Dog warden’s office assists firefighters in dog rescue

| January 19, 2018

COSHOCTON – A County Road 41 resident’s three puppies and one adult dog are safe and sound thanks to the combined efforts of the Coshocton County Dog Warden’s office and the Walhonding Valley Fire District.

“What initiated this was firefighters from the Walhonding Valley Fire District were dealing with flooding in the west end of the county from ice jams,” said Assistant Dog Warden Ryan Conkle. “They removed a resident under emergency conditions and they weren’t able to take their four dogs at the time. Multiple residences had to be evacuated at that time and they couldn’t initially get the dogs. The following day Walhonding Valley got a hold of us and let us know about the situation.”

Conkle went up with firefighters the next morning to survey the scene.

“Initially we thought we could take their Polaris Ranger up there, but by morning it was completely surrounded by flood water that had frozen,” he said. “You couldn’t just drive in. I knew it was going to require special equipment and suits to get back in there.”

Conkle said that two of the dogs had escaped outside when the residence was evacuated and that two of them were still inside.

“The location was a considerable distance to drive a vehicle to,” he said. “I knew transportation was going to be an issue with the dogs and our best effort would be to handle this in one shot.”

Conkle and the firefighters used a boat to haul equipment that included a way to contain the dogs and multiple catch poles.

“We are extremely pleased that the commissioners allowed us to purchase the equipment that we ended up having to use that day,” he said.

Dog Warden Rusty Dreher said they have made a big effort to make sure that all three of their trucks are equipped with equipment that they would need in any situation.

“We can respond right away to the scene and have everything we need,” he said. “That day we also had Deputy Dog Warden Steve Walsh there so he could back Ryan up if anything happened with his equipment.”

Conkle said this situation was a good illustration of teamwork.

“This is a good example of not only us being able to help people, but of us being able to work together with the Walhonding Valley Fire district and being cross trained in equipment,” he said. “It took special suits and special equipment to do this. If you were just trained in being a dog warden or being a fire fighter you wouldn’t know how to utilize everything. We were able to work together and get the job accomplished.”

Dreher agreed with Conkle.

“This is a number one example of the highly trained first responders we have here in Coshocton,” Dreher said.

A press release from the dog warden’s office stated that the rescued dogs were transported to the Coshocton County Animal Shelter for care and housing. They will continue to be housed at the animal shelter at no cost until the owner can make arrangements.

“This was a bad situation with a good ending,” Dreher said.

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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