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National Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week is April 8 through 14, 2018, a time to recognize the many contributions of the Animal Services officers, shelter staff and volunteers in El Dorado County. "Working in the animal services field and serving as a volunteer for an animal services organization requires a special kind of passion for helping animals and serving others," said Henry Brzezinski, Chief of El Dorado County Animal Services. "Sometimes the work is difficult, but we love what we do. We are very grateful for our dedicated staff and volunteers!"
El Dorado County Animal Services takes in abandoned and stray cats, dogs, livestock and other domestic animals, reunites lost pets with their owners, and arranges for the adoption of unwanted animals to loving homes. They regularly and actively respond during emergencies in the community such as wildfires or floods, where they work to ensure animals stay safe and reunite lost and frightened animals with their owners. In addition, they respond to situations where domestic animals may be neglected or abused, and situations where a dog or wild rabid animal may have bitten someone. In each situation, their first concern is for the safety of residents and the animals, and whenever possible, they strive to educate and partner with residents on animal care and control activities.
According to Brzezinski, for this year's Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week, Animal Services asked if any of its employees wanted to share their personal stories about how they came to choose a career in animal welfare. Stories were similar, with many employees saying they felt a deep care and concern for living beings at a young age.
"Growing up, I used to save all of the stray animals and injured wildlife in my neighborhood. One day, I found a dog on the street and my parents called Animal Control and an Animal Control Officer showed up to pick up the dog. I thought that would be the best job ever and I knew that's what I was going to do someday. I was 11-years-old," said Alexis Shaw, Animal Services Operations Manager.
"Even when I was a child in kindergarten, at recess I would save worms from puddles after a rain storm or move slugs off a hiking path. As I grew older, I came to realize that I cared so much about these beings that would go unnoticed by most that becoming an Animal Control Officer wasn't a choice -- it was who I was," said Rachel Smith, Animal Services Officer.
In addition to its Animal Services staff, a team of dedicated community volunteers assists shelter staff with tasks such as fostering kittens, walking dogs at the shelter, helping with laundry or cleaning, taking photos of adoptable pets so that the photos can be posted online and found by potential adopters, and more.
Animal Services currently has two animal shelter facilities in El Dorado County. One is located at 6435 Capitol Avenue in Diamond Springs, and one is located at 1120 Shakori Drive in South Lake Tahoe. The shelters are open Monday through Saturday; closed on major holidays. Additional information about Animal Services, including specific program information, a shelter wish list and volunteer opportunities, can be found online at www.edcgov.us/animalservices.
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Animal Services Staff
Animal Services Officers from Animal Services Shelter in Diamond Springs (West Slope)
Shelter Staff from Animal Services in Diamond Springs (West Slope)
Animal Services Officers and Shelter Staff from South Lake Tahoe Shelter