History of the Tuscarawas County Humane Society

The Tuscarawas County Humane Society is a nonprofit 501C (3) organization founded in 1977 in Dover, Ohio, and operates solely by means of donations and does not receive revenue nor help from any municipal, county or state government.

During its first 30 years, it was run by a small group of people and offered assistance to the County Dog Pound and a private cat shelter by providing rescue, spay/neuter discount coupons, other vet fees, micro-chipping, and adoptions.

In June 2008 a new Board of Directors, consisting of 11 community leaders, was elected by the membership. The new board has worked to improve fiscal management, enhance fundraising, have legislative involvement, and greater community awareness/education. There are now standing committees for adoption, finance, membership, fundraising, public relations/humane education, shelter planning and nomination.

In prior years, the Humane Society had no established structure in which to shelter animals in need. A "Shelter Feasibility Study Group" was formed in November of 2008 to evaluate all aspects of creating an animal shelter in the county. Several properties were visited as possible shelter sites, and building plans were reviewed. It was determined by the study group to move forward and lease an established structure.

We opened our shelter in August of 2009 in leased space on Dover-Zoar Road about 4 miles from Dover. We envision a dedicated and compassionate organization, integrated with our community, that will improve animal welfare and provide humane care to all animals. Currently, we accept animals that come to us from the activities of the Humane Officer, pound rescues and other rescue situations. Our organization serves as a community resource when adult protective service needs assistance in placing animals owned by their clients. We respond to requests from the health department when properties are no longer fit for human or animal occupancy. We assist local law enforcement with animals running at-large, that may need to be kept until their owners can be contacted. We also assist those pet owners who are hospitalized and have no family resources to care for their pets.

Approximately 100 dogs per month enter the Tuscarawas County Dog Pound with a euthanasia rate around 50 percent. Presently, the only affiliation between the dog pound and the Humane Society is that the Humane Society will now take in dogs from the pound, when space allows, so the animals are not euthanized. These are all things that now can be achieved with the operation of our shelter.

Our shelter is set up to house about 20 to 30 dogs and about 30 to 40 cats. We also receive horses, goats, cows, chinchillas, ferrets or any animal that is suffering from abuse or neglect. All the animals in our care receive appropriate vet care and are spayed or neutered before they are placed in their forever home.

Our Humane Officer serves a population of 90,914 with an estimated 22,983 dogs and 25,929 cats. There is a unique situation in our area, there are puppy mills operating in Tuscarawas County, and surrounding areas, against which the Humane Society is actively fighting. There is also an effort by the Tuscarawas County Humane Society Board of Directors in changing Ohio laws regarding the mass breeding of companion animals.

02/01/2015: The Tuscarawas County Humane Society successfully completed its two-year Shelter Me Capital Campaign, which raised funds to construct a new shelter for rescues and to provide operating funds for the first year of running the new facility. A new, more spacious and efficient facility will mean many improvements and opportunities, enabling the Humane Society to offer the highest quality medical and adoption services for the more than 300 animals in its care each year. And, importantly, it will help cut costs associated with managing two separate facilities. In February 2015, the TCHS Board and Shelter Me Campaign Steering Committee announced that the goal of $1,150,000 had been met – and exceeded – raising a total of $1,165,000! On Saturday, February 7, 2015 more than 100 individuals gathered to celebrate with a "soft" opening of our new facility! The new shelter was blessed by campaign Chair Dan Hershberger, and the staff and board offered tours for lead donors and those deeply involved with the campaign's implementation. More than 400 donors contributed gifts of cash and services or materials, and hundreds more supported grassroots-style, through coin canisters at local businesses, special fundraisers and more. This could not have happened without every person, business and foundation that participated, and TCHS feels so fortunate to live in a region that places such importance on humane care and treatment of all animals. TCHS also extends very special thanks to Tom Glass and family for the gift of land which spurred the project in 2011.

We are very appreciative of any donations, whether they are supplies, monetary donations or volunteering for our shelter. The fact that the Tuscarawas County Humane Society has been able to make vast improvements and increase the services that it provides (in an economy that is still struggling to recover) is a great testament to the passion and caring that our community has for animals that cannot help themselves.

We encourage you to participate in our mission to provide care for those animals that cannot help themselves and putting an end to animal cruelty in our county. We invite to our monthly board meeting voice your suggestions and questions.


The Tuscarawas County Humane Society

Established 1977