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Ross County Dog Warden Asks for Higher Fines and New Radios Because of More Calls


Ross County — The Ross County Dog Warden is asking for more help from the county commissioners, with an increase in calls to her office.

Waneta Wellinghoff has been the canine officer for 23 years, and she says dog dumping is worse than ever – especially with homeless people dumping their animals.

She told the Ross County Commissioners Tuesday that each dog citation has been only $25 each time for 25 years, and she requested that it be increased to $75 per citation. They agreed to so that.

Wellinghoff also asked for new communications radios. She said that since the radio tower on Rocky Knob above her Lick Run Road office was removed six years ago, they have been using their personal cell phones – but those have dead zones among the hills and valleys. The commissioners agreed that the state’s MARCS digital radios through the sheriff’s department should do a better job.

Ross County Dog Warden Waneta Wellinghoff confers with the Ross County Commissioners.

She said aside from dumping, most of her calls are on animal cruelty and dogs running loose. At the time of her 10am chat with the commissioners, she said she already had at least seven calls for that day.

Wellinghoff has only one employee, a deputy, to cover the entire county. For a dog at large, if the animal is aggressive they will run it down. If it doesn’t have a tag, they will get to it when they can.

She said cruelty cases have increased, with two recent cases about dogs being dragged by a car and a dog set on fire. The latter case has a reward for information and conviction.

The Ross County Dog Warden shares a building with the Ross County Humane Society. Wellinghoff holds dogs she has to catch for only three days, and then the county pays the humane society to house them. They are expecting a new building this year, at 2308 Lick Run Road.

If you need to contact the Dog Warden, she says to call her office at 740 / 772-5929 and leave a message. Hear her in her own words in the video interview below.

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Raised in Ross County, Bearcat class of '87 at Paint Valley. Wrote a column on history and historic preservation for the Chillicothe Gazette right out of high school, then a bachelors in Journalism in the OU class of '91. After starting my one-man company "Intrepid Heritage Services" in Columbus in 1997 to offer historical research, tours, and talks, I retuned to Ross County in 2003. Have been working as a radio programmer and reporter at Clear Channel / iHeart Media Southern Ohio. Started working with the Scioto Post June 27th, 2023.