Tusc. County dog warden shares concerns


This question was posed to Tuscarawas County Dog Warden Karen Slough:

Q: What impact do you feel the dog auction in Holmes County has to local shelters and to your own to-do list in your county?

A: As I stated in one of my posts, the biggest problem concerning dogs is that there are simply too many of them! When dogs become rare (like diamonds), perhaps all will have loving homes. Obviously, that will not happen anytime soon due to the relentless breeding by the puppy-millers and auctioneers who profit from canine misery.

Because there are so many beautiful dogs languishing in pounds and shelters state-wide, it is beyond my comprehension why anyone would
pay high-dollar for animals raised in cages! The best law Ohio ever passed was to recognize dogs as companion animals. Unfortunately,
the market still supports the business of dirty dog breeding so, to me, the only answer is education and media coverage.


  1. Karen, I am glad ‘your only answer is education and media coverage’ and not pushing for a ban on dog breeding. As in any venture, there are those that just want to make a buck and then there are those that will conduct themselves in an ethical and moral manner. There will always be shelter dogs. I believe that is a fact.

    However, the numbers can be reduced by educating people that having a litter of pups has long lasting consquences for those pups… that having a litter so the kids can see the ‘miracle of life’ (and many time the miracle of death) is not a valid reason to produce pups.

    I think that your comment “the market supports the business of dirty dog breeding” lumps every dog breeder in one ugly pile. And that comment is a disservice to those put their hearts, soul, and pocketbooks into each and every litter they produce. The comment is the farthest from the truth. Dog breeders producing sound, healthy pups and assume responsible for their pups for their lifetime are not the enemy. Back yard producers are the problem, and will remain the problem until people understand that newborn pups have a 10-15 year lifespan ahead of them. How those years are spent really depends on the ethics of the person allowing the breeding to take place in the first place. Barb Jones

  2. Karen, thanks for your continued dedication to gathering signatures in support of our ballot initiative!

    Barb, the Coalition fully supports dog breeders such as yourself. We define a responsible breeder as someone who:

    • has a breed or two (or even three);
    • follows a breeding plan to preserve and protect each breed;
    • produces a limited number of litters each year;
    • breeds only when a litter will enhance the breed and the breeding program;
    • raises the puppies with plenty of environmental stimulation and human contact;
    • has a contract that protects breeder, puppy, and buyer;
    • raises their dogs and puppies in the house or runs a small, clean kennel;
    • screens breeding stock to eliminate hereditary defects;
    • works with a breed club or kennel club to promote and protect the breed;
    • cares that each and every puppy is placed in the best home possible;
    • does not sell or purchase their adult dogs and puppies at auctions or raffles (embraces the AKC Legislative Position Statement on Dog Auctions); and most importantly,
    • does not breed their dogs with profit as the primary motive for existence

    Please know that we have received support from many breeders who embrace your philosophy, and they include but are not limited to, the President of the Ohio Federation of Dog Clubs, Richland County Kennel Club and many members of the Columbus All Breed Training Club.


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