Hometown Hero devotes life to dog rescue and training

On a typical day, you'll find Karen running her business, Elite K-9 Training and Doggy Daycare

Karen Lutz


WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – The passion to help pups is something that started at a young age for Karen Lutz and has been ongoing throughout her life.

On a typical day, you’ll find Karen running her doggy daycare business. It’s a place for pups that need a little TLC while their owners work through the day.

Lutz said she quit her job of 27 years to open the business because she saw a need that wasn’t being filled.

The work comes second nature to Karen. She talks about rounding up strays as a child and bringing them home to her parents. Sometimes they would let her keep the animals and sometimes not, but they would always find homes for the dogs.

Karen is still dedicated to finding homes for pups. She runs a nonprofit called Shelter Puppies which trains puppies so their first home will be a forever home. 

“These dogs don’t go in a kennel. What happens is they go with actual families and then those families bring them here for training and we give them a good foundation with the training,”

And Karen isn’t just focused on training good house dogs, she is responsible for establishing and training the Volunteer K-9 search and rescue team based out of the Mecca Fire Department.

“I’m very proud of the team. All through the years, all the different people that have come and gone – it is just something I’m very proud of,” Karen said.

In what little spare time she has, Karen is working on her certification to train service dogs to help veterans. She says her decision to make dog training, rescue, and care a full-time job, and leave a career of 27 years was definitely scary, but also worth it.

“To see something come to life that you dreamed of doing and then to see these people work with their dogs and the work that they’ve done. It is a great feeling,” Karen said.

If you’d like to donate to Karen’s non-profit organization Shelter Puppies,” you can get in touch with her either through the organization’s website or Facebook page.