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Dreher gives back to Coshocton County through service

| November 19, 2018

COSHOCTON – Many people know Rusty Dreher as the Coshocton County Dog Warden, but Dreher serves Coshocton County in many other capacities. He currently works fulltime for the Coshocton Fire Department as a firefighter, is a volunteer for the Three Rivers Fire District as the assistant fire chief, and is a member of the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office Auxiliary as a deputy sheriff.

Dreher was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but his parents moved back to Coshocton when he was only a few months old. He is a 2002 River View High School graduate and attended the police academy, receiving his associate’s degree from COTC in criminal justice. He also attended the Ohio Fire Academy where he received his Firefighter II Certification.

Dreher knew he wanted to get into law enforcement when he was in high school.
“I had a really good school resource officer,” said Dreher. “He encouraged me to do it. I talked to him about the police academy and he got me into the police academy.”

Dreher decided to leave Coshocton County after he finished his education and went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for a couple of years where he worked for the Murrell’s Inlet Garden City Fire District.

“It was easier finding a fulltime fire job in the south, specifically at the beach,” he said. “They were looking for fulltime firefighters.”

After a couple of years in South Carolina, Dreher decided to come back to Coshocton County. In 2008, he started working as the county dog warden.

“Since I’ve been here, the commissioners decided about 10 years ago to change the dog warden’s position to more law enforcement,” said Dreher. “They were looking for a police officer and I applied for the job. Our main job is enforcing the 955 section of the Ohio revised code, which has to do with dog licenses, dogs at large, and livestock investigations when livestock are damaged. We are the specific law enforcement agency charged with that duty.”

Under the Ohio Revised Code section 955, a dog warden is responsible for reporting all livestock investigations to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The dog warden also investigates dog bites to determine if there was a violation of the law and to report the incident to the correct health department. Any time a dog causes injury to a person unprovoked or kills another dog, it is marked as dangerous.

“We are not involved with any kind of humane issues with dogs,” said Dreher. “That is charged by Chris Sturtz at the humane office.”

When Dreher isn’t on the clock, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Jade, and their four children, Braidee (10), Emmerson (5), Stella (3), and Fletcher (1). The family is still growing as the Drehers are preparing to welcome another child into the family in the spring/summer of 2019.

“Coshocton itself has been very good to me and my family,” said Dreher. “I have a lot of dedication and passion for this community and the people have repaid that by supporting me in whatever endeavor I’ve wanted to take.”

Dreher has a lot of good memories growing up on his family’s 125-acre farm in Keene Township. Although he and his family don’t live on the farm, Dreher and his family try to spend as much time on the farm as much as possible. They lease out the farm for cows and hay, but enjoy swimming in the pond and going hunting on the property.

“It’s meant a lot to me and my brothers,” he said. “We’ve spent our whole lives out there. I truly enjoy our family time together and doing things as a family. Family time is very important to me. We try to do something as a family at every opportunity. I enjoy playing sports with my kids, especially soccer. I still play adult league soccer on Sundays. I greatly enjoy working in Coshocton County and I have great jobs.”

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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