Portage County dog warden Dave McIntyre reported a drop in the number of dogs brought into the shelter during his annual report to county commissioners recently.

McIntyre, who has been warden for almost a decade, said he's an advocate for adoptions rather than euthanization, as is evidenced by the shelter's 2016 numbers.

There were 474 dogs brought into the shelter, a 16 percent decrease from 2015. That figure doesn't include owner surrenders. With the latter, the number goes up to 533.

Of the 474 dogs, 198 were returned to their owners and 121 were adopted directly from the shelter. An additional 84 were rescued from the shelter, and 24 were transferred to the Portage Animal Protective League shelter for adoption.

In 2016, 20 were euthanized for being sick and 24 were put down for being vicious. The shelter staff received and investigated more than 2,700 complaints, which doesn't include calls about lost dogs.

Ravenna Township had the highest amount of dogs taken in at 73, with Ravenna city following at 65 and Streetsboro at 36.

Last year, Leadership Portage County group added an additional walking trail to the property, and the Friends of the Pound volunteer group helped with clinics for rabies, spaying and neutering.

"In the nine years since I have been dog warden, we've never had to buy dog food," McIntyre said. The shelter relies on either donations of food or monetary donations.

McIntyre said more than $6,000 came in from mailer drives, which goes toward clinics. Last year, "we actually spayed and neutered every dog that entered our shelter. That was huge," he said.

Social media use has also helped the shelter, McIntyre said, especially Facebook, which has allowed the staff to share photos of lost dogs and dogs taken in, and communicate with the public.

"Facebook is a good friend to us," he said. "If someone calls us and asks about a dog, say, in Ravenna, if we see it or someone calls us about it, we don't need to be involved."

Email: mmerchant@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4156