Lucas County Dog warden heralds start of Cutie’s Fund

Dog Warden Julie Lyle cuddles Cutie during the announcement Wednesday of Cutie’s Fund at the warden's office.
Dog Warden Julie Lyle cuddles Cutie during the announcement Wednesday of Cutie’s Fund at the warden's office.

More dogs like Polo, adopted Wednesday from the Lucas County Dog Warden, will be saved in the future — thanks to the creation of Cutie’s Fund.

The fund is dedicated to treating dogs with high-cost medical needs. It will help dogs like its namesake, a Chihuahua that came in during the middle of the night with a puppy stuck in its birth canal. The bill for the emergency care was more than $1,400.

Polo had a host of medical needs. The 5-year-old German shepherd and chow mix had a severely embedded collar which needed to be removed surgically and also suffered from an eye condition that required surgery.

By contributing to Cutie’s Fund, animal lovers can make a tax-deductible gift to help with emergency and lifesaving medical care and for the hospitalization of sick, hurt, or mistreated dogs assisted by the dog warden, said Dog Warden Julie Lyle. Ms. Lyle and the county commissioners announced the initiative during a news conference Wednesday at the dog warden’s office.

“I don’t believe there is any other program like this in northwest Ohio,” said Commissioner Tina Skeldon-Wozniak. “It’s truly innovative.”

Dave Murray, managing editor of The Blade, presented a check for $5,000 to the dog warden on behalf of John Robinson Block, The Blade’s publisher and editor-in-chief, and his brother, Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications Inc., the parent company of The Blade.

In addition, Block Communications is setting up a matching fund in which public donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $5,000, as a way to encourage community members to donate and double the value of their contributions.

“The Blade and the Block family believe that how Toledo treats dogs in need says a lot about the community,” Mr. Murray said.

Donations can be made in person or mailed to the Lucas County Dog Warden, 410 S. Erie St., Toledo, 43604, or online at Checks should be made payable to Lucas County Dog Warden with “for Cutie's Fund” specified on the memo line.

Ms. Lyle said it is the most difficult part of her job, deciding which dogs will live and which ones will die.

“How do you put a value on a life?” she asked. “If I choose to aggressively treat every sick or injured dog we receive I will not have the funds to help all the other dogs in need. This is a reality.”

If Cutie’s Fund is successful in attracting donations, it will give the pound the resources to save more dogs, she said.

Contact Tanya Irwin at: or 419-724-6066.