Tuscarawas County Dog Pound makes improvements

Tuscarawas County Dog Pound makes improvements
Teri Stein

Beth Lewis with Tulip, who was later adopted, shows the improved kennels at the Tuscarawas County Dog Pound.


With the facility closed to the public for weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the perfect opportunity to upgrade the Tuscarawas County Dog Pound as less dogs were taken in.

“The kennels had been in disrepair for quite a while, and we were making repairs to them as needed, but it just got to the point there were too many issues. All the kennels needed repairs,” said Beth Lewis, adoption coordinator and kennel manager. “That is when we started looking into doing these renovations.”

Funding for the project was approved by the Tuscarawas County Commissioners. Gor-Con Construction completed the work on the kennels.

“The glazed block tile was always there, and then we had chain-link fence up to 6 feet. They stripped all the chain link off and built those walls up with blocks to 6 feet,” Lewis said.

Once completed, the kennel remodel yielded immediate results.

“It’s better for the dogs. They have less distractions, less cage fighting. They can’t get up there and look down on the other dogs,” Lewis said. “It had caused some issues. We would have to stop and consider when bringing in a new dog what cage to put it in. If I have two big intact male dogs, should we leave an empty kennel in-between? Now we don’t have to worry about that.”

It was a good time to do the project with less dogs in the facility. “We didn’t have a whole lot of dogs here. At one time we had eight, but that was the most during the whole project,” Lewis said.

The dog pound contains 14 large cages, three holding pens and two puppy cages.

While they had the time, the staff painted interior walls and duct work, totally refreshing the building’s interior.

Approximately 650 dogs end up each year at the pound. Most find a happy ending; animals are very rarely euthanized and only for grave health or severe aggression issues.

Lewis posts photos of found dogs on the Tuscarawas County Dog Pound Facebook page to reunite them with their owners. Dogs are held for three full business days before they become available for adoption. The staff also watches local lost-and-found pages.

Lewis works with other organizations to find the animals homes. The Tuscarawas County Humane Society is their biggest partner. There is a rescue group for every type of breed, and Lewis will contact the appropriate group if a dog needs a home.

“We try to place as many dogs as possible,” Lewis said.

The adoption fee at the pound is $40 and includes a dog license. It’s an important item. If the dog would get lost again, staff members only have to check the number to find the owner’s information.

The position is a dream job for Lewis. “I worked my way here. I worked at the humane society while I was getting my vet tech license, and I worked in a couple of vet clinics,” she said. “They say animal rescue, in general, is like the mafia: Once you get in, you can’t get out. They pulled me in.”

Lewis lives in Dover with her husband, Josh, and son, Bryson, 2. The family has four dogs and four cats.

An average work day starts by cleaning the kennels and making sure the dogs have food and fresh water. “If we have some that are housebroken, we take them out right away so they can go,” Lewis said.

The rest of the day is spent answering the phones, dispatching the dog warden and when not busy, playing with the dogs.

“Dogs can hang out with the staff in the office; we let them play with toys. If they need a bath, they’ll get a bath. Mostly we spoil them,” Lewis said. “If we are all here, we can take the dogs on walks. We try to get the dogs out if we can. We don’t want them sitting in their cages all day.”

There is a total of four staff members at the pound. Lewis and dog wardens Terry Warner and Ken Griffith all work full-time. Mike Lineberry works part-time as a pound keeper. The facility does not use volunteers due to liability concerns, but they do accept donations of dog food and dog treats.

Currently they are in need of donations of Pup-peroni dog treats, which according to Griffith, few dogs can resist, and they are helpful in catching strays. Lewis will post when donations are needed. Watch the Tuscarawas County Dog Pound Facebook page for information.

The pound is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by appointment. Only one person will be admitted into the building at this time. Meet and greets will take place in the parking area, weather permitting.

For appointments, questions or information on dogs at the facility, call 330-339-2616.

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