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Unleashed – PAWsitive Stories from Salt Lake County Animal Services

Home for the HOWLidays Shindig

December 01, 2022

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home for howlidays

Join Salt Lake County Animal Services for our first "Home for the HOWLidays Shindig!" Adopt a pet, bring your pet to have a quick snap with SantaPAWS, crafts, prizes and treats!
Workday is donating adoption baskets for dogs and cats adopted on December 17!
We want all pets to find a loving home for the HOWLidays. You can see our adoptable pets online or in person Tue-Sat, 10-6 at 511 W 3900 S.
For a suggested donation of $5, have your pet sit with Santa, and you (or we) can snap a quick photo with your phone.
There will be a "treat" table to assemble a "frosted cookie" for your pup. A craft table to make YOUR very own dog tag.
Questions? Email

Giving Tuesday 2022

November 01, 2022

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giving tuesday 2022


Giving Tuesday Challenge!

Salt Lake County Animal Services will be participating in Giving Tuesday on November 29, 2022. November 1 we will begin a friendly challenge to see who can raise more money for our Injured Animal Fund, CAT people or DOG people? We are very excited to announce that your donation will be matched by the generosity of Telarus (up to $5000!). We have a goal of $15,000! 

During this year’s Giving Tuesday, help support the many injured animals that enter Salt Lake County Animal Services every year. Our on-site veterinary clinic treats everything from colds, abscesses, minor surgeries, and amputations. 

You can donate online.
Then in the comment section enter "cats" or "dogs".

We will be holding two separate events to celebrate Giving Tuesday:

*Bjorn's Brew more details to come. 

We're Hiring

October 17, 2022

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hiring 2022

We're looking for individuals that are passionate about animal care and welfare to join our team at Salt Lake County Animal Services. You can see all jobs currently available on the main county job site. Or email for more information. 

Current Openings Include

Full-Time Veterinarian
Temporary Veterinarian
Veterinary Technicians (FT & PT)
Animal Care Associates
Front Counter Associates
Animal Control Officers



Join Our Strut Your Mutt Team

October 03, 2022

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strut blog 2022

Join Salt Lake County Animal Services’ Strut Your Mutt Team! We're raising funds to save the lives of homeless pets through a community celebration of our favorite furballs.
Free Microchips will be available to all Salt Lake County pups at this event!
Strut Your Mutt Day is a fundraising event coordinated by Best Friends Animal Society that saves the lives of dogs and cats in communities across the country. This year, it will take place on Saturday, October 15th at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.
This year’s donations will be used to improve the dog kennels at the shelter. We seek to provide each animal with an enhanced feeling of safety and protection in their kennel while at the same time creating an environment that feels welcoming for people looking to adopt a canine companion.
Salt Lake County Animal Services is the largest NO KILL municipal shelter in Utah. We have had a commitment to operating a "no-kill" facility since 2011. In 2021 Salt Lake County Animal Services provided care for over 14,000 animals. We cared for cats, dogs, rabbits, horses, chickens, goats, pigs, reptiles, birds and small mammals.
Please join us either by registering for our team or donating to one of our team members. Your donation is tax deductible and each participating animal welfare organization keeps 100 percent of the money raised after transaction fees. And the best part? That money is used to improve the lives of homeless pets.
Thank you for your support!

October Adoption Special

October 03, 2022

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october special 2022

Adopt a shelter pet this month! Did you know October is Adopt a Shelter Dog month?

$10 Cat/Kitten/Rabbit Adoption Fees. All pets are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.

$31 Large Dog Adoption Fees. All dogs are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Excludes: small dogs, puppies, and VIP's. Questions? Email

See our adoptable pets online.

Find out more about adoption fees and the process.

Bingo Night

October 03, 2022

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bingo night

Join us for Bingo Night at TF Brewing for an evening of bingo & beer that will benefit shelter pups at Salt Lake County Animal Services.
There is no admission fee and each bingo card is $5 at the door. Must be over 21. There will be many fantastic prizes for the winners.
Please leave your pups at home. This event will be inside the brewery. We love all things DOG so please be sure to share with us photos of your pups.
This event is a celebration of Pit Bull Awareness Month and Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. All proceeds to benefit Salt Lake County Animal Services and the Pit Crew.
Questions? Email 


Outcome to Dog Set on Fire

July 15, 2022

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dixie rest in peace

Salt Lake City, UT – Salt Lake County Animal Services is satisfied with the sentencing of Michael Paul Busico, 41, who tortured a companion pet in the spring of 2021. Busico admitted guilt to setting Dixie, a 4 year-old Red Heeler, on fire after taking her from her yard in an effort to intimidate her family. The dog suffered from extensive 2nd and 3rd degree burns to most of her body and was euthanized because of her injuries. Busico was charged with felony Animal Cruelty for the torture of a companion animal, as well as other charges. Dixie was a victim of domestic violence.

This week, a judge sentenced Busico to one to 15 years in the Utah State Prison for the arson conviction, and up to five years for the animal cruelty conviction. The judge also ordered the sentences to run consecutively, meaning Busico could serve up to 20 years in prison if he serves his full time. (Credit: Jed Boal/KSL)

“The outcome of this case is a huge win for pets in Utah. This is a step in the right direction and emphasizes that animals cannot be tortured to manipulate and hurt other humans. Salt Lake County Animal Services hopes that these strict penalties will deter future animal and domestic abuse cases.” Talia Butler, Salt Lake County Animal Services Division Director.

“Our Animal Control Officers and staff are still devastated by what happened to Dixie,” said Butler. “No pet should suffer at the hands of a human. Throughout the years, our team has seen mistreated, and abused animals but this was not only horrific, but it was also an intentional attack against a companion animal.”

Salt Lake County Animal Services is grateful for the efforts of our Salt Lake County Animal Control officers, veterinary staff, the attorney’s assigned to the case, and everyone involved, including the community, that helped lead to this fair and just sentence.

“Our staff has never forgotten Dixie and the pain and suffering both she and her family went through. We’re hopeful this resolution can give Dixie’s family peace. Dixie’s legacy will live on in our community, and in our efforts to stop animal abuse universally,” says Butler.

Animal Services would like to remind pet owners, that violence against their pets by a loved one is a serious offense and asks that these cases be reported. To report an animal abuse or cruelty case call 801-840-4000 or email


Kuranda Bed Fundraiser

June 06, 2022

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kuranda bed fundraiser

Every pet at the shelter deserves a comfy bed to rest their head every night. At Salt Lake County Animal Services, providing a comfortable living situation for our dogs and cats is a priority. Help us make this happen!

A kennel can be a very scary environment for our animals so we want to ensure their bed can be a welcoming safe haven for them. Our goal for June is a new bed for every dog and cat kennel, so nearly 100 beds!

Kuranda offers a discount when purchasing for shelters. Our dog beds are looking rough and a couple kennels have the cheap ones that do not last long. They also offer cat options to be used in their kennels plus some other cozy comfy pads to add to the beds. You can find our list of needs on their site.

You can help make a world of difference in a homeless pets life by donating one of the Kuranda products to the shelter at a discounted price, the beds are then shipped directly to Salt Lake County Animal Services. You can donate directly to us on the Kuranda page or send us a monetary donation online and put "beds" in the notes section during checkout. 

What's great about these beds is they are extremely durable and can be sanitized.

Thank you so much! Our animals appreciate it!


Petco Love Invests in Lifesaving Work of Salt Lake County Animal Services

May 09, 2022

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petco love 2022

Petco Love Invests in Lifesaving Work of Salt Lake County Animal Services.

Grant of ten thousand dollars will help save more pet lives in Salt Lake County.

Salt Lake City, UT (May 9, 2022) – Salt Lake County Animal Services announced today a $5,000 grant investment from, Petco Love, to support their lifesaving work for animals in Salt Lake County.

Petco Love is a nonprofit leading change for pets nationally by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since their founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, they’ve empowered organizations with $300 million invested to date in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. And, they’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and more than 4,000 organizations, like ours, nationwide.

“Today Petco Love announces an investment in Salt Lake County Animal Services and hundreds of other organizations as part of our commitment to create a future in which no pet is unnecessarily euthanized,” said Susanne Kogut, President of Petco Love. “Our local investments are only one component. This month, we will also launch the first of our national tools to empower all animal lovers to drive lifesaving change right alongside us.”

“Salt Lake County Animal Services is proud to be recognized by Petco Love for the work done within the community to help prevent unwanted pets from entering the shelter. This grant will help us sustain low-income spay/neuters for the 1200+ pets sterilized in our clinic each year,” said Talia Butler, Division Director.

Salt Lake County Animal Services is committed to serving the animals and citizens in the cities we service with compassion and respect. With over 40 years of experience, Salt Lake County Animal Services is dedicated to a no-kill philosophy. The No-kill philosophy is based on the idea that all healthy and/or treatable animals can be saved and not euthanized. The national industry standards to determine a shelter’s no-kill status is 90% live release rate.

Animal Services began this commitment at the end of 2009. In 2013, the shelter achieved official no-kill status for the entire year, reaching 92% for the year. As of 2021, we continued that trend with a live release rate of over 94% for the entire year. Live release means that of all the animals that come to the shelter, they are either returned home, placed with a loving family through adoption, or transferred to a qualified animal rescue organization.

For more information about Salt Lake County Animal Services, visit To learn more about Petco Love, visit

Contact: Callista Pearson, Salt Lake County Animal Services, Jennifer Perez, Petco Love,


About Salt Lake County Animal Services.

Salt Lake County Animal Services is always looking for innovative ways to provide better service to the citizens and animals we serve. We are largest “No Kill” municipal shelter in Utah and a flagship shelter for the Best Friends Animal Society’s “No Kill 2025” mission. Shelter staff from across the world visit Salt Lake County Animal Services to learn from the progress we have made here in our community. We are constantly making strides in the community because of the progressive programming we have implemented. Our goal is to create responsible pet ownership, help reduce the pet over-population problem and engage our community of adopters and pet owners. We are dedicated to providing superior support, education, protection, and advocacy for all animals and members of the community.

About Petco Love (Formerly Petco Foundation)

Petco Love is a nonprofit changing lives by making communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since our founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, we’ve empowered animal welfare organizations by investing nearly $300 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. We’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide.

Today, our love for pets drives us to lead with innovation, creating tools animal lovers need to reunite lost pets, and lead with passion, inspiring and mobilizing communities and our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners to drive lifesaving change alongside us. Is love calling you? Visit or follow at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedInto be part of the lifesaving work we’re leading every day.

Salt Lake County Animal Services Named Best of State

April 14, 2022

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hounds around town

Salt Lake County Animal Services has been named Best of State – Utah for the services the agency provides to the community. Salt Lake County Animal Services is the largest No-Kill municipal shelter in Utah, proudly possessing over 40 years of experience providing sheltering, animal control, emergency response, community resources, and educational programming. Salt Lake County Animal Services is a leader in its industry and has been nationally recognized as one of the top performing animal welfare agencies in the United States.

This year’s nomination was focused on Hounds Around Town, a new volunteer program.  The program allows volunteers and fosters to take shelter dogs out on field trips. Field trips can include activities like hiking, walks, car rides, getting puppaccinos, grooming, shopping, or going out to lunch. This program is bringing in community members who cannot commit to taking care of a dog long term, but still want to work with dogs and help get them adopted. More than 50% of the volunteers signing up for Hounds Around Town are people who have never been to Animal Services before. Taking a shelter dog on a walk or hiking is a great way to improve mental health for both the human and the dog.

Hounds Around Town officially started in 2020, however due to Covid-19 the program was put on hold, and access to volunteers was limited. Starting in the fall of 2021, Hounds Around Town rebounded, and is back and running at its full potential. Multiple volunteers are trained each week, and multiple dogs have gone on field trips.

For more information about this program or for our other innovative programs that have contributed to our 14 Best of State awards, visit our Get Involved page or email

Pet Encounters: Dog or Cat Bites

February 22, 2022

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You’re on a walk in the neighborhood with your dog, and they unexpectedly bite someone walking by. Or vice versa, you get bit by a dog walking by, what do you do? First, stay calm. Call Dispatch at 801-840-4000, and an Animal Control Officer will come help you both. If you’re both in a rush, exchange information so you can get in touch with the other person.  Second, remain civil. This is a very upsetting situation for both sides, the bite victim, and the pet owner.

Why do I have to report the bite?

There are two reasons why bite reports must be filed. The first is rabies control. Our local public health authorities need to investigate if rabies could have been transmitted to the victim. Secondly, the health authorities track the data and trends in animal bites to people within the community.

If my pet bites me, do I still have to report it?

Yes, ALL BITES that break the skin must be reported.

If you have any other questions about Animal Control issues, please email Animal Control.

Explore the Breed: Golden Retrievers

December 10, 2021

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golden retrievers

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. They make good family pets, they are kind, friendly, confident, exceptionally patient, and very intelligent and have an eagerness to please. They are active, and love to work and have a keen ability to focus on a given task.

View adoptable pets on our website. Questions email:

The Golden Retriever is a medium-large Scottish gun dog that was bred to retrieve shot upland game birds. The name “retriever” refers to the breeds ability to retrieve shot game undamaged due to their soft mouths. They have a dense, water-repellant outer coat with a thick undercoat. Some coats are wavy, some are straight. Golden Retrievers come in all shades of gold from light to dark. Some regional variations have emerged in the breed creating 3 subtypes.

British type Golden Retrievers which are prevalent in Australia and Europe. They have a broader skull and forequarters and are more muscular than other types. Their eyes are round and dark, and they can have a coat color of any shade of gold or cream.

American Golden Retrievers are lankier and less muscular than other types. Their coats are darker in color and various shades of gold.

Canadian Golden Retrievers have a thinner, darker coat and stand taller than other types.

They can be slow to mature and retain the silly and playful personality of a puppy until they are 3-4 years of age. Many will keep their puppyish traits into old age.

Golden Retrievers are often very social and do well with other dogs, cats and even livestock.

Explore the Breed

What They Need

Golden Retrievers need daily exercise and would benefit from 2 hours of exercise daily. They thrive on obedience training, love the water and do best when given a job to do. They are family dogs and want to be a part of their family’s activities.

Golden Retrievers topcoat is water-resistant and slightly wavy and sheds in small amounts all year. The undercoat is soft and keeps them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They shed most in the spring and fall. Daily brushing and occasional baths will help remove some of loose hair from the coat but if you live with a Golden you will have to get use to dog hair. They also need to have their ears cleaned regularly to avoid ear infections.

Golden Retrievers love to eat and can quickly become overweight if overfed. Make sure to limit treats and measure your dog’s daily kibble. It is better to feed regular meals than to have their food out all the time.

Golden Retrievers excel at retrieving game for hunters, tracking, sniffing out contraband for law enforcement, and as therapy and service dogs, often they are guide dogs for the blind and hearing dogs for the deaf. They're also natural athletes and do well in dog sports such as agility and competitive obedience.

Size and Health

Males are typically 22-24 inches in height and weigh 65-75 pounds

Females are typically 20-22 inches in height and weigh 55-65 pounds.

Their average life span is 10-12 years

Goldens are generally healthy but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Cataracts,progressive Retinal Atrophy, Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis, Osteochondrosis Dessecans, Allergies, Von Willebrand’s Disease, Gastric Dilatation (Bloat),Epilepsy, Hyperthyroidism, Hemangiosarcoma, Osteosarcoma.

Not all Goldens will get any or all these diseases, but it is important to be aware of.


The Golden Retriever was bred in Scotland in the mid- 19th century. At that time, wildfowl hunting was a popular sport, but retriever breeds were inadequate for retrieving downed game form the water and land. Retrieving from both the water and land was necessary because hunting grounds at the time were pocketed with marshy ponds and rivers. The best water spaniels were crossed with the existing retrievers, resulting in what is now known as the Golden Retriever.

The original cross was of a yellow-colored retriever “Nous” with a Tweed Water Spaniel named “Belle”. In 1868 this cross produced a litter that included 4 pups, these 4 became the basis of a breeding program which included an Irish Setter, the sandy colored Bloodhound, and the St. Johns Water dog. The ancestry of the Golden Retriever is all sporting dogs. The Tweed Water Spaniel is now extinct.


Golden Retrievers were first accepted by The Kennel Club in the UK in 1903, as Flat Coats-Golden and in 1911 recognized as a breed referred to as a Retriever (Golden and Yellow). The breed was first registered in Canada in 1927.  It was not until 1925 that the breed was recognized in America by The American Kennel Club.

Fun Facts

FUN FACT: Golden Retrievers have webbed toes! The toes on their paws are joined together by thin webs of skin.

FUN FACT: Golden Retrievers are known for their smarts and according to one study are the 4th most intelligent breed of dog, with just the Border Collie, Poodle and German Shepherd beating them to the top spots

FUN FACT: A Golden holds the record for the loudest bark. 113.1 decibels, the loudest dog in the canine world is Charlie the Australian Golden Retriever.

FUN FACT: A Golden Retriever broke the ground for Instagram. The first image ever uploaded to Instagram was a picture of a Golden Retriever in 2010.

Credit: Wikipedia, AKC (American Kennel Club),, the happy puppy site.


December Adoption Specials

December 03, 2021

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Sdecember adoption special

This December, we want to CLEAR the Shelter by Christmas. Every pet here deserves to be in a home for the holidays! Check out the following adoption specials valid thru Dec 31, 2021.

Pick Your Price Adoption Fees for *All Pets in the Building. 
*Excludes puppies and VIP's

Do you need a crate, collar & leash for your new dog? Ask us for supplies while they last this December. We may be able to help you out!

Unsure about adopting? Foster to Adopt. This gives you an opportunity if to see if your new furry friend is just perfect for your home. Email for more info. 

All December, Cat and Dog adoptions, will be entered into win a gift basket that's meant just for them! The Cat basket will include toys and a new cat tower. The Dog basket will include toys and a new dog bed "couch". The winners will be drawn Jan 3, 2022.

See our adoptable pets online. For questions or to make an appointment email for all dog appointments. For cat/rabbit/guinea pig adoptions you can book online.

PAWliday Crafts

November 30, 2021

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pawliday blog

Celebrate the PAWlidays with Salt Lake County Animal Services! Join our Humane Educator for free, virtual workshops, there will be 8 in all. Make toys or treats for the cat/dog in your life, or donate your final project to your local animal shelter! Sign your child, or yourself up, for one or for all of them. We will be using odds and ends you most likely have around the house for each activity, so no need to shop. 

Dec 20: Book Buddies - Sign Up
Dec 21: Holiday in-person Book Buddies - Sign Up
Dec 22: Paw Ornaments- Sign Up
Dec 23: Cat Wands - Sign Up 
Dec 27: Book Buddies - Sign Up
Dec 28: Recycled Inventions - Sign Up
Dec 29: Cat House - Sign Up
Dec 30: Pupsicles - Sign Up

Please check our Facebook Events for more details or online Calendar. Questions? Email

Below are instructions for each craft activity.


PAWliday Craft Instructions

Dec 22: Paw Ornament

2021 Pawliday Crafts For Kids: Day 1


1 cup salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup water

Parchment paper or aluminum foil

Baking sheet

Straw/pen for punching a hole

Yarn, string, ribbon or twine for hanging ornament


Optional for personalizing:

Acrylic paint

Mod Podge and glitter



Step 1: Mix the salt, flour, and water in a bowl until it becomes firm. Knead the dough for 30 seconds. Use a rolling pin if you want a flatter ornament and then cut individual circles with a cup or cookie cutters.

Step 2: Press your dog’s or cat’s paw into the salt dough and use a straw/pen cap to make a small hole at the top.

Step 3: Bake at 200 degrees in the oven for 2-3 hours or until completely dry.

Step 4: Once it is cooled, you can grab some acrylic paint or mod podge and some glitter to decorate! Finish it off with a pretty ribbon to hang on the tree!

SAFETY: Make sure to hang ornaments out of reach of pets as these are toxic due to the large amount of salt in salt dough ornaments.

Dec 23: Cat Wands


Being indoors doesn’t mean your cat shouldn’t stay active and have fun. Here’s a crafty way to enhance your cat’s day by playing on her hunting instincts and see the world through your cat’s eyes within the comfort of your own home. Don’t have a cat? Donate your wand to the animal shelter!

You can get the whole family to join the fun, and these toys will help keep everyone busy, including your furry friend. You can make each wand as unique as you!

Benefits of a DIY Wand Cat Toy:

How can these toys enrich your cat’s day? You can wave, twitch, flutter and circle the wand around randomly so that the ribbon moves enticingly like an insect or bird or other prey. A key added benefit of the wand toy is that it lets you keep some distance between your cat's claws and your skin.

Before you get started, here are a couple things to consider:

When enjoying your creation, be mindful that these cat toys are made of small parts. Please supervise your furry friend while playing and collect the pieces when done to help ensure safety. Put wand and toys away when not in use.


Supplies you will need:
One sturdy stick or dowel, around 12 inches long
Ribbon, shoe laces, thin craft rope, yarn or other kind of string. Approx. 18-24 inches long. (will need at least one length of 'string', but can have additional strings for a fuller wand.)

Bells, small cat toys, feathers or fabric scraps

Optional supplies:
1/2 inch sturdy wood dowel instead of stick

Multiple strings and toys


Take your stick and string and tie a knot in the string around the end of you stick. Take your toy/bell/fabric/feather that you chose and tie a knot around that with the other end of the string. You can do this as many times as you want to make a fuller wand, alternating empty strings with strings with fun things on the end! Now you can wave, twitch, flutter and circle the wand around randomly so that the ribbon moves enticingly like an insect or bird or other prey.

Dec 28: Recycled Inventions

2021 Pawliday Crafts for Kids: Day 3

Recycled Inventions

Supplies needed: Whatever you have in your recycle bin! Such as:

Cardboard boxes of different sizes but at least one large box to act as the base

Toilet rolls/paper towel rolls, empty wrapping paper rolls.

Packing paper, newspaper, wrapping paper

Plastic bottles and jugs (caps and labels removed)

Cardboard egg cartons


Kibble or treats


Ribbon or string


Deconstruct one large cardboard box and lay it flat on the floor. This will be the base of our project.

Time to get creative! We will be creating food puzzles for our cat or dog using all of the items we have gathered. See photo below for inspiration.

recycled inventions

photo credit: Kari Breed, a member of the Canine Enrichment group on Facebook

Dec 29: Cat House

2021 Pawliday Crafts for Kids: Day 4

Cardboard Cat House


Cardboard Box – approx 20-24″ cube (or large enough to comfortably fit your cat!)

Scissors (to cut openings in box)

Embellishments – Craft Paint, Markers, Colored Pencils, Colored Paper, Ribbon, Stickers Etc.

Blanket, pillow, towel or cat bed



Flip Box upside down, flaps out to stabilize box (or you can tape flaps closed)

Cut round hole in the side for a door, large enough for your cat to fit through.

Cut smaller windows on sides of box

Now for the fun part – painting and decorating! There are SO many different ways that you can be creative with it!

Put blanket/pillow inside the box

Now your cat can enjoy their new hideaway house! Place some of your cat’s favorite treats inside to help encourage them to go in.

You can also donate your cat house to the shelter for our cats waiting for forever homes!

Dec 30: Pupsicles

2021 Pawliday Crafts for Kids: Day 5


Supplies needed:

Plastic cups or muffin tin (mini muffin tins or ice cube trays for cats or small dogs)

Can of 100% pumpkin puree

Dry kibble

Canned dog or cat food

Peanut Butter or Plain Greek Yogurt

Milk bones, bully sticks or other long treat for the “handle”

Low sodium chicken or beef broth


*feel free to get creative and use other ingredients your pet likes! Canned tuna or salmon, dehydrated pet food-reconstituted, etc also make good options.



Layer the ingredients in the cup, muffin tin or ice cube tray

Add the handle treat

Add a splash of broth and fill the rest of the cup with water

Place in freezer and freeze

To thaw and pull popsicle out of cup, run some warm water on the outside of the cup and then tip cup over and pull on handle. Or set muffin tin in a shallow try of warm water if they don’t pop out easily on their own.


Giving Tree for Homeless Pets

November 18, 2021

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giving tree 2021

Grab an ornament from the Giving Tree and help the thousands of homeless pets that stay at Salt Lake County Animal Services throughout the year. Their giving tree is set up in the South Building of the Salt Lake County Government Center, located at 2001 S State Street in Salt Lake City. 

Feel free to grab an ornament and then drop the donation off back in the bin by the tree or leave it at Salt Lake County Animal Services, 511 W 3900 S, in Salt Lake City. 

Can't make it down and want to donate? You can purchase items from any of our Amazon Wishlists:
Cat Treat & Food Wishlist
Cat Toy Wishlist

Kitten Care Wishlist

Dog Toys & Leashes Wishlist
Dog Treat & Food Wishlist

PUPsicle Wishlist

Or you can purchase any of the following items and drop them off.

canned dog food 
soft treats / large milk bones
canned pumpkin
large dog leashes
peanut butter

canned cat food pate
soft treats
scratching pads 
microwave safe heating pads
cat toys/cat wands

Email for help or questions.

Explore the Breed: Boxers

November 08, 2021

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The Boxer is a medium to large breed of dog with a short, shiny coat that requires very little grooming and tends to be a clean dog. The colors of their coat are fawn, red fawn, brindled, reverse brindle or white with and without markings.  20-25% of all Boxers are born white. White Boxers have a higher risk of sunburn and associated skin cancers and the piebald gene, which is responsible for the white markings in Boxers, is linked to congenital sensorineural deafness in dogs. It is estimated that 18% of white Boxers are deaf in one or both ears. Boxers have a square muzzle, and a very strong jaw with an underbite.

Boxers are known for their loyalty, intelligence, affection, and work ethic. They are smart, curious, energetic, courageous, playful, and sometimes silly. They have a protective nature and take the role of family guardian seriously and have been known to do well with children. but can be distrustful of strangers. They are known to be headstrong if they are not trained properly and can be patient with smaller dogs and puppies but can have difficulties with larger adult dogs, especially those of the same sex if not properly socialized in puppyhood. They are very patient and are great to adopt as family dogs.

Credit: Wikipedia, AKC (American Kennel Club),

View adoptable pets on our website.
Questions email:

More About Boxers

What They Need

Boxers are playful, high-energy dogs that need ample exercise daily. They are very intelligent and can become bored with repetition. Boxers excel in canine sports such as agility, herding, flyball and obedience training and would do best with an active home that will provide adequate exercise to prevent boredom-associated behaviors like chewing or digging. Like all dogs it is important to expose them to lots of people and other animals early on.

Boxers can do well in an apartment if they are adequately exercised. They are temperature sensitive and can easily get overheated or cold very quickly.

Because of their need for plenty of exercise their diet should be high in quality calories, and they would do well with a high-quality food. However, some dogs are prone to becoming overweight, so watch their calorie consumption and weight level. While treats can be very helpful as a training aid giving to many could lead to obesity. Owners should be mindful of the food to treat ratio consumed.

The Boxers shorthaired and smooth coat is easy to groom. Bathe them when necessary and brush with a firm bristle type brush. They are average shedders.

Size & Health

Males are typically 22-25 inches in height and will weigh between 65-75 lbs.

Females are typically 21-24 inches in height and will weigh between 55-70 lbs.

Their life span is between 9-15 years of age

Boxers are prone to cancer (specifically mast cell tumors), Arthritis, hip dysplasia, back and knee issues, cardiomyopathy, and other heart problems and sometimes prone to epilepsy.


The Boxer is a hunting mastiff developed in Germany in the late 19th century. The Boxers ancestors were two German mastiff type dogs, the Bullenbeisser and the Barenbeizer. The Bullenbeisser had been a hunting dog for centuries and would hunt bear, wild boar and deer, its job was to catch the prey and hold it until the hunters arrived. In later years, faster dogs became favored, so a smaller Bullenbeisser was bred and the Brabanter Bullenbeisser now an extinct breed is generally accepted as being the direct ancestor of today’s Boxer.

In 1894, three Germans decided to stabilize the breed and put on an exhibition dog show, this was done in 1896 and the year before they founded the first Boxer Club, called the Deutsher Boxer Club. This club published the first breed standard in 1904.

The Boxer was introduced to other parts of Europe in the late 19th century and the United States at the turn of the 20th century. The AKC (American Kennel Club) registered the first Boxer in 1904. During World War I, the Boxer was used for military work as a messenger dog, pack carrier, attack dog and a guard dog. They did not become popular until after World War II when returning soldiers began taking them home and they became introduced to a wider audience.

Since that time, they have been used as service dogs, guide dogs for the blind, therapy dogs, police dogs in K9 units and occasionally herding cattle or sheep.

Because of their origins as a hunting dog, they can have a high prey drive for smaller animals if not properly socialized.

The Boxer is thought to have been given its name supposedly from the breeds tendency to play by standing on its hind legs and “boxing” with its front paws.

Fun Facts

Fun Fact: The Boxer does not carry the gene for a solid black coat color, so purebred black Boxers do not exist

Fun Fact: Boxers have excelled in dog shows and won Best in Show at Westminster 4 times.  

Fun Fact: Brandy the Boxer is a Guinness World Record Holder for the longest tongue on a dog. Her tongue was a record length of 17 inches (43 -cm)

Fun Fact: Macabee is the oldest known Boxer to have ever lived. He was just a few months short of his birthday when he passed. He was 16 year and 9 months.

Credit: Wikipedia, AKC (American Kennel Club),

Cats Vs Dogs Challenge

November 04, 2021

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giving tuesday 2021

Salt Lake County Animal Services will be participating in Giving Tuesday on November 30th but starting November 7, we will begin a friendly challenge to see who can raise more money for our Injured Animal Fund, CAT people or DOG people? We are excited to announce your donation will be matched by the generosity of Bjorn’s Brew (up to $5000!).  We have a goal of $15,000!

During this year’s Giving Tuesday, help support the many injured animals that enter Salt Lake County Animal Services every year. Our on-site veterinary clinic treats everything from colds, abscesses, minor surgeries, and amputations, and we bring in outside orthopedic surgeons to help us with other major surgeries. In 2020, we spent over $20,000 to help these animals either return home or be adopted out to new families.

Visit our DONATIONS page to give quickly! In the comment section enter “cats” or “dogs”.

Share your donation with your friends and family and encourage them to donate. Follow Salt Lake County Animal Services Facebook page in November to find out more about the animals our Injured Animal Fund has helped.

Check out our upcoming events, where you can donate and win prizes!

November 29, 9 AM - 12 PM @Bjorn's Brew
2165 S State St, SLC
Donate over $20 while we're there and get a FREE GIFT for your pet!

November 30, 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM @Big Willies Bar & Grill
1717 S Main Street, SLC (MUST BE 21 & OLDER)
Come out to Big Willies to celebrate GivingTuesday! There will be BINGO, drinks, food and opportunity drawings.

Questions? Email


bike donated

Big Willies, a Giving Tuesday sponsor, has generously donated this brand new Makers Mark cruiser bike for our Cats vs Dogs Challenge! For every $20 donation to the challenge, you can be entered to win the cruiser bike. You MUST put in the notes section ”Cat Bike” or “Dog Bike” in order for us to enter your name. Remember this is a friendly challenge to see who can raise more money for our Injured Animal Fund, CAT people or DOG people?

We will be drawing the winner of the bike at Big Willies on November 30 between 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM. There will be BINGO, drinks, food, and other opportunity drawings. During the event at Big Willies, we will be giving DOUBLE entry tickets for the bike drawing for any donation over $20 that night only. Must be present for additional entry tickets. Big Willies is located at 1717 S Main Street, SLC (MUST BE 21 & OLDER). You do not need to be present to win. Local Pick-Up or Delivery available within Salt Lake County. For shipping & handling, arrangements must be made by the winner.  

November Adoption Fee Specials

November 01, 2021

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november adoption fee

Find your new BEST FRIEND at Salt Lake County Animal Services. 

Adoption Fees for Cats, Kittens, Rabbits, and *Large Dogs are HALF Off this November! All pets are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, & microchipped upon adoption.

Other Adoption Specials:

Senior Pets 5 & Older, Adoption Fee waived if adopter is over 55 Years old.

Veterans & Active Duty: Adoption Fees waived. *Please see exclusions below.

*Excludes: Puppies, Small Dogs, VIP's

See our adoptable pets online. Questions email

VOTE for Your PAWlitical Mayor

October 18, 2021

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pawlitical vote

It's time to VOTE in the PAWlitical Election! Remember this is the only election where it's legal to BUY votes. Voters can live anywhere!

This PAWlitical Election is a fundraiser sponsored by Salt Lake County Animal Services. It will be held every two years. The funds raised from this event will go to our Injured Animal Fund. We provide care for hundreds of injured and sick animals every year. This will benefit them greatly!
VOTERS will be electing a PAWlitical Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and PAWlitical Council (9 seats.)
Thank you for wanting to elect a PAWlitical Candidate! You can see the 26 candidates and their bios at
Here is how you vote:
1. Visit
2. Register your info on ClickBid (this site)
View candidate profiles.
3. Choose a candidate(s) and pick the donation amounts, or enter in your own desired amount.
4. Complete checkout by clicking the button and putting in your credit card information. If you don't complete checkout with your card, your votes will not be tallied.
5. Feel free to vote again later during the election! Remember this is the only election where it's legal to BUY votes!
6. Once your card info is in, it's easy to vote again, and again, and again...
Things To Know

2. Voting will be open to the public beginning October 18th at 10AM and will close November 5th at 5PM.
This is a fundraiser sponsored by Salt Lake County Animal Services. All funds raised from this event will go directly towards our Injured Animal Fund.
Questions or need help voting? Email

Explore the Breed: Pitbull Type Dogs

October 12, 2021

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pitbull 2021

October is National Pit Bull Awareness month so of course it is the perfect time to explore the breed. This year National Pit Bull Awareness Day falls on October 23, 2021. Look at adoptable Pitbull type dogs at Salt Lake County Animal Services.

Pit Bull is a term that is used to describe a type of dog that is descended from bulldogs and terriers and has been used an “umbrella term” to give a general label to a few breeds of dogs with similar origins, appearance, and temperaments. This mislabeling can often have devastating consequences for dogs mistaken as a “Pitbull type” dogs who have landed in a shelter or a city with breed legislation. Often, they are just a random mixed breed of dog.

There are 4 Pitbull type breeds:

1. American Pit Bull Terrier
2. American Staffordshire Terrier
3. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
4. American Bully

These are the 4 most widely accepted Pitbull type dogs. However, some breeds are only accepted by certain kennel clubs, and some are accepted by all Kennel Clubs, making it a little more confusing. All four Pitbull type dogs share their muscular and athletic look, they all have a square-shaped heads, squared nose and almond shaped eyes. They have long, straight tails and their ears are often rose shaped. Their coats are short and smooth and require minimal bathing and brushing and come in most any color.

They have a wonderful temperament, often adoring their humans and craving their attention and company.  They are eager to please their person which makes them very easy to work with and train from a young age. They are very sensitive and sweet souls and are known to be particularly fond of children. They been referred to as “The Nanny Dog”. If properly socialized they tend to do well with other dogs and are quite sociable. As with any dog if they are not properly socialized as a puppy, they can display fear aggression with other dogs.

The American Pitbull Terrier is the most common. It is often thought of as the original Pitbull type dog and has several bloodlines including the Colby Pincher or Colby Pit Bulls, and the Old family red nose. This breed is not recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) but is however recognized by the UKC (United Kennel Club) and considered to be a purebred dog by the UKC maintaining its breed type for over 150 years.

The American Pitbull Terrier is often the tallest of the 4 breeds and can come in a variety of colors. Males are typically 18-21 inches in height and between 35-60 lbs. Females are 17-20 inches in height and 30-50 lbs. They are often compared to or mistaken for the American Bulldog, the Staffordshire Terrier and the Dogo Argentino, Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa and the Dogue de Bordeaux because of their similar looks but they are all different breeds.

The Red Nose and Blue Nose are variations of the American Pit Bull Terrier and are bred to have exactly that. A Red nose has a copper or earthy brown coat (Brown, red, fawn, chestnut) and their lips, eyes and toenails are also red in color.  A Blue nose will have a blue nose, lips, eyes, and toenails will be blue or grey in color. A different color nose is a result of low melanin levels and can create health issues and diseases. It is linked to skin allergies, heart disease, eye conditions and an increased chance of cancer and decreased immune system.

The American Staffordshire Terrier or “AmStaff” is recognized by the AKC but not the UKC. The American Staffordshire Terrier has a very sweet nature and is known for being a family companion. They are stocky, muscular, and often agile. Their coats are short, and they come in a variety of colors, solid, partial, or patched. Males are typically 18-19 inches at shoulders and females are 17-18 inches at shoulder.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is recognized by all major Kennel Clubs. They are the smallest of the Pitbull type dogs. They are known for being affectionate, tenacious, very intelligent and brave. They can be a great choice for a household that is smaller due to their size. Typically, males are 14-16 inches height at shoulder and 28-38 pounds. Females are 24-34 pounds and come in a variety of colors.

The American Bully is a descendant of the American Pitbull Terrier but has become so distinct in appearance overtime it is now considered to be its own breed. They were a breed developed in the 1980’s and is recognized by the UKC and The American Bully Kennel Club. The American Bully Kennel Club recognizes them in 4 sizes (Pocket, Standard, Classic and XL) There are also Micro and XXL American bullies, but they are not officially recognized. They are shorter than an APT and wider than any of the other breeds.  They are often compared to American Bulldogs, English Bulldogs and English Bull Terriers. They measure 16-20 inches from paw to shoulder but do not have a set weight. They are considered a medium sized dog that are packing some serious muscle. They have very specific nutrition requirements at all stages of their life to promote their large muscle mass.

Credit: Love your dog, Farmers Digest, Bark Post and Wikipedia.

Additional Info on Pitbull Type Dogs

What They Need

Pitbull type dogs tend to form strong bonds with their owners and make wonderful family dogs. They are known to be gentle, silly, playful social butterflies and love being a part of an active household and are often great with children. They are highly intelligent and typically will exceed in obedience work. As with all dogs it is important to socialize them with other animals at an early age and continue to throughout their lifetime. They are active dogs and usually have a high drive for physical activity and a need for mental stimulation.  Running, scent work, pack walks, playing tug, agility, Fly Ball or frisbee and playing with another dog are all great ways to help your Pitbull expend some energy mentally and physically. On the flip side of this they are also known to be attuned to their owners and adjust their attitudes as such being down for a long hike or a nap on the couch.

They are very food motivated and love to chew so it is important to provide them with plenty of strong chew toys. They are short-haired and low shedders; they require less grooming compared to other breeds and only need bathed every 4-6 weeks and a brush with a rubber mitt once a week to remove excess or dead hair. It is important to clip their nails every couple of weeks to prevent cracking or breaking and keep their ears clean and free of wax and dirt to prevent infections.

Because they are so high-energy and muscular, American Pit Bull Terriers tend to need more protein in their diet. They also benefit from lots of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to keep their coats glossy and their skin free of the allergies and inflammatory conditions to which they can be prone.

Size and Health

Refer to the individual information on each breed for height and weight.

They typically have a life span of 8-14 years and can be susceptible to a range of health issues.

Hip Dysplasia, Knee problems, Skin Infections, Thyroid disease, Ichthyosis, Cataracts, Cerebellar Ataxia and Heart Disease.

Origins of the Pitbull

Old English Terriers and Old English Bulldogs were bred together until the mid-19th century to produce a dog that combined the strength and athleticism of the bulldog and the gameness of the terrier. This type of dog was bred in the British Isles and became known as the bull and terrier.  In the UK Bull-and-terriers were used in bull baiting and bear baiting. Bloodsports were outlawed in 1835 in the UK, when Britain introduced animal welfare laws, so “rat-baiting” and dogfighting – which were easier to hide from police – became the new sports of popularity. This continued for decades and took place in small areas of Britain. These dogs arrived in the United States around 1845-1860 were the fighting practice continued, in 1898 the breed was recognized by the UKC and named the American Pit Bull Terrier.

In the early stages of America, many immigrants brought their Pit Bull dogs over as part of their families. Though the dogs were bred for fighting sports, the were also incredibly intelligent and friendly. They were used for a variety of jobs that including being used as “catch dogs” for semi-wild cattle and hogs, and to drive livestock, protecting the family from predators, watching the children, and providing companionship. As the popularity of newspapers and media grew throughout the years, many of these dogs were brought to attention for the number of exemplary deeds they performed and by the early 20th Century they were considered “Americas Dog”.

There have been several Pit Bulls that were famous throughout the 20th century and toted as American heroes. Bud, Sgt. Stubby and Petey of Little Rascals fame to name a few. There were several notable figures throughout history that were avid Pitbull owners and supporters, and they were even used in advertising as a National Mascot during WW1 and WW2 and were some of the first dogs used in American war times.

Around 1987 there was a turning point where the media began portraying them in an unfavorable light and Breed Specific Legislation began to take hold. The media has been sensationalizing stories for quite some time to gain readership, but it has been the dogs who have suffered far more than people have.

Thankfully there are more and more people helping to advocate, educate and getting on board to help Pit bulls and fight for their rights and show them in a better light. BSL is being challenged in many states and many Pit bull’s owners have once again helped them to be seen as the loving dogs they can be who are service animals, certified therapy dogs, work in Search and Rescue, trained to work on police forces, working as educational dogs for Humane Education and the list goes on. They are smart, sensitive, forgiving, charming, silly loving dogs that just need to be given a chance.


Fun Facts

FUN FACT: They are not inherently aggressive dogs. In fact, in temperance tests, Pit bulls were the second most tolerant breed behind Golden Retrievers. The least tolerant was the Chihuahua.

FUN FACT: Bud, was a Pitbull who accompanied his owner Horatio Nelson Jackson on the first cross–country road trip in 1903. Jackson and his traveling companion found Bud about halfway through their trip, and he gained almost as much attention as his new owner. Bud’s googles are still on display at the National Smithsonian today, and he became the face of The Auto Era in advertising.

FUN FACT: During WWI and WWII, Pit Bulls were used in advertising as a national mascot

FUN FACT: Petey from the Little Rascals was originally played by a show biz dog named Pal (and later his offspring), who was also cast as the live version of cartoon Buster Brown’s dog Tige.

FUN FACT: Pit Bulls were on the cover of Life Magazine three times – more than any other dog.

Pitbull Awareness Events 2021

Free Pittie Fix: Salt Lake County Animal Services will be holding a FREE Pittie Fix the week of Oct 18-22.



*In jurisdiction cities: Bluffdale, Holladay, Midvale, Millcreek, Murray, Salt Lake City

In jurisdiction townships: Brighton, Copperton, County Islands, Emigration Canyon, Kearns, Magna, White City


Treats: Get them treats! Looking for a fun way to celebrate or participate? Donate needed goods to the pets in the shelter. You can help dogs by fulfilling items from their Amazon Wishlist! Everything from peanut butter to Kongs! All items purchased will ship directly to the shelter.

Hounds Around Town: Looking for a fun way to celebrate and participate? How about joining our Hounds Around Town Program and getting one of our dogs out of the shelter for the day and on adventure around town to help them get adopted?

Our PUPS need you! Take them out for an adventure and let them be Hounds Around Town. First, you’ll need to complete a quick training and then road trip time. The dogs love going for a walk around the park, getting a puppacino from Bjorn’s Brew, and hanging out with you.

When you’re done, you’ll share pics of their adventure, those will help them get adopted! Email for more info!