LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – Erica Rice was sworn in as Columbiana County’s Humane Agent Thursday morning in Judge Thomas M. Baronzzi’s court.
Rice had been serving as interim humane agent since February under Chief Joe Dell’Anno from Cleveland while she was undergoing training.
As interim, she couldn’t go on cases without an officer, serve legal notices, investigate, seize animals, impound animals and educate and help people in tough circumstances. Now that she has been sworn in, she can do all of these things without an officer.
“We can improve lives of animals,” Rice said. “I’m really excited to do this because I’ve spent my life with animals. I grew up on a farm right here in Columbiana County, and I’m very happy to serve our community.”
According to Rice, the county has been without an official humane agent since October, and her first order of business is simple: help animals.
“I have calls waiting. I can’t wait to get on them,” Rice said.
While the job might entail impounding animals, Rice said the goal is to keep animals with their people, if possible. She also said they provide education and resources to those in need. All they have to do is ask.
“We rely on the community for everything. For donations, monetary donations, dog food, cat food, cat litter,” Rice said. “We are a nonprofit. We are not funded by the county or the state, so everything we do is predicated by the people helping us so we want to help the community as well since they give to us so generously.”
Individuals looking to contact the Columbiana County Humane Society for information, resources, to donate or adopt anything from a cat to a dog to livestock can call them at 234-575-7177.