppy Zylah, she still needs to be seen by a neurologist before she can be put up for adoption. The two boxers, Candy and Daisy, will be up for adoption in a few weeks after they have been fully vetted and have put on weight, according to Baldwin.

Follow the Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Ohio on Facebook.

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