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Happy trails with the new Holmes County Dog Warden

Deputy Dog Warden Scott Goodland, Dog Warden Jonathan Beam and receptionist Elizabeth Lykins pose with some cute pups who are currently at the Holmes County Dog Pound. Beam joined the Holmes County Dog Warden team last year.

Colleen Callahan

There’s a new Dog Warden in town, and he and his dedicated staff have tails wagging all across Holmes County. Dog Warden Jonathan Beam has lived in Holmes County for most of his life. A 2014 graduate of Ashland University, Beam has a BS in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology. He is an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for helping animals in need and educating the public on responsible dog ownership. His team includes Deputy Dog Warden Scott Goodland, and receptionist Elizabeth Lykins. “My staff is awesome,” said Beam. “We are all dedicated to our community, and to the dogs that come through our door.

Beam recalls childhood notions on what he thought a Dog Warden did. “I have memories of watching Walt Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp,”” he said. “Stray, unwanted howling dogs tossed into a dark, barred cellar with no hope of getting out.”

Beam wants the community to know that the Holmes County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center is not your grandfather’s pound. “My dedicated staff and I are always thinking of what more we can do to secure a good home for the dogs in our care.”

Deputy Dog Warden Scott Goodland has been with the shelter since 2013. A retired Field Marine Force Corpsman, Goodland understands public service. “Public service is a public trust,” said Goodland. “We have strong ethics and morals.” When asked what he enjoys most about his job, he replied: “When I get to watch a kid adopt his first dog—how great is that!”

Lykins describes Goodland as a “good law man” who will tear up when he talks about his cat, Tessa. “Don’t tell anyone I told you that. He loves his cat,” she said with a smile.

A forever dog lover, wife and mother of six boys, Lykins started out as a volunteer cleaning kennels. She was hired into a full-time position in 2013. She is the heart of the operation, “the Ying to our Yang,” added Goodland.

Her passion for dogs started with Kane, her childhood dog. “He was a retired police dog,” she said. “He was meant to be a guard dog—not a companion. He warmed up to me, and I to him. He was my best friend.”

Lykins is impressed with Dog Warden Beam. “We had a call to pick up a stray, and I was watching him unload the terrified dog from the truck,” she said. “He gently picked up the dog and cradled it to his chest while comforting it with a gentle and reassuring touch. I knew right then we had a good man in our department.”

The mission statement of the Holmes County Dog Warden includes protecting the health, safety and welfare of animals and people. They believe in education; trusting that if people know better they will do better. It is also their mission to provide “hope for the homeless dogs.”

State laws protect animals from cruelty and abandonment, and these laws are enforced through the Dog Warden’s department. Lykins has seen her share of abandoned and uncared for dogs. “I’ve seen the worst of humanity at this job, dogs that come in broken, both physically and mentally,” she said. “These dogs have taught me many lessons—the most important being forgiveness. They always forgive.”

There have been many success stories at the shelter; dogs that came in with little hope and ended up adopted into loving homes—including a home in California. Sport, a 3-legged, 5-year-old border collie mix was surrendered by his owner in 2014. He was a farm dog who suffered a mowing injury and was considered useless. “He was a sweet dog, though not extremely socialized,” said Lykins. “We profiled Sport as a special needs case, and reached out to area rescues.”

An Ohio border collie rescue decided to take a chance on Sport. He was fitted with a prosthetic leg and rehabilitated by a foster. Today, Sport lives in California, and according to Lykins, he is a pet therapy volunteer at Shriners Hospital for Children.

Not all dogs get placed as quickly as Sport did, but social media has proven to be a successful tool in adoptions. “Since creating our Facebook page, we have seen a dramatic increase in adoptions,” said Beam. “We take photos of every incoming dog and immediately post to our site,” added Goodland. “Anybody can get 1000 likes on a cute puppy. I want 1000 likes on a pit bull, or a scruffy looking non-discriminant breed mutt with a great personality.”

Beam and his staff recognize the importance of community support. “We couldn’t share these success stories without your help. Our community is so generous, and we are very grateful.”

Published: February 1, 2016
New Article ID: 2016702019942