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Unleashed – PAWsitive Stories from Salt Lake County Animal Services

Prevent Cruelty to Animals


April 09, 2021

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cruelty to animals blog

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Month. Salt Lake County Animal Services believes cruelty to animals and humans should be prevented all year long. If you believe an animal is being abused, please contact your local Animal Control to report it. In 2019, Salt Lake County Animal Control Officers responded to 2400 cruelty calls, and an additional 1400 calls in 2020.  

How to Report Animal Cruelty

Call your Local Animal Control Dispatch. If you live in Salt Lake County, you can begin by calling Dispatch at 801-840-4000. 

Try to gather the following information before submitting a report of animal cruelty:

A concise, written, factual statement of what you observed—giving dates and approximate times whenever possible—to provide to animal control/ law enforcement.

Photographs of the location, the animals in question and the surrounding area. Note: do not put yourself in danger! Do not enter another person's property without permission, and exercise great caution around unfamiliar animals who may be frightened or in pain.

If you can, provide animal control/law enforcement with the names and contact information of other people who have firsthand information about the abusive situation.

It is possible to file an anonymous report, but please consider providing your information. The case is more likely to be pursued when there are credible witnesses willing to stand behind the report and, if necessary, testify in court.

Keep a record of exactly whom you contacted, the date of the contacts, copies of any documents you provided to law enforcement or animal control and the content and outcome of your discussion. If you do not receive a response from the officer assigned to your case within a reasonable length of time, make a polite follow-up call to inquire about the progress of the investigation.

 


Explore the Breed: Heeler Type Dogs


March 29, 2021

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heeler type breed blog

Australian cattle dog VS Blue or Red Heeler:

There is no difference, they are the same dog. The term Blue Heeler, Red Heeler, Queensland Heelers or Australian Heelers is a reference to the color of the Australian Cattle Dog. There will always be different temperaments or personalities between individual dogs, but color has nothing to do with it. Now that we have that out of the way let’s talk about this breed of dog.

What Does a Heeler Need:

The heeler was MADE to herd and this is his/her “occupation” and a large part of the personality and temperament. After all, herding cattle is a big job. They are quick thinkers and can be stubborn. They can run fast, they are very agile, can change directions quickly and are tireless workers. While this makes them a wonderful “ranch hand” it can be very challenging for them to be a family dog.

Heelers are very intelligent dogs and are motivated. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation or they will become frustrated. Proper training is a must so that they learn they are not in charge of the “herd” (Pack, or family) but instead a member of it.  They would benefit from learning agility, disc or frisbee, hiking, running, or jogging. These are just a few suggestions to help keep your heeler mentally and physically stimulated. They need a “job” to do.

The Australian Cattle Dog is very loyal, loves to herd animals, they are typically good with young kids, you will just need to be aware; they may herd your children, it is after all their “job” and what they are bred to do. (They herd by nipping at the heels, this is where the term Heeler came from). They have a ton on energy, love to play and run and while they love their family due to their loyalty, they can be wary of strangers.


Size & Health:

If you are thinking of adding an Australian cattle dog/heeler to your family make sure you have done your research and that is the breed for you and your lifestyle.  They need a lot of exercise (2-3 hours per day) so if you are an outdoors exercise kind of person, they could make a great companion. A walk around the block is not going to do it for this breed. They typically live anywhere from 12-15 years. Males weigh in between 35-45 lbs and are typically 19 inches in height. Females weight ranges from 35-45 lbs and typically 18 inches in height. Due to them being cross bred they can have some potential health problems. Deafness, retinal atrophy, and hip dysplasia. It is important to make sure they don’t get wax buildup in their ears and their teeth are cleaned regularly.

Australian Cattle dogs/Heelers are intelligent, alert, courageous, watchful, reliable, trustworthy dogs who are bred to perform demanding tasks and are loyal to their owners and fiercely protective as a watchdog. They do not tend to be barkers and require ample opportunities for exercise.

If you are interested in viewing adoptable dogs from Salt Lake County Animal Services, you can view them HERE. For further questions email adoptions@slco.org.

FUN FACT: A true Australian Cattle Dog/Heeler is born with and all-white coat. Puppies will begin getting their color quickly and you can see their patterns emerge by 6 weeks.

FUN FACT: They have a dense double coat; they are equipped with an undercoat and overcoat that is water resistant and can keep them dry in the rain, the top layer acts as a wick. They shed the undercoat 1-2 times a year, so they do not require a lot of grooming, just occasional brushing, and bathing.


Origins of the Heeler:

During the early 1800’s British immigrants, who were cattle herders and had immigrated to Australia, found their Smithfield dogs were not holding up to the harsh conditions of the outback. The cattlemen began experimenting with a variety of dogs to come up with the perfect herding dog for the outback. After some failed attempts cattlemen mixed a Dingo (ideal working dog) with a Smooth Highland Collie which became the “Halls Heelers,” cattle men continued to refine the breed and added a Bull Terrier (determined nature), they then added a Dalmatian (affectionate and loyal to its handlers) and then the final piece of the cattle dog puzzle was a Black and Tan Kelpie (Enhanced working ability). This is what is now considered to be the Australian Cattle Dog.

FUN FACT: Bluey is officially the oldest dog ever recorded and verified for The Guinness Record. He lived to be 29 years and 5 months. This would make him 151 in dog years.


Explore the Breed: Husky Type Dogs


March 09, 2021

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explore the breed husky

So, you are considering a husky type of dog? Here at Salt Lake County Animal Services, we are seeing more and more huskies ending up in the shelter, hoping to be adopted.  Did you know that they rank 14 of 193 in breed popularity according to the American Kennel Club?   

We know this breed is beautiful and they have amazing markings, striking patterns, and eyes that are entrancing, but this is not the reason to pick the dog you are welcoming into your life and home. It is important to pick the breed that is best for you and your lifestyle.

What Does a Husky Need:
A Husky can be a great family dog, but this depends on you!

They need physical activity both to stay in shape, and to be happy. They love to be a part of the family and love their humans, but they do need socialization, training, and leadership.

They LOVE TO RUN!! They often do well with other animals but do have a high prey drive and may chase small animals: small dogs, cats, etc. Some are story tellers and others never sing you their song. They are known for their ability for great escapes because as we mentioned they LOVE TO RUN! They can be a fan of digging and can clear a fence. If not exercised properly they may also take it out on your furniture, door, garden, wall, and more. An obedient husky is an exhausted husky.

Huskies are loyal, intelligent, somewhat independent, outgoing, friendly, active and at times mischievous dogs and they like all breeds are not for every household. Do your research!

We believe a good match for a potential adopter is very important. No matter what breed you are interested in make sure you have done your research and you have the lifestyle and know-how for the dog you are bringing into your home. There are many great dogs looking for their second chance and a wonderful home. Check out our adoptable dogs. Do you have a husky type dog and need some help with their behaviors?  Or want to learn more about Huskies? Check out our monthly virtual Snow Dog Squad workshop with Arctic Rescue.

The Origins of the Siberian Husky:

They originated in Siberia and their ancestors were used for hunting that is until another use evolved, and they started teaching them to pull a sled with goods and food over long distances, commonly referred to now as Mushing.  Each tribe started breeding its own specific type which eventually evolved into distinct breeds that we now know today as the Alaskan Malamute, the Eskimo, the Samoyed, and the Siberian Husky to name a few.

They became sled dogs because tribes lived inland, and they often depended on the sea for their food source. They needed a way to get the food from the sea to the tribe. This is where the Siberian Husky enters the picture as a sled dog. They are tough enough to carry the weight over a long distance, they are smart, and they are dependable. All attributes needed for this task.

The Siberian Husky is typically medium sized. Their average height is 21-23.5 inches for Males and 20-22 inches for females. This is important to know before adopting to consider if you have the proper space to care for them.

They are quick and light on their feet, they are a working dog who loves a physical challenge and activity. They can be very serious and equally as playful.

Husky’s have an amazing combination of speed, power and endurance, because of this they need a home that will keep them active running, walking, giving them a job to do and providing daily activity to keep them happy and healthy and out of trouble. They have been known to be mischievous when they are bored.

FUN FACT: Did you know Siberian Huskies can run up to 28 mph and up to 150 miles a day when mushing with their pack!!

Siberian Huskies have double coats, it is medium in size and straight. They do require grooming and that is something an owner needs to consider.

FUN FACT: The Huskies tail is abundantly coated and is meant to easily protect its face from snow and wind when it is curled up on the ground. Remember they are accustomed to a lot of cold weather and like snow and cold temperatures.

Their life expectancy is typically 12-14 years on average. Keeping your husky active and engaging in needed physical activity can have a lot to do with this.


Celebrate National Walk the Dog (Pet) Day


February 22, 2021

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walk the dog day

Celebrate your pets’ favorite activity, and walk them on February 22, 2021 as part of National Walk the Dog Day. Salt Lake County Animal Services wants to remind all pet owners to walk your dog on leash unless you are in a designated off-leash area, with a sign that says dogs can be off-leash. Also, don’t forget those pet-waste bags to clean up after your pup. You don’t want to be a nuisance.   

 

How & Why to Celebrate Walk the Dog Day:

  • Take your dog somewhere they’ve never been. They LOVE new smells.
  • Join a Virtual 5K or sign up to walk for your favorite rescue through other virtual apps such as WoofTrax.
  • Invite a friend and their pup to join you, and pack treats! Who doesn’t love a treat break for good behavior?
  • Walking reduces stress and anxiety in both you and your dog!
  • A walk everyday is great for your dog’s health, and yours.

 

For more information about laws regarding walking your pet on leash and cleaning up pet waste, visit the “Laws” section on our website for more information.


World Spay Day 2021


February 10, 2021

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world spay day blog

If you look around the internet hard enough there is a day for everything!  Some are just for fun, some are local, and some of them are a really big deal – like WORLD SPAY DAY! World Spay Day is historically celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of February – so this year it is February 23rd.  You’re asking yourself, “Who celebrates a day that is all about removing the reproductive organs of pets?” Well, to that we say Salt Lake County Animal Services does, and so should you! 

The Doris Day Animal League (yes, that Doris Day) founded Spay Day USA in 1995 as a day to bring attention to the pet overpopulation problem in the United States and also to encourage animal population control by spaying and neutering pets. The movement later spread globally to over 70 countries and is now known as World Spay Day. Animal welfare agencies, rescue organizations, and even veterinarians worldwide celebrate and support World Spay Day as a day of awareness, a day of action, and a day of hope.  Hope that someday, with the help of the communities we support and serve, we can bring an end to the euthanasia of healthy and adoptable animals in our nation’s overcrowded shelters.

Here in Utah, we have an amazing animal welfare and rescue community that has been on this mission since 2008.  Thirteen years later, Utah is ALMOST a ‘No Kill State’ – the state is only 1% away from it being official!  Here at Salt Lake County Animal Services, we have been at or above the ‘No Kill’ metric since 2013. This achievement is due in no small part to the heroic efforts of our amazing veterinary staff. They are here seven days a week, 365 days a year, and every year for the last ELEVEN years our vet staff has averaged over 3,200 spay or neuter surgeries/year.  That’s almost 36,000 animals that are not able to reproduce and contribute to community animal and shelter overpopulation! 

Imagine how many animals have been spayed and neutered in the last eleven years by other organizations all over the country – that is an unfathomably huge number.  But still, every year shelters are being forced to euthanize over ONE MILLION ANIMALS in the United States alone. That number is WAY down from the estimated 2.6 million animals euthanized in 2011.

So how can you help? Every year in the United States 70,000 puppies and kittens are born.  Surveys of the pet owning community indicate that almost 60% of those litters are accidental.  If we were able to prevent all of those unwanted canine and feline pregnancies, we could prevent over 410,000 puppies and kittens every year!  We know that sounds like a huge task, and it is!  But, with our community’s help and diligence about getting your owned pets fixed, we are well on our way to a solution to our pet over-population problem.  But now you’re thinking “but puppies and kittens are SO CUTE!  We can just find homes for all of them, right?” We all wish that were always the case, but with over one million pets still being euthanized in shelters in the United States every year, we’re afraid it’s not.

Even though our shelter and many others in our community are ‘No Kill,’ there is room for improvement.  Here’s where you can help – please spay and neuter your pets BEFORE they have a litter!  If they’ve already had a litter, let us help you get them fixed before you find them new homes.  If you have already fixed your all of your pets, first of all – thank you, consider donating to our Spay & Neuter Fund so that we can continue to help those who need assistance in our community! 

So you want to get your pet fixed - where do you start?  Check with your veterinarian about getting your pet fixed today! Citizens in Salt Lake County can schedule their pets for spay/neuter surgeries at lower prices with our clinic ONLINE. These spots are for owned pets and licensing is required for animals within our jurisdiction with the spay/neuter appointment.  During the appointment, your pet will also be microchipped and vaccinated. 

What about the community cats, you ask?  Well, community cats in our jurisdiction are getting more attention than ever as well. We have added even more TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) and SNR (Shelter-Neuter-Return) services to our jurisdiction and we are creating a Working Cat Program for cats that come to us and don’t especially want to live in households.  We are expanding programs to help other trappers, rescues, and veterinarians in our community too.  We realize that if we all work together as a team, we can bring the community cat population down and keep it under control.  You can help us with this goal too!  If you see community cats in need, please email our Community Cat Team at cats@slco.org.

Pet overpopulation can be prevented one pet at a time. 

Written by:
Randee Lueker/Rescue & Events Coordinator


Tips to Keep Your Cat Healthy


February 01, 2021

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cat health month

February is National Cat Health Month. It’s time to celebrate your feline friends and make sure they are happy and healthy! Here are some tips from Salt Lake County Animal Services to help you be a responsible pet parent:

1. Take your cat in for a vet visit
Yearly vet visits are a must for any cat owner. Cats tend to hide their illnesses until it is almost too late for them to recover. Yearly bloodwork and vaccines will help keep your feline friends healthy.

2. Keep your cat active
Cats tend to sleep most of the day but help keep them active by introducing them to new and different types of toys!

3. Prevent obesity
Obesity in cats can lead to other health issues including Diabetes. Ask your veterinarian how much and how often you should be feeding your cat. Keeping your cat active will also help prevent obesity.

4. Cuddle your cat
All cats enjoy “cuddling” in a different way. Some prefer to sit next to you on the couch while others want to always be in your lap. Give your kitties the type of affection they enjoy daily whether its chin scratches, cuddling under a warm blanket, or getting pets while sun bathing!

How Staff Care for Cats at the Shelter

At Salt Lake County Animal Services we monitor our cats closely and help keep them happy and healthy while they are waiting to find their furr-ever homes.
Every cat that comes into the shelter as a stray are examined by our Animal Care Specialists during the intake process. They are all weighed, vaccinated, and checked for a microchip. If any medical concerns are seen our veterinarians are notified.

Cats are monitored daily for the amount of food/water they are eating/drinking, their behavior, and urination/defecation. All senior cats have bloodwork sent to the lab after they are off of their stray hold.

All of our cats get fresh food and water a few times a day, different enrichment activities to keep their brains busy, and an extra designated afternoon nap time to keep them refreshed for visits with potential adopters. If you're interested in adopting check out our adoptable pets or if you would like to foster a cat, find out more about our foster program.

 


2nd Annual Cutest Couple Contest


January 29, 2021

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Cutest Couple 2021

Salt Lake County Animal Services is excited to announce its 2nd Annual Cutest Couple Contest! By couple we mean, you and your pet. Anyone who would like to participate is welcome. When the voting begins be sure to tell your friends and family because the "Cutest Couple" will win:

• A 1 night stay for you and your pet at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake City
• $100 Visa gift card
• Personalized Gift Basket for your pet

How To Enter
A $10 donation is required to enter. Please follow the directions below:

1. Go to http://bit.ly/slcocutestcouple

2. Click "Donate" at the top of the page.

2. Enter $10 in the donation amount.

3. Fill out your contact information and submit your donation.

4. Email a photo of you and your pet to nsimmons@slco.org. 1 photo per entry.

*All submissions are due no later than 5PM February 13th.

Things To Know
The winning couple will be determined by the number of votes.

Voting will be open to the public beginning February 16th at 10AM and will close February 28th at 5PM.

Every $1 counts as 1 vote and you can vote as many times as you want!

The couple with the most votes will win a 1 night stay at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake City (winning pet welcome) and a $100 Visa gift card!

*If there is a tie between couples the winner will then be determined by the number of individual votes.

Questions? Email nsimmons@slco.org.

This is a fundraiser sponsored by Salt Lake County Animal Services. All funds raised from this event will directly benefit the animals at our shelter.


2020's Long Term Resident: Dollar


January 14, 2021

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dollar

We are sure you have seen the term “Longest Term Resident” posted before when referring to an animal in a shelter. While some animals find new homes quickly, others sit and wait for their turn for months. This does happen from time to time at Salt Lake County Animal Services.

Each animal at the facility, no matter their length of stay, is provided daily enrichments, time outside (for dogs), music, oils, lights out hour (for quiet napping) and time to hang out with staff and volunteers. Enrichments for the dogs rotate daily from a frozen Kong, toys toys in their kennel, a food puzzle, a Nyla bone, etc. The cats receive lick mats, toys, and lots of treats. Each day both dogs and cats have a music hour, diffused oils and more.

These are essential components to help the animals in our care and are meant to provide enrichment short term while they are with us, but what happens when you have a “Long Term Resident” one that ends up being in the shelter for months, how do you help keep their minds active, and help them thrive in the kennel they call “home.”

Dollars' Story

This is the story of Dollar; he is one of many that have become “Long Term Residents” at the shelter. Dollar was found as a stray and brought into our facility March 17th, 2020, literally the week the world shut down. Dollar was scanned and had a microchip. We called the microchip company and the people had moved and changed numbers and did not update any of their information. We had hit a dead end. Dollar waited through the 7-day stray wait period and no one came in to redeem him, so Dollar was assessed and placed up for adoption.

Dollar was very young and handsome and seemed like a candidate for a quick adoption. This was not the case for Dollar, he became a “Long Term Shelter Resident” beginning his strange journey to his forever home.

Dollar was young and in need of manners and did not have great skills with other dogs in the shelter when we first met him. It was the first of the pandemic and staff was focused on trying to place dogs into foster homes as we were not sure what adoptions would like in the coming months. Dollar was one of over 88 animals that was lucky enough to find a foster home.

Dollar’s foster home invested a lot of time and energy into working with him and teaching him better manners and within a couple of months had decided to adopt him. Unfortunately, this is not were the story ends. His adopter had bought a new house and on either side were dogs and people who had breed bias, Dollar is a Staffordshire Terrier (AKA: a “Pit Bull”) after much consideration and knowing that the odds may largely be stacked against them in their new neighborhood, they returned Dollar.

Dollar then waited and waited for someone to make him a part of their family.

While Dollar waited, he was growing up in the shelter and the staff became his family and as such began teaching and training Dollar. Dollar needed daily enrichments to help him work his mind and keep him busy. Staff members created a training plan for him to help him learn how to walk on a Halti properly, basic manners and to be muzzle trained.  He excelled with all his training and high fives were his favorite command to give.

Dollar had been advertised on social media many times and had developed a fan club of sorts, people who loved him and wanted to see him succeed but unfortunately could not adopt him themselves. Just like many times before we listed Dollar on social media, but this time let people know that Dollar had been in the shelter nearly 200 days and that was far too long to live in the shelter. This day, this post, it went VIRAL! It was all over the internet. Over 3.000 shares. One of the shares went onto a page of a person who stepped forward and claimed to be Dollars owner after 7 months in the shelter. 

Remember we told you he was microchipped? They never updated their information when they moved so we were never able to contact them and let them know he had ended up at the shelter.

After 7 months and very long conversations, Dollar was heading home. Unfortunately, this is not the end of the story. After 3 weeks back in the care of his previous owners they contacted us and said they were not capable of taking care of Dollar and wanted to return him. While we were very sad to hear this, we were grateful that they had reached out to us.

Dollar was a part of our family and we had grown to love him and had invested a lot of time and training into him.  Once again Dollar was looking for a home that could meet his needs and want to make him a part of their life.  After all he had been through, we had to become very strict about the person who would come in to meet him.

Poor Dollar had become a “Long Term Resident” and had a lot of cards stacked against him for adoption. He was not the perfect fit into any home, and that is sometimes very hard for people to understand, and for adopters to understand why it is that organizations have the rules they do. As an organization we always want what is the best for the animals in our care and the potential adopters who will be welcoming them into their family. We knew that Dollar’s time would come, he would find that perfect fit. In the meantime, we continued our trainings with him. 

On December 4th, 2020, Dollar met his person, the one who took to heart each thing we knew about Dollar, the one who understood he is a great boy who will still need structure, training, and dedication, the one who came in and fell in love with Dollar and all he had to give. 262 days after he first came into the shelter, Dollar found his forever home. We have received updates and his new dad loves him, is committed to continued Dollar’s training and we are happy to see that he is succeeding in his new home.

Long Term Shelter residents are not always common to find in a shelter, but it does happen and thanks to dedicated staff, volunteers, and a supportive community, it’s why dogs like Dollar have a happy ending.

If you would like to learn more about our enrichment program and the items needed please look at our wish list.

If you are interested in volunteering please email: animalvolunteer@slco.org for more information

If you are interested in fostering please email fosters@slco.org for more information

If you are interested in adopting, please visit our Adoptable Pets page to see our available animals.


Senior Life: Dashielle


January 11, 2021

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Dashielle senior pet

We would like to take a moment and celebrate one of our cat adoptions from 2020. Often at Salt Lake County Animal Services, a pet will enter our shelter after their owner passes away. This is what happened in Dashielle’s case.

In May of 2020, Dashielle, an 11-year-old, neutered male, arrived at the shelter after his owner passed away. Upon examination, Dashielle needed quite a bit of medical care for kidneys that were not fully functioning, and a dental to clean his teeth.

Dashielle spent 5 months in the shelter waiting for his new home until he was adopted in October 2020. He spent most of his time at the shelter sleeping or hiding from the other cats, but he did enjoy celebrating Halloween at the shelter!

He is now living in a wonderful home where he gets to wear all the sweaters he wants! Dashielle loves going on walks with his harness, cuddling with his dog siblings, and laying out in the sun. He is a very relaxed happy cat.

Thank you to Dashielle’s adopter for giving this boy a second life in a new home. If you’re interested in adopting a senior pet (over 5-years-old), and you are over the age of 55, we will waive the adoption fee as part of our Senior to Senior program. Senior pets often have a lot of life left in them and will make great companions.

 


2020 at a Glance


December 23, 2020

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2020 End of Year

Salt Lake County Animal Services is the largest, lifesaving (no-kill) municipal shelter in Utah. In 2020, we helped over 11,500 animals. We cared for a variety of pets including: cats, dogs, rabbits, horses, chickens, goats, pigs, reptiles, birds & small mammals.

Salt Lake County Animal Services in 2020:

  • 11,500 pets were cared for or received services from Animal Services.
  • 3,400 owned pets received food from the Pet Crew Pantry
  • 1,850 pets were returned to their owners
  • 2,600 pets were adopted or sent to a rescue
  • 2,500 pets were spayed/neutered by the on-site clinic
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!

As we wrap up 2020, the Staff at Salt Lake County Animal Services want to share some of this years successes with you.

When the pandemic hit, our staff had to adjust to a new way of operating. We broke into smaller teams to ensure that we would always have healthy employees to feed and care for the animals at our shelter and also to continue to respond to animal control calls and emergencies.

At the beginning of the pandemic, some of our staff were reassigned in the county to help the Health Department organize the supplies coming in, that had to be disbursed to the homeless population living in hotels with Covid-19. We also coordinated the care of pets for individuals who we’re suffering from COVID-19 with no other resources. 

Our clinic was mandated to put all non-essential surgeries on hold, including spay/neuter, while they're was a shortage of PPE. But they were still busy caring for sick and injured animals that came to the shelter. In May they had a backlog of several hundred animals that were living in foster-to-adopt homes, that needed to be sterilized.

In April, our staff could see that there was a very real need to help feed the pets in the community. Our team applied for grants and sought out donations to help secure pet food for those who would sacrifice their own meal to feed their pets and their children. We have held 9 Pet Crew Pantries since May.

Thank you to our community who has stepped up to help us throughout the year. The threat of Covid-19 will still be with us in 2021 and we will still be operating on an appointment only basis in the building for the foreseeable future. We appreciate your understanding so we can keep both our staff and the public safe. We also appreciate the unwavering support YOU give which helps us care for the pets in the shelter and throughout our community. 

If you would like to make a year-end donation to help pets that enter the shelter in 2021, please visit our donations page. Or contact jjohanson@slco.org for assistance. 

Thank you,

Staff at Salt Lake County Animal Services


15 Holiday Safety Tips


December 10, 2020

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pet safety holidays

The holiday season is upon us and the best gift for your pet and you would be to prevent a holiday disaster. Here are 15 pet safety tips from Salt Lake County Animal Services.

Even with this year’s changes in our schedules and so many people working from home, you may not notice what your pet is up to, if they snuck a “toy” off the Christmas tree and swallowed it. Maybe you had to run a quick errand and come home to presents under the tree torn, or the tree toppled over.

Pet parents need to be especially diligent during the holidays. Decorating the house with holly and mistletoe are common, however, these can prove fatal for pets. Even plants like amaryllis and daffodils are toxic for pets.

Here are a few good tips to make sure your pup is safe.
1. Anchor your Christmas tree securely so pets can't knock it over.

2. Get a Faux tree: An artificial tree is much safer for your pets.

3. Don’t decorate the bottom part of the tree. This could prevent your dog from being enticed to reach those easy to grab ornaments.

4. Block off the Christmas tree by using a pet gate in front of it.

5. Avoid glass ornaments. Glass ornaments can easily break and your pet could eat the glass.

6. Be careful of the water in the Christmas tree stand, stagnant water can contain bacteria.

7. Keep wiring and extension cords out of reach. You do not want your pet to become tangled, bite the wires, or pull them off.

8. Keep wrapped gifts and wrapping paper out of reach. If your pet eats wrapping paper it can cause an upset stomach or even worse, a blockage.

9. Chocolate is a very popular Christmas treat but can be very toxic to your pet.

10. "No" to table scraps. Not only can this cause unwanted behaviors (begging) but it can be unsafe to your pets and cause medical problems.

11. Keep an eye on your dough if baking and do not give your pets cooked bones they can easily splinter and cause dental damage as well as internal perforations.

12. Monitor entrances in snowy weather and make sure that no ice melting chemicals are tracked in on your shoes; they are very toxic to dogs.

13. Ensure all children are familiar with your pets and know how to interact with them safely.

14. Do your best to keep your normal schedule. Animals thrive on routine. Make sure to keep as close as you can to their normal routines of feeding, sleeping and walking.

15. Make sure that your pets’ new toys are size appropriate and monitored to make sure they do not chew or swallow small pieces.

Most of all have a very Happy and Safe Holiday and a Happy New Year.
Homemade Dog Treats are the best way to show your pet that you love them like family! These Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats are an easy dog biscuit recipe that your fur baby would request every week if they could

The Ultimate Christmas Cookie for your cat.

If you are interested in adopting one of our wonderful pets waiting to find their forever home, please visit adoptutahpets.org to view our available animals.

If you are opening your home to a pet in need and fostering please email fosters@slco.org for more information on our foster program.

 


PAWliday Crafts & Workshops


December 09, 2020

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PAWliday blog

Join Salt Lake County Animal Services this PAWliday Season for fun, easy to follow along crafts for kids. Select whichever Virtual Workshop you would like to sign your child up for (or yourself). Links for each workshop is in each description along with supplies, and brief instructions. Sign-Up Links for each workshop is in the description below, along with materials you need, and steps to use to follow along with. 

Questions? Email hblack@slco.org.

PAWliday Workshops

Dec 21: Cat Wands

Monday, December 21st, 4:00-4:30pm: PAWliday Craft - Cat Wands

SIGN-UP

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, 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

Steps:

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 22: DIY Sock Dog Toys

Pawliday Crafts with Kids: Day 2. Four DIY sock dog toys

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 11:00-11:30AM

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DIY Sock Toys:

Learn how to create 4 different types of dog toys on a budget. Your dog is going to love these! These are great for fetching or tugging. Plus, you have the added benefit of recycling old socks to a new and useful purpose. These 4 easy DIY dog toys can be made using old socks you have laying around the house, and by recycling from some old, worn out toys too.

 

Option 1:

1 knee high sock

Option 2:

1 knee high sock

1 tennis ball

Option 3:

1 knee high sock

1 empty plastic bottle

Option 4:

1 Knee high sock

1 old Stuffed Squeaky toy (poly-fil and squeaker)

Scissors to snip a hole in the old toy to pull out the stuffing and squeaker

 

Instructions

Toy option 1: Tie knots in the sock to make a fun tug toy

Toy option 2: Tie knot at the heel of the sock, insert ball, tie 2 more knots above the ball and then tie the ends two together with a square knot

Toy option 3: Tie knot at heel, insert empty plastic water bottle (the sturdier the better), and tie two knots above the bottle

Toy option 4: Use scissors to snip a hole in an old stuffed squeaky toy. Pull out poly-fil and squeaker. Tie knot at heel of sock, stuff in half of the poly-fil, insert squeaker, stuff in the other half of the poly-fil, and tie two more knots above that.

Dec 23: Salt Dough Paw Ornament

Pawliday Crafts Day 3: Salt Dough Paw Ornament
Wednesday, December 23rd, 4:00-4:30pm

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INGREDIENTS:

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

 

Directions:

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 28: Recycled Enrichment

Pawliday Crafts for Kids: Day 4 Recycled Enrichment

Monday, December 28th 4 PM - 4:30 PM

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

Cardboard boxes of different sizes

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

Plus:
Kibble or treats
Tape

Instructions

Paper tubes/rolls: Use these singularly and fold over the ends to make a challenge for your pet to empty.

Empty bottles/jugs: Use old empty plastic bottles (well washed) to dispense dry food/treats.  For your pets safety remove the lid, ring and label as well as supervise.  Some pets will chew the bottle and could ingest the plastic or cut their gums.

Cardboard Boxes: Throw in kibble or treats into an empty box. Fold or tape lid shut for an extra challenge.  Scrunch some paper to make it hard for your pet to find the reward.

 Try Putting a box inside of another box with only 1 reward in each box. 

Put out several boxes and only put a treat in one or two to get your pet searching and using its natural instincts to hunt and find the reward.

Dec 29: Cardboard Cat House

Pawliday Crafts for Kids: Day 5 Cardboard Cat House

Tuesday, December 29th 11:00-11:30am

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Supplies:

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, Etc.

Blanket, pillow, towel or cat bed

 

Instructions:

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

Cut round hole in 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.

Dec 30: Pupsicles

Pawliday Crafts for Kids: Day 6 Pupsicles

Wednesday, December 30th 4:00-4:30

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Supplies needed:

Plastic cups or muffin tin

Can of 100% pumpkin puree

Dry kibble

Canned dog food

Peanut Butter or Plain Greek Yogurt

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

Low sodium chicken or beef broth

Water

Instructions:

Layer the ingredients in a cup or muffin tin

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

Dec 31: Cat Pom-Poms

Pawlidays Crafts for Kids: Day 7 Cat Pom Poms

Thursday, December 31st 11:00-11:30am

 

Supplies:

-Cotton or wool yarn/string

-Scissors

 

Directions:

  1. Start by selecting a type of string and holding the end in the palm of your hand. Wrap the string around and around your hand, looping it at least 50 times.
  1. Now slide the looped string off your hand and tie around the center with a length of string.
  1. Work your scissors through the looped sides of the string and cut, creating the pom-pom kitty toy.
  2. Cut the other half of the looped string and trim around the pom-pom as needed. Make several so your feline has a toy for every room in your house.

Home for the Holidays: Foster a Shelter Pet


November 30, 2020

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home for the holidays blog

Give a shelter pet, and your family, a holiday to remember! Salt Lake County Animal Services invites you to foster a pet for the holidays, and give a pet a few days in a home to show off their personality, and tell us about it. This kind of information helps us get a pet adopted even faster!


For the month of December we would love to get all of our shelter pets into a home for the holidays. 2020 has been a difficult one for many, why not foster a pet and make it a Paws-itively good holiday?


Enjoy all the love a shelter pet can give while helping them get a break from the shelter. It’s a win-win situation. You never know, maybe Santa Paws will even stop by for a visit!


Email Fosters@slco.org for more information and to get a shelter pet into your home for the holidays. You can also learn more about our year-round foster program online


Teach Your Dog To Pose For Family Photos


November 24, 2020

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holiday photo

It's the time of year where you gather up all the family, the 4-legged ones in particular, to look cute in a holiday photo. Salt Lake County Animal Services will walk you through step-by-step on how to get your pups to look great in a photo.

Including your dog in your next family photo session.

  1. Practice Commands: (recommend sit, stay and down). If your dog has a cute trick that highlights their personality, practice that as well, so that they’re fresh in your dog’s mind. Check out our video on teaching your dog to ‘stay.’
  1. Exercise your dog the day-of: Take them for a walk or hike, let them play at doggy daycare. If weather is bad and you can’t get out to excise them, playing nose games in the house or your yard will help tire them out by using their noses. (we have a nose games video as well)

  2. Bring high value treats that your dog loves: boiled chicken, cheese, hot dogs, etc. This will help them stay focused. You can also bring a toy for your dog: but if your dog is highly toy motivated and gets distracted by them easily, wait until the end of the session to get photos of your dog with their toy.

  3. Bring a squeaker toy for photographer to get your dogs attention. Practice teaching your dog to stay in position around squeaky toys so that they don’t get up to get the toy

  4. Make sure pet is cleaned and groomed beforehand. If your dog has a lot of dandruff that shows, you can take a lint roller and lightly roll it down your pets back to pick up the dandruff. It’s also good to have one on hand to use on your clothes right before photos if your pet sheds.

Don’t worry if your dog isn’t doing what you ask, never stress a pet by asking it to do something that it’s not comfortable doing. Stress will show in the photos. A good photographer will be able to use the unpredictability of pet photoshoots and make them fun! What is important is that your dog’s personality and the tender moments between you and your pet are captured.

 


Volunteer Highlight: Sundyn Woolf


November 18, 2020

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sundyn woolf

Salt Lake County Animal Services has amazing people who volunteer and foster for our organization. They help socialize pets, groom them, walk them, and foster. Meet this months Volunteer Highlight, Sundyn Woolf, she volunteers and fosters! Find out more about her experience and become a VOLUNTEER or FOSTER.

Q&A with Sundyn:

What brought you to Salt Lake County Animal Services?
I have thought about volunteering at a shelter for years, but haven't had the time. Now I'm more available and happy to have the opportunity to help out.

What is your favorite thing about volunteering?
I love meeting all the different cat personalities. From sweet to salty, they all have something special.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 
I enjoying snowboarding, reading, Bikram yoga and creating encaustic/found object art.

Tell us about your family and fur kiddos:
Right now I'm living with my sister and “Double Trouble”. “Double Trouble” are my two bunnies Jax and Harley. Jax is a Holland lop and Harley is a Holland lop/lion head mix. Jax is pretty laid back. Harley is the independent, sassy type.

What advice do you have for new SLCoAS volunteers?
Approach each animal with a blank slate. They are all different and I wouldn't assume one animal is like another. Let them lead the relationship.

Do you have a favorite adoption story?
I'm currently fostering Semi who is a cat with Cerabeller Hypoplasia. His adoption will be my favorite. He's such a special guy.

Tell us something unique about you:
I've been learning how to communicate with animals telepathically for about a year. I stumbled onto it and because of some very cool experiences I've had, I'm a believer.

Where is your favorite place to travel?
I went to France when I was 16. I would love to go back.


Adopt A Senior Pet Month


November 05, 2020

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senior pet promo

November is National Adopt A Senior Pet Month — a month dedicated to helping older pets find loving forever homes. Shelters and rescues across the country hope those looking to adopt a new furry friend will consider adding a senior pet to the family this month. Check out Salt Lake County Animal Services senior pets online

Senior pets have trouble finding adoptive homes and while we can all agree that puppies and kittens are adorable, older pets are just as loving and loyal as their younger counterparts. Not to mention, adopting a senior animal companion comes with some great advantages:  

*Senior pets are typically calmer than puppies and kittens

*Senior pets are typically already House trained and past the teething stage

*Senior pets typically know all of their basic commands but are still willing to learn some more.

*Senior pets low-key nature makes them great fit for homes with small children, so long as the children know how to gently interact with an animal

*They are less demanding and usually fit into many households, including apartments.

From November 5-30, 2020 - Salt Lake County Animal Services is offering:
$40 Dog Adoption Fees for dogs over 5 years-old
$11 Cat Adoption Fees for cats over 5 years-old

_____________________________

Understanding the personality of a pet is key in finding a perfect match and a successful adoption. Puppies and kittens are still developing their personalities, with a senior pet what you see is what you get. You will know if a senior dog is a “Lovebug” or if your Senior Cat is an “Independent Companion” You will not need to worry about drastic personality changes, too much energy or how big they may get.

Bringing any animal into your home you should expect that you will need to face unique challenges, all pets will need regular vet visits, dental care and checkups to stay in good health.

Senior pets often make the most grateful adoptees, they seem to know that you opened your heart and your home to them, and they are loved and will be cared for. We have often heard once a person has adopted a senior and seen the love and gratitude, they have they will always adopt a senior.

If you are interested in adopting a senior pet please visit our website at adoptutahpets.org to view all of our wonderful animal hoping to find their forever homes.

Interested in fostering? Email our Foster Coordinator at fosters@slco.org to find out more.

Our Senior to Senior program offers adopters 55 years of age or older adoption an animal 5 years of age or older a free adoption. Find out more at adoptions@slco.org


Giving Tuesday Challenge: Cats Vs Dogs


November 02, 2020

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giving tuesday challenge

Salt Lake County Animal Services will be participating in Giving Tuesday on December 1st but starting November 3, we will begin a friendly challenge to see who can raise more money for our Injured Animal Fund, CAT people or DOG people? We have a goal of $10,000!

During this year’s Giving Tuesday, help support the hundreds of 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.

There are two different ways to DONATE:

  1. Simply text "adoptutahpets" to phone number 56651. Follow the prompts to make and pay for your donation.
    • In the comment section enter “cats” or “dogs”
  1. Visit the online portal and enter in your information: bit.ly/donate2slcoas
    • Enter the amount of your donation in the "Injured Animal Fund."
    • In the comments 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 to find out more about the pets our Injured Animal Fund has helped.

Donate over $50 and we will give you a goody bag for your pet! Stay tuned, we will send you an invite to a drive-thru pick-up party in December. Questions? Email jjohanson@slco.org

GivingTuesday emphasizes opportunities to give back to communities and causes in safe ways that allow for social connection and kindness even while practicing physical distancing.

brownie injured animal


Halloween Pet Safety Tips


October 22, 2020

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halloween pet safety

The Halloween season can be scary for pets, especially dogs, when they encounter spooky houses or people in costumes. Please be prepared and prevent your dog from getting lost or injured during this time. Here are some tips from Salt Lake County Animal Services to use during this Halloween. Check out our video below as well.

Identification:

  • Make sure tags and microchip are current
  • Write phone number on collar
  • Write phone number on duct tape and then wrap it around collar (If you don’t have time to get somewhere to get a new tag)

On Your Walk:

  • Get walks in early
  • Take your dogs favorite treats with you in case they see anything scary
  • Emergency lure: take a bunch of treats in your hand, glue it to your dogs’ nose and lure them out of the situation
  • Have two points of contact on your dog:
  • One leash on collar and one on harness
  • Hook two carabiners together and clip one to harness and one on collar and use one leash on either collar or harness
  • If you see a stray pet while on your walk, please be cautious before approaching, especially if you have on a costume that can scare them. Scared animals may either bolt or bite.
  • If you restrain a lost pet, please call your local animal control. In Salt Lake County: 801-840-4000.

In Your House:

  • Set up baby gates or ex-pens around doorways to prevent pets escaping
  • If dressing up pets, make it positive! Play with them, feed them their favorite treats, give them breaks
  • Some signs of stress: lip licking, yawning, shaking off and panting. Wearing a costume may stress out your pet.
  • Safe place to go such as bedroom or crate, with music/tv playing and a frozen Kong
  • Keep candy out of reach! Supervise pets if candy is out, ask dogs to leave it, send them to their beds. If you can’t supervise, make sure candy is stored up high, preferably in a cabinet and out of reach. Xylitol and chocolate are toxic. If your pet ingests either of those things call your local animal hospital for further instructions.

 


Vote: Cutest Pittie Pageant Photo Contest


October 16, 2020

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pittie pageant began

Who's the cutest pittie of them all? Salt Lake County Animal Services has 35 Contestants! (some of them were so cute, they're parents entered in two photos) As we continue to celebrate National Pit Bull Awareness Month join us by VOTING for 1 or more of the 30 plus Pit Bulls entered into our Pittie Pageant Photo Contest! Check out the Pittie Pageant Album on Facebook.
 
 
Every $1 will count as 1 vote and you can vote as many times as you want! All funds raised from this event will go directly towards our enrichment program to help the animals in our care.
 
To view their profiles and begin voting click on the VOTE NOW button below! 1st and 2nd prize winners will win some wonderful gift baskets generously donated by The Dogs Meow and Paw Paws self-serve dog wash and boutique. Winners will be announced via Facebook Live November 2nd. Let's show them some love!
 
We will tally and update numbers on the page at 10 AM & 5 PM, Mon-Fri.
If you have any questions please email events@slco.org.
Voting closes at 5 PM on October 31, 2020.

Foster Highlight: Elizabeth Stallings


October 14, 2020

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october foster highlight

Opening your home, heart, and time to pets in need can be rewarding. Every year, hundreds of pets grow healthy and strong in a foster home, enabling them to be adopted into a new home. Find out more about fostering from our kitten foster, Elizabeth Stallings, our October Foster Highlight.

Q & A with our Foster: Elizabeth

How long have you been fostering?
Two years at the Salt Lake County Animal Services, 7 years at a different organization prior.

What had you interested in joining our foster program?
Salt Lake County Animal Services is an incredible asset to the community and I wanted to be a part of it. 

What types of animals have you fostered?
Kittens!

What is the most rewarding aspect of fostering?
Watching their little personalities bloom. They are the most fun to watch, play with and love on! 

What advice would you give to a new foster in the program?
Old towels and rags are a must.

Learn the signs of illness.

Check their weight every few days.

Spend all the time you can just enjoying them.

What is your favorite foster memory?
My very favorite is teaching my nieces and nephews to love and respect animals.