Karen Steinrock, Contributing Writer
Dogs in Review Magazine
Karen’s love of animals dates back to the 1960’s when she competed in horse shows with her beloved Palomino “Goldie” in hunter and jumper events.
As a career marketing professional, she spent 10 years in the marketing department of Hershey Foods Corporation before moving on to an affiliated advertising agency in the early 1980s. Pro bono work at the agency included creating publicity events for the humane society which fueled her passion to reach out to the public to help pets and their owners. An enchantment with the dog fancy started brewing.
Karen founded her own public relations firm, Steinrock Associates, in 1989, which serves a variety of clientele including local school districts, manufacturers and service industries. Close ties with the media have played a major role in her quest to educate dog owners and enhance the fancy’s image.
Karen acquired her first purebred Newfoundland in 1990 after rescuing a stray Newfie found outside a local restaurant. The dog’s gentle demeanor and impressive appearance set the stage for a 20-year love affair with the breed. She’s been active in Newfoundland Club of America and Colonial Newfoundland Club events ever since, serving in various publicity-related roles, including breed columnist for the Gazette (three years) and publicity chair for specialties and water tests held in the area.
She received an APDW Arthur F. Jones award for her breed column “Making A Hit With The Media” in 2009.
In the mid ’90s, Karen produced and hosted a weekly radio program, “Pet Talk Radio.” The call-in show featured experts from all walks of the animal kingdom with emphasis on dogs. Top fanciers representing various breeds, kennel clubs, federations and rescue groups were frequent guests, including retired Harrisburg Kennel Club Show Chairman Ron Scott whose charismatic style and wit helped generate interest and attendance at the club’s semi-annual shows.
In 1999, Karen took her stable of experts to the newspapers with a weekly Q&A pet column “The Pet Lovers Forum.” The interactive column enjoys a strong following in the Harrisburg and Allentown, Pa., newspapers. While working toward breed, obedience and working titles, she and her Newfies have been highly visible in the community both in therapy work and as AKC Canine Ambassadors. She also taught a local dog manners class for five years and wrote occasional features for Dog World and the AKC Gazette.
A combination of show ring experience and reader feedback from the pet column revealed a widening gap between fanciers and purebred pet owners. This led to her proposed Dogs in Review column “The Other Side of the Fence,” which debuted in 2004.
The original “Fence” column was resurrected this year with a new title “In The Public Eye” — hoping to encourage the show community to work more closely with the public as we strive to inspire a new generation of fanciers and improve the image of the sport. Karen remains active in Newfoundland Club events and hopes to re-enter the show ring soon.
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Saving the Sport, Part I, Attracting "Newbies" to Dog Shows.
Getting the Word Out Part 2, Attracting "Newbies" to Dog Shows
Breed rescue affects purebred dogs well beyond the show ring.
Fanciers explore whether herding dogs make good matches for pet owners.