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Unleashed – PAWsitive Stories from Salt Lake County Animal Services

december volunteer

December 02, 2016

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Meet our December Volunteer of the Month, Jacob Verde, he began volunteering with Salt Lake County Animal Services in May of 2016. Jacob has a love for all animals but saw that the cats really need and enjoy the interaction of our volunteers and became one of our wonderful Cat Crusader volunteers.

Jacob comes into the shelter weekly to spend quality time with the cats while they wait to find their forever homes. Jacob helps clean up after them, play with them, groom them and just sit with them and give them love and socialization.

Jacob is quickly learning a lot about cat behavior and how they communicate with people when they are working with them. Jacob volunteers with his mother, Kathy, who is also one of our wonderful Cat Crusaders.

Jacob shows a lot of dedication and is always eager to learn and spend time volunteering. He is a wonderful example of what volunteering is all about.

From all of us here at SLCO Animal Services:

Thank You Jacob!!!!  You are appreciated!!!

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.  ~Seneca 

holiday coat drive for dogs and humans

November 23, 2016

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coat drive

Salt Lake County Animal Services is collecting winter coats, gloves, booties, socks and hats to donate to the Salt Lake City Mission. Items will be distributed to homeless dogs & humans to help keep them warm on cold days.

5PM December 19, 2016

Salt Lake County Animal Services
511 W 3900 S, SLC, UT 84123

Questions? Email

letters to santa

November 23, 2016

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letters to santa

Go online and look at our pets. Choose an animal that speaks to you.

Grab a pen and paper, and write a letter to Santa on their behalf. (You pick what they may want: treats, a home, a warm blanket)

Bring the letter to the shelter and leave it in our Santa Mailbox inside the lobby.

We invite children to write letters on the pets behalf and leave the letter in our "mailbox" at the front counter. The shelter is open from 10 AM - 6 PM, Monday - Saturday, and is located at 511 W 3900 S in Salt Lake City. We will be accepting letters until 3 PM Christmas Eve.

Some letters may be shared on our social media pages to help raise awareness about our awesome pets available for adoption. 

If you need ideas for donations please visit our donations page or our Amazon wishlists

stray horse auction

November 21, 2016

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November 21st , 2016


State of Utah, County of Salt Lake,

In Salt Lake City,

I have in possession the following described estray animal, which, if not claimed and taken away, will be sold at public auction to the highest cash bidder at  Salt Lake County Animal Services, 511 West 3900 South, Salt Lake City Utah 84123, ph 385-468-6051.

The auction will be conducted as a sealed bid process. The minimum bid for the following estray is $500. To participate please include  the Lot# ,amount of your bid , your name, address and phone number.

All bids must be received at our office by 5:30 pm Wednesday, the 7th   day of December, 2016.  The highest bidder will be notified the following day.

LOT #1:  3 year old Black Grade Gelding with left hind sock,star ,snip and is appox. 15 hands tall. He is very friendly and loves to interact with people. He has been shod, is halter broke and will load in a trailer. Other training is unknown.

Said stray was taken up by me in said city on the 14th  Day of November, 2016.

Director Talia Butler

Salt Lake County Animal Services Division


[Ord. 69-99 § 9, 1999: 24-89 § 1, 1989]


november volunteer of the month

November 03, 2016

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Tracy Thomas is our November Volunteer of the Month! Tracy began volunteering with SLCO Animal Services in November of 2012. Tracy has volunteered within the shelter with both the dogs and the cats, as well as helped at events.

Tracy has offered her services as a real estate agent to those in the community seeking pet friendly housing who are struggling to find rentals who will allow their pets.

Tracy volunteers for UTAH FACES for the groom transport. The groom transport happens twice a week and volunteers pick up an animal from the shelter and take it to a local groomer offering their services for a bath and hair cut. This helps the animal to not only feel better and get a much-needed bath but it boosts their chance at adoption.

Volunteers like Tracy are essential to the program. Tracy has involved herself with in the animal community and is always willing to lend a helping hand.

Tracy is a wonderful example of what volunteering is all about.

From all of us here at SLCO Animal Services


“Generosity is the heart of humanity.”  ― Lailah Gifty Akita

adopt a senior dog this november

October 24, 2016

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adopt a senior dog month

This November, adopt a senior dog from Salt Lake County Animal Services. Adoption fees, for all dogs over the age of 5, will be half off from November 1st - 30th. 

Have we mentioned some of the great reasons to adopt an older dog?

1. You CAN teach an older dog new tricks!

2. Older pets are usually less destructive than a puppy.

3. They appreciate the art of relaxation.

4. Adopted senior pets are grateful for your kindness, attention, and love.

5. You can adopt a purebred if that's what you're looking for. There are numerous breed specific rescues throughout Utah. Here at Animal Services, we see hundreds of purebred dogs on the adoption floor every year. 

Older dogs tend to end up in the shelter for numerous reasons that have nothing to do with their behavior such as: allergies, death of a guardian, a new baby, loss of a job, a move, or the novelty of owning a dog wears off.

Come meet our seniors Monday-Saturday, 10 AM - 6 PM at 511 W. 3900 S., Salt Lake City. 

muttster mash halloween party

October 10, 2016

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Goblins and Ghouls join us for our first ever MUTT-STER MASH Halloween Party on Friday, October 21 from 2- 4 PM. This party is for HUMANS ONLY, ages 2-13 years-old. 

Dress up in your costume, decorate pumpkins, munch on some "worms." When you're done swing into the cat colony rooms and read a book to them or just give them some loves. 

At 3 PM there will be a costume contest by age group.
There will be 30 FREE pumpkins to decorate for the first 30 children. Get a shot of your ghoulish figure in our photo booth and more! 


Questions? Contact

volunteer of the month romina rasmussen

October 07, 2016

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Romina Rasmussen began volunteering with SLCO Animal Services in November of 2013. She was one of the first volunteers in our kitten nursery here at SLCO Animal Services.

The kitten nursery was a 24/7 project that took a lot of dedication from volunteers and staff members.  It requires around the clock care for bottle babies that come into the shelter environment and need to be fed every 2 hours. Once the kitten nursery moved locations Romina decided not only to continue her help with the kitten nursery but to also become one of the Cat Crusaders.

Romina has helped with photographing our cats to help them with their chances at adoption. She has helped at adoption events, vaccine clinics, participated as a vendor at Petapalooza and has even transported a dog or two to K9 Lifelines for daycare.

Besides participating in the many events at the shelter, Romina fosters some of our bottle-fed kittens that come into the shelter and need extra help to thrive.

Romina has also donated her delicious baked goods from her business, Les Madelines, to many of our events for children, volunteers, and staff to enjoy. Romina is a wonderful example of what volunteering/fostering is all about.

                                       From all of us here at SLCO Animal Services

                                         THANK YOU ROMINA!!!!

                                            You are appreciated!!!!

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.  ~ Elizabeth Andrew

september volunteer of the month charlie ward

September 01, 2016

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volunteer of the month september

Charlie began volunteering with SLCO Animal Services in April of 2016. Long before Charlie started volunteering for Animal Services, he had adopted a very special dog with medical needs from the shelter. Charlie made sure he had a wonderful, full life.

Charlie jumped right into volunteering with the dogs and has become a very welcome addition to SLCO Animal Services volunteer program. Charlie comes in weekly to make sure the dogs are getting out of their kennels and going on nice, long walks.

Charlie has moved through the collar system here at county very quickly and this has given him the ability to work with more dogs in the facility.

Along with making sure that the dogs get out, Charlie also volunteers for the Utah Faces Groom transport. Taking dogs and cats to groomers who are offering their services weekly to help the animals have a nice “Spa Day” and increase their chance at adoption.

He is also often taking pictures and making videos to post on Face book to showcase an animal again increasing their chance at adoption.

But wait that is not all! In addition to all of the time Charlie spends making sure the dogs are getting socialization, sunshine, and a good groom, he wrote a well thought out proposal to improve our play yards. Staff and our volunteers will begin working on a feasibility plan to bring it to life.

Charlie is a wonderful example of what volunteering is all about and what a difference one person can truly make.

                                 From all of us here at SLCO Animal services

                                                THANK YOU CHARLIE!!!

                                          YOU ARE APPRECIATED!!!!!

I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.  ~Tracy Chapman 

free feline fix september 15

August 30, 2016

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september free feline fix

Get your cat spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped for FREE!!!

The first 40 qualified cats in the doors at Salt Lake County Animal Services (511 W. 3900 S.) between 7:30 AM - 9 AM on Thursday, September 15, will receive a free spay/neuter, vaccinations, and a microchip! All in jurisdiction cats will need to be licensed at the time of service ($10 fee.) Any out of jurisdiction cats will receive the same services that day for a $50 fee. 

This free opportunity is sponsored by our non-profit partner, Utah FACES. Help keep the program alive and donate to

In jurisdiction cities: Herriman, Holladay, Midvale, Riverton, Salt Lake City

In jurisidiction townships: Copperton, County Islands Emmigration Canyon, Kearns, Millcreek, Magna, White City

Questions contact

volunteer of the month jillian odell

August 01, 2016

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Jillian began volunteering with Salt Lake County Animal Services in May 2016.  Although Jillian is new to volunteering with the shelter, she dove in with incredible enthusiasm.

Jillian comes into the shelter several times a week to make sure that the dogs are getting out of their kennels for some sunshine and socialization. Jillian quickly became an Orange Collar volunteer which allows her to work with more dogs in the facility.

She helps out with the enrichments for the dogs, handing out pupcicles and making a batch for the next day, she made a video for a dog  who had been here for awhile to help him get adopted, and even spends time volunteering while at home making new kennel cards for the dogs.

The kennel cards are eye catching and bullet point the specifics about each animal.  This is very helpful for potential adopters to be able to see at a glance if the dog is the right fit for their home before asking to meet them.

Jillian also made a video and posted it to our Facebook page showing why she loves to volunteer. She wanted to encourage other people to volunteer and make a difference to the animals waiting to be adopted.

Jillian is a wonderful example of what volunteering is all about!

                      From all of us here at SLCO Animal Services

                                          THANK YOU JILLIAN!!!!

                                      YOU ARE APPRECIATED!!!!

The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others-  DeAnn Hollis

Become a volunteer today! Find out more about volunteer opportunities.

petapalooza festival

July 27, 2016

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Live Music! Delicious Food Trucks! And hundreds of adoptable animals from local shelters and rescues! Join us for our 2nd Annual Petapalooza Festival at the Viridian Event Center on August 27!

We are so excited for this event and all the fun vendors that will be there. Pet Psychic Jennafer Martin can give readings of your pet whether they're present or in a picture. Pawsitive Healing & Avani Massage will be providing massage for humans and reiki for pets.

Les Madeleines will have tasty treats for humans and pets! The California Chi, The Dog's Meow, The Puppy Pub, Camp Bow Wow, Barley's Canine Recreation CenterThe Dog Dive, and more will be there. Course A 'Lure will have an obstacle course set up for you to run your dog through.

Music will be provided by Twist of Blues! They'll be playing from 10 AM- 11 AM and 1 PM - 3 PM. 

For the Dogs: A pet pyschic, pet reiki, a photo booth and dozens of local pet vendors to spoil your 4-legged friends. 

For the Humans: Food trucks, music, fun games and activies, a photo booth, and local vendors! 

Don't forget to register for the FANG 5K! This is a 5K to run/walk with your 4-legged and 2-legged friends and family. Proceeds from the 5K will go directly to the pups at Salt Lake County Animal Services to build them a covered dog run. Sign-up!

Salt Lake County Animal Services will have clinic staff on hand to vaccinate, microchip, and license owned pets as well. 

Thank you to KUER 90.1 FM for being our media sponsor for this event. We greatly appreciate they're support!

If you're interested in being a food or product vendor at this event please contact Kip Peterson. The Viridian Event Center is located in West Jordan at 8030 S 1825 W. 

july volunteer of the month

June 30, 2016

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Candice Mason began volunteering with Salt Lake County Animal Services in July of 2011!

From the very beginning Candice has been full of heart and we knew she would be a wonderful example of what volunteering is all about.

Candice has a true love for animals and you can see it when you see her work with them. She is truly compassionate not only to the animals but to those who also work with them whether it is staff or other volunteers.

Candice spends many Saturdays coming into the shelter getting the dogs out of their kennels to make sure that they are getting sunshine and socialization.

If you don’t find Candice at the shelter helping you are sure to see her at an event helping out in any way she is needed. She helps staff by: working with the dogs, the cats, helping with potential adopters or just making sure staff is taken care of by bringing them a plate of cookies.

Candice has also set up a job shadow for a girl that she knows to come into the shelter on her career day from school to learn all about what each of our jobs here at the shelter entail. This allowed this girl to know if this is a career path she would like to follow.

Candice is an inspiring example of what volunteering is all about.

                    From all of us here at SLCO Animal Services

                                        THANK YOU CANDICE!!!

                                       YOU ARE APPRECIATED!!

     “Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

dogs die in hot cars

June 27, 2016

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Take the Pledge and NEVER leave a pet or a child in a hot car! 

Come into Salt Lake County Animal Services and sign the pledge. In return we will give you an Auto Alert  (while supplies last) to place in your vehicle to help warn you of extreme temperatures. Help us save more lives! Suggested Donation $1 ( so we can purchase more alerts and educate more people.)

It’s COOL to leave your dog at home this summer. Even if it’s a quick trip to the store. A dog can die in as little as SIX minutes when being left in a hot car despite the windows being open. On a warm day temperatures inside a car can reach 120 degrees in just a few minutes. A pet can suffer irreparable damage to internal organs such as brain damage, or death from heatstroke or suffocation.

Salt Lake County Animal Services wants dog owners to be prepared this summer when the temperatures climb above 70 degrees. Even if it feels cool outside, it doesn’t mean it’s cool in the car.

If your dog is exposed to extreme heat:

-  Look for signs of heat stress: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a deep red or purple tongue, vomiting, and   staggering.

- If your pet is overheated take emergency steps: gradually lower their body temperature in cool water, place cool wet towels on their belly, ears, or paws, and offer them cool water.

- Immediately take them to a veterinarian.

What to do if you see a dog in distress in a hot car:

- Take a photo of the license plate number and make/model of the car.

- Go into the nearest store and ask them to make an emergency announcement about a pet left in a hot car.

-  Call Dispatch at 801-743-7045 and wait for Animal Services or the police to arrive.

Leaving a dog in a hot car is animal abuse. Pet owners can be cited and face misdemeanors or possibly felony charges.

If you see a child in a hot car, please call 911 immediately. 

salt lake county animal services honored by government peers

June 17, 2016

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Salt Lake County Animal Services has received an achievement award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for its Humane Education program. It is a program to educate children and teens about how to be responsible pet owners.

Animal Services Director Talia Butler said, “We are very proud of this innovative program, which is designed to make life better for animals and the humans who care for them. It means a lot that our peers in county government are recognizing our effort.”

The Animal Services Humane Educator gives over 250 presentations to schools and large groups every year. Presentations range from 20 minutes to 2 hours. They teach children a range of activities, from how to approach animals to highlighting training techniques for older youth.

The success of this program has led to the creation of other youth programming. The Book Buddies program provides children a place to come read to animals at the shelter and a Happily Ever  After program highlights fairytale stories and shares with children how the pets at the shelter can find their “happily ever after” as well. 

Butler says Salt Lake County Animal Services is always looking for innovative and original ways to provide better service to the citizens and animals served. The Humane Education program illustrates what makes Salt Lake County’s shelter different from other shelters throughout the country. Animal Services believes this programming will reduce the number of animals that wind up at the shelter and create sustainable, responsible pet ownership in the Salt Lake community.

june volunteer of the month: kellie dickamore

June 01, 2016

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Kellie began volunteering with Salt Lake County (SLCO) Animal Services in December of 2012. Before Kellie was a volunteer, she adopted one of the SLCO Pit Crew dogs.

Kellie began coming into the shelter to help get the dogs out for sunshine and socialization. She quickly became an Orange collar and then a Red collar volunteer. This gave her the ability to work with all of the dogs in the facility.

Kellie has worked alongside our Animal Behaviorists learning the structure and routines they provide daily for the dogs. This allows Kellie to provide the same structure and routine with the dogs as she is volunteering with them.

Kellie has helped us at many events and can always be found at the No Kill Utah Super Adoption from sun up to sun down helping to get dogs adopted. She is always willing to jump in and help out where help is needed and often takes the initiative herself without being asked.

Kellie is a wonderful example of what volunteering is all about.

                                From all of us at SLCO Animal Services

                                         Thank YOU Kellie!!!

                                        We appreciate you!!!

The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers. ~Terri Guillemets

may volunteer of the month: vicki shanks

May 02, 2016

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Vicki began volunteering with Salt Lake County Animal Services in January of this year. Vicki jumped right into volunteering and has shown dedication and enthusiasm for helping the animals. She quickly excelled from a Green Collar dog volunteer to an Orange collar volunteer giving her the ability to work with more dogs in the facility.

Vicki signed up for our enrichment program for the dogs and comes in every Tuesday and Thursday to hand out and make “pupcicles”. She has been doing this for the past 2 months and the dogs look forward to seeing her in the kennels. After enrichments she always makes sure to get out dogs for some sunshine and socialization.

Vicki recently volunteered at our City Creek adoption event and was able to experience the reward of seeing one of the dogs be adopted and go home with her new family. She is always willing to jump in and help and is a wonderful example of what volunteering is all about.

                         From all of us here at SLCO Animal Services

                                              THANK YOU VICKI!!!

                                       YOU ARE APPRECIATED!!!!!

   Volunteers are love in motion!  ~Author Unknown 

Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week

April 13, 2016

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animal control week

Recognizing National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week
April 10-16, 2016

In 2015, Salt Lake County Animal Services responded to over 20,000 calls for service. In addition to field work, Animal Services is devoted to animal welfare programs such as adoption and outreach events, spay and neuter clinics, vaccination and microchip clinics, pet care presentations, humane education, and spay and neuter awareness.
WHEREAS, the National Animal Control Association has designated the second week of April each year as Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week, and;
WHEREAS, the various Federal, State, and Local Government Officials throughout the Country take this time to recognize, thank, and commend all Animal Control Officers and Animal Services Staff for the dedicated service they provide to the citizens, various Public Safety, Public Service Agencies and Departments across the County, and;
WHEREAS, Salt Lake County would like to express its sincere thanks and appreciation for the outstanding service Salt Lake County Animal Services provides on a daily basis to the Citizens of Salt Lake County and to various Public Safety, Public Service Agencies and Departments, and;
WHEREAS, Salt Lake County recognizes and commends the Animal Control Officers who answer calls for assistance, capture roaming and potentially dangerous animals, rescue animals in danger, investigate reports of animal abuse, educate pet owners about responsible care and mediate disputes between neighbors regarding pets;
WHEREAS, Salt Lake County recognizes the Animal Services Staff for the many dedicated and long hours of service they perform in serving the animals and the community, and for fulfilling Salt Lake County Animal Services’ commitment to providing the highest and most efficient level of customer service and have successfully surpassed a 92 percent live release rate. Salt Lake County Animal Services is the largest municipal shelter in Utah to achieve this status and is working to create a community of responsible pet owners, for now and for future generations.
WHEREAS, Salt Lake County wishes to commend our Animal Control Officers and Animal Services Staff for their service, in keeping with the long and distinguished tradition of the Animal Control Profession.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ben McAdams, Mayor of Salt Lake County, do hereby proclaim April 10-16, 2016 as NATIONAL ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER APPRECIATION WEEK in Salt Lake County and encourage all citizens to join me in expressing their sincere appreciation for the service and dedication of our Animal Control Officers and Animal Services Staff.
ADOPTED on this ______ day of April, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah
By BEN MCADAMS Salt Lake County Mayor

april volunteer of the month - karina dansie

April 01, 2016

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april volunteer of the month 

Karina began volunteering with SLCOAS just a little over 4 years ago. She began as one of our Sunday volunteers and comes in to make sure that the dogs are getting out and getting exercise and social time during our closed hours.

Karina has a very kind heart and is always willing to help the dogs in any way she can. Karina has helped make and refurbish Kurunda beds for the dogs here at the shelter to ensure they all have a bed to sleep on while waiting for their forever homes.

She has made cookies for the dogs, brought in boxes of treats, provided Christmas stockings, Thanksgiving dinners and even provided a picnic with a dog whose health was declining.

Karina has brought out dogs to adoption events that otherwise would not have been able to go because of kennel stress. She walks them around and introduces them to others to be seen.

She has sponsored several shelter dogs helping them to get their assessments for K9 Lifelines “Pack to basics” class.  This helped them gain the confidence needed to socialize well with other dogs and eventually led to their adoption.

Karina is a wonderful example of what volunteering is all about!

                                   From all of us here at SLCOAS:

                                        THANK YOU KARINA!!!!

                                     YOU ARE APPRECIATED!!!

Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.  ~William James 

building better behaviors workshop

March 29, 2016

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building better behaviors workshop blog

Do you want to learn more about Clicker/Positive Reinforcement Basics and the foundations of Impulse Control? This free workshop is for you and your dog Join us and "Build Better Behaviors." A variety of other topics on training and mental stimulation will be covered as well.


This class is being offered for 8 dog/human teams (no more than two people per dog.) Please no human-aggressive or dog-aggressive dogs. Please bring a mat and soft yummy treats for your dog!.

Attendees will receive a free clicker with a wrist band to take home and use with their own dogs! This is a great workshop for someone who already has dogs at home, someone who fosters dogs or volunteers at the shelter, or someone who is looking to add another dog into the family.

Certified Animal Behavior Consultant, Laurie Schnossnagle of Side By Side Dog Training will teach the class. Learn more about Laurie's work