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DECEMBER 1999

Boatfield is reported casualty of kill/no-kill clash in Toledo

TOLEDO, Ohio––Mary Pat Boatfield, 49, a frequent instructor at national animal care and control conferences, said little to media about her October 11 surprise resignation after 15 years as executive director of the Toledo Humane Society, but Lucas County dog warden Tom Skeldon told Toledo Blade staff writer Lisa Abraham that he thought she was ousted by the THS board for refusing to move toward a no-kill policy.

On September 13 Lend-A-Paw Feline Shelter and Lend-A-Paw Foundation and Puppy Nursery founder Patty Rood told a press conference that she believed Boatfield brought neglect charges against her in early September from fear of “competition.” Rood surrendered 17 sickly cats to THS on August 31, after which THS seized 135 more cats and two dogs in a series of raids on the Lend-A-Paw Foundation Puppy Nursery and a foster home. Rood later surrendered another seven cats.

Rood was supported at her press conference by Toledo-area residents Opal Covey and Mary Barker, who had prior convictions in similar cases. Barker, convicted of neglect in 1991, 1993, and 1997, is currently facing charges of failing to properly license and confine a young Rottweiler who was declared vicious in November after biting or scratching three children.

But Boatfield’s departure did not end Rood’s troubles. The present management of the Lend-A-Paw Feline Shelter, who voted Rood out as president in December 1997, on October 19 sued her for using the name Lend-A-Paw in connection with the Lend-A-Paw Foundation, incorporated in April 1998. According to Toledo Blade staff writer Mark Zaborney, the Lend-A-Paw Feline Shelter alleges that Rood used their mailing list; used donated funds for repairs to her home and car; is seeking $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages; and is asking that the assets of the Lend-A-Paw Foundation be placed in trust for the use of the Lend-A-Paw Feline Shelter.

Another Toledo-area no-kill advocate, Planned Pethood Inc. founder Ron Schmidt, 54, was reportedly arraigned on October 25 for failure to establish that eight of his dogs who attacked a 5-year-old boy on October 5 were vaccinated against rabies. “Schmidt, who has 17 dogs living with him on 30 acres, has been heavily involved in offering low-cost sterilization,” reported Toledo Blade staff writer Carl Ryan. “Founded in 1979, Planned Pethood placed 325 dogs in homes last year, and will do twice that number this year, Schmidt said.”

Schmidt told Ryan that his dogs didn’t have vaccination certificates because he had vaccinated them himself to save money.