By Wayne Allen
Scioto Common Pleas Probate Division Judge Alan Lemons is accepting applications for those interested in becoming an appointed humane agent of the court.
Once applications are received they will be reviewed by the judge and hearing scheduled. Lemons said the hearing will serve as a job interview for interested individuals and discuss qualification.
“Shortly, I will make public notice that I’m going to have a hearing to determine a couple of things, the number of humane agents that would be necessary to complete the work that human agents do. Do we need 100 or do we need one, somewhere in between is going to be the answer to that,” Lemons said. “The notice will ask people submit a request in writing, five days before a hearing, their request to become a humane agent.”
Lemons acknowledged there has been some issues with humane agents in the past. He said he hopes by appointing humane agents, future issues or controversies can be avoided.
“I just appoint them, I don’t police them. They are not employees. I just determine the number and out of the applicants who fills that spot,” Lemons said.
When asked what he sees as the role of humane agent, Lemons said, “to help animals who are not being treated in a humane manner.”
He said once humane agents are appointed they will receive some training, and there are laws to which they must follow and operate within.
“I think we have a lot of people that’s interested, that will do a good job,” Lemons said. “There is that fine line humane agents must walk. I remember reading something a few years back when agents got arrested for trespassing. It’s not the business of this court, or me as the Probate Judge, to get in the middle of that. I would hope that I select agents that know where that line is and don’t cross it. If they do cross it I think it would my duty to remove them and find someone else that would be better.”
Lemons said the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office will aid humane agents in enforcing the law. He 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 those currently serving as humane agents would need to go through the application process and be reappointed. Appointed agents will be reappointed and reviewed annually.
Humane agent applications are available in Common Pleas Probate Division, which is located on the second floor of the Scioto County Courthouse.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT