By Wayne Allen
Scioto Common Pleas Probate Division Judge Alan Lemons held a public hearing Monday to determine how many humane agents Scioto County needs, and to interview possible candidates.
At the hearing several interested people were in attendance to hear from the judge. It was made known several applications were turned into the court, and only three of the applicants met requirements and necessary training and were appointed by the Scioto County Humane Society. The three qualified candidates were Rhonda Rose and Mark and Tammy DeJarnette.
Lemons asked a variety of people in attendance how many agents they thought the county needs. Answers varied from one to 10, with one of the major concerns not sending a one agent to respond to a call, for safety purposes.
Lemons did not indicate how many agents would be appointed.
“I just approve this appointment, I’m not your legal counsel, I’m not your legal advisor, I’m not the sheriff, I’m not the chief of police and I’m not the city solicitor or prosecutor,” Lemons said when asked who would aid agents in the field. “I do know someone from the humane society was convicted by a jury for trespassing. Just a word of caution, who ever I appoint should be careful.”
Lemons said the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office will aid humane agents in enforcing the law. He said agents appointed would work with law enforcement and would only work in the county and not the city of Portsmouth.
“I would hope that you (humane agents) would work well with the sheriff’s department and discuss with them, what their interpretation your authority is and somehow try to draw that line a little brighter than it is,” Lemons said.
He said the interpretation of the law that gives humane agents authority is fuzzy. He said it’s fuzzy what agents can and cannot do.
Lemons said he had spoken with the Scioto County Commissioners, many people on his staff and in the community that’s interested in making sure the job of humane agent is done properly and well. He said a determination will be announced by Friday on the number of humane agents and who is appointed.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT