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Unleashed – PAWsitive Stories from Salt Lake County Animal Services

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

become an animal care specialist

March 22, 2016

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Become an Animal Care Specialist at Salt Lake County Animal Services. You'll help owners be reunited with lost pets. You'll get an opportunity to introduce humans to potential furry family members. 

Join our team as an Temporary/Seasonal Animal Care Specialist.  In this position you will work with the animals, provide them care, and help customers.  $13 per hour and up to 25 hours a week.  Please email Charlotte Smith at with your resume and letter of interest by April 5, 2016.  This is a non-merit position.

pit crew & cat cru logo launch party

March 21, 2016

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logo launch party

Support Utah FACES during Love UT Give UT! 

Donations to Utah FACES directly supports the animals served by Salt Lake County Animal Services. Utah FACES helps Animal Services provide low cost spay and neuter, free microchips, surgeries for injured animals and much more!  Donate Now

In collaboration with Love UT Give UT, Animal Services is launching a new Pit Crew and Cat Cru logo on March 31st! This is an exclusive opportunity to get a t-shirt with these logos before they are available to the general public!

Help Utah FACES CELEBRATE Love UT Give UT at Uinta Brewing from 4-8 PM!
Try out the new pet friendly patio weather permitting. Enjoy exclusive PittieKitty Beer. This is a 21 & older event. Light appetizers will be served.

Here's more on how to get your very own Pit Crew or Cat Cru T-Shirt:

For a donation of $13: Get a T-shirt with the new Salt Lake County Pit Crew or Salt Lake County Cat Crusaders logos. First make a $10 online donation to Utah FACES at Love Ut Give UT.  and then at the event bring an additional $3 to receive a t-shirt. You must attend this event in order to get this exclusive offer. Remember to bring your donation receipt.

For a donation of $40: The first 25 donations of $40 or more get a free pint glass.

goat: official notice of sale

March 18, 2016

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Goat: Official Notice of Sale

Official Notice Of Sale

This Goat was brought into the shelter in March 2016. He is an adult neutered male approx. 1 to 2 yrs old and available for adoption at 10:00am on 3/30/16.

His adoption price is set at $45 and will be adopted to the first qualified adopter to come in on or after the 30th. Adopter must be in an area zoned for livestock.

magna vaccination & licensing clinic

March 17, 2016

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magna vaccination clinic

When: Saturday, April 16 
Time: 9 AM - 12 PM
Where: Magna - Copper Park
8940 W 2600 S, Magna, UT 84044

Get your pet up-to-date on their vaccinations and licenses. Low cost vaccinations, rabies vaccinations, and microchips will be available. Any resident may attend the clinic. Animal Services will be licensing dogs, cats, and ferrets. Bring proof of previous rabies vaccinations, license, & microchip.

Please be sure to have your dogs on leash. Cats and ferrets must be in carriers. 

Questions? Contact Kip Peterson at or 385-468-6017.

cat-tail hour

February 18, 2016

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cattail hour

New cat cages, new paint, and new decor! Join us for the Grand Re-Opening of our Cat Rooms.

1 PM - 3 PM "Groom the Room" - Local Groomers will make our cats look fancy for adoption.

3 PM - 5 PM "Cat-Tail Hour" - Meet our felines in the remodeled cat rooms. Light refreshments will be served.

Groomers from around the valley will be washing, scrubbing, brushing, fluffing, and trimming up all our cats to make them gorgeous for the "Cat-Tail Hour."

Kitty Couture
Groom with a View
The Classy K9

Refreshments will be provided by Tinker's Café and Les Madeleines.

mad hatter tea party

February 10, 2016

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mad hatter tea party blog

Meet Alice, the White Rabbit, and the Queen of Hearts at our Mad Hatter Tea Party on Saturday, March 5 from 11 - 2 PM. This is a free event for children to celebrate our newly remodeled cat rooms and relaunch our Book Buddies program. Children can decorate cookies at our tea party, play checkers, and listen to parts of "Alice in Wonderland" being told in our new cat room.  Children MUST be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Located at Salt Lake County Animal Services: 511 W. 3900 S., SLC 84123.
Date: March 5
Time: 11 AM - 2 PM
Cost: FREE

february volunteer of the month - liz dranow

February 01, 2016

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Volunteer of the Month - Liz Dranow

Liz Dranow began volunteering for SLCO Animal Services in January of 2015 as a volunteer photographer. Liz has a passion for photography and for animals and it shows in the pictures that she takes of the animals here at the shelter waiting for adoption.

Liz is always willing to jump in and be flexible about the photography session. Whether she is taking a picture of a dog, cat, bunny, goat or even a pig, Liz is always more than willing to help.

Liz always has a smile on her face and enthusiasm for the task at hand. Taking pictures of animals is not always an easy task but it is always a fun experience.

Liz continues to bring great ideas into the shelter to help improve our adoption and social media photos and even recently helped us to set up a photo booth for our animals to take fun pictures showing the animals personality.

A picture truly speaks a thousand words and for shelter animals can make the difference of being overlooked or being seen. Liz has a true knack for helping our animals be seen and her passion shows through her work. Liz is a wonderful example of what volunteering is all about.

From all of us here at SLCOAS, Thank You Liz!!!!!

You are appreciated!!!!

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not.  ~Dr. Seuss 

january volunteer of the month

January 05, 2016

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january volunteer of the month blog


Mason began volunteering with SLCO Animal Services 4 years ago.

Mason is one of our Sunday volunteers and comes in to make sure that the dogs are getting out and exercised during our closed hours.

A few years ago, Mason, along with other volunteers, made Kurunda beds for the dogs here at the shelter. This was such a wonderful gift for the dogs. It gives them a nice place to rest and feel comforted while waiting for adoption. Through the years the beds have needed repairs and Mason is always willing to grab a bed, take it home and repair it. Thanks to his handiwork, the dogs still have beds in their kennels.

Mason has helped dogs that struggle at the shelter get to K9 Lifeline for assessments and “Pack to Basics”. This not only helps dogs learn to socialize better but results in their adoption because they are seen at K9 Lifeline and they develop the social skills necessary to be adopted.

Mason has provided needed treats to dogs with skin allergies, spent extra time and attention with dogs that need more structure, provided valuable feedback, made sure dogs with kennel stress get out to adoption events , helped provide and distribute Thanksgiving Dinner……the list goes on.

Mason is a true and wonderful example of what volunteering is all about!

                                    From all of us here at SLCOas :

                                          THANK YOU MASON!!!!

                                        YOU ARE APPRECIATED!!!

                  “Volunteers are love in motion“~ Unknown


pick your price cat adoptions

January 04, 2016

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pick your price cat adoptions blog

Adopt a cat this month, and pick the price of their adoption fee! Before heading home with your new feline family member, here is an idea of what services ALL cats receive before they're adopted:

  • basic veterinary exam
  • vaccinations
  • spay/neuter
  • microchip

The estimated value of these services is $400. But the cost of a forever home full of purrs is PRICELESS! 

foster now forever: Julie Bee's Story

December 28, 2015

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At Salt Lake County Animal Services, we're fortunate to have a foster program that provides animals with a short or long-term home, while they wait to find their furever home. Our foster families love these animals, and sometimes the animal fits into their home, and fills a spot in their heart, that they decide to adopt the pet. Here is the story of Randy and her fosters: Hayden and Jujubee (Now Mrs. Julie Bee.)

Julie Bee Foster Adoption

Randy loves Mrs. Julie Bee

I am new to the foster program.  I lost Annie, my companion of 12 years in August of this year.  After speaking with a friend at work, Teresa, she suggested fostering for one of the local shelters.  I decided to see what it was all about.  I live in the Ogden area and so I started with the shelter close to home.  I visited several shelters and submitted foster applications at each but after three weeks I still didn’t have a foster.  I mentioned my frustration to Teresa in passing.  The very next morning October 1st (my birthday), she sent me an email about a senior at the Salt Lake County Animal Shelter, a shelter she has worked with for years.  She told me told me about Julie Bee and mentioned that she had come in with another dog (Hayden) but they were not sure if they were together.  I went to the shelter on my lunch and was introduced to Mrs. Bee (approx.  15 yrs.).  I asked the staff about the Hayden (approx.  10 yrs.) and they brought him out for an introduction as well.  The instant that Mrs. Bee saw Hayden it was obvious that they were a bonded pair and needed to be fostered together.  I filled out the foster application before I had to go back to work and asked if I might be able to foster both Mrs. Bee and Hayden.  I left not knowing if I would get them.  They were both sick with Kennel Cough and needed to be seen by the Vet.  Kathy Joe contacted me before the end of the day and I picked up both Mrs. Bee and Hayden after work and brought them home with me. 

I instantly bonded with Hayden but Mrs. Bee was so sick that she was withdrawn and reclusive.  After a couple of weeks Hayden had completely recovered from the Kennel Cough but Mrs. Bee needed another round of antibiotics.  It wasn’t until Mrs. Bee had recovered that I was able to really meet her, and what a wonderful friend she has become.   We lost Hayden a week after Mrs. Bee’s recovery to heart failure, we were devastated. 

I believe that everything happens for a reason and has a lesson in it for us.  I was really struggling with the reason and lesson in losing a second dog within a few months of each other.  I really didn’t feel that I needed another lesson in pain and loss.  When I realized that I may not have bonded with Mrs. Bee if it hadn’t been for Hayden.  He was her guardian-angle, and needed to make sure she had a place where she would be loved and cared for before he could leave. 

Hayden accomplished his mission in life.  He made sure his Mom (Mrs. Bee) had a forever home.  He bridged the gap between Mrs. Bee and myself and brought us together and for that I am forever grateful.  I was reminded of the importance of service to another and was given the best example of service to another in Hayden’s selfless act of compassion. 

We now go everywhere we can together and our favorite thing is to walk along the Ogden River and watch movies with some serious tummy action.  Mrs. Bee recently adopted me and has agreed to make me her forever home.   We have become the very best of friends.  We still miss Hayden and I think we always will, but having each other has made it that much easier to bear.

If you're interested in fostering please visit our Foster Page for more information or send an email to

holiday gift card

December 14, 2015

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Holiday Gift Card Blog

Donate to a dog or cat this holiday season. Purchase a Holiday Gift Card at Salt Lake County Animal Services for $50. This will cover the cost of any adoption, dog or cat. You can also make this a donation in your name or the name of a loved one. All animals come spayed/neutered, microchipped, and current on vaccinations. 

May this gift bring joy to you knowing that you're helping provide for homeless pets. 

For more information call 385-468-7387 or email 

part-time janitorial staff openings

November 09, 2015

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Salt Lake County Animal Services is looking to fill 2 part-time janitorial positions. Please send resumes to Application deadline November 20, 2015.

15 hours/week $9/hour.
Performs a wide variety of custodial duties.

Must be at least 18 years of age at the time of hire.
Custodial experience is preferred.


  • Mops tile, hardwood, and concrete floor areas. Vacuums carpeted areas.
  • Cleans restrooms. Replenishes supplies as needed.
  • Dusts all furniture and fixtures.
  • Cleans kitchen sinks and counters.
  • Cleans windows, doors, and hardware.
  • Washes all marks from walls, doors, hardware and glass.

adopt a senior dog

November 05, 2015

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adopt a senior dog entry

November is National Adopt a Senior Dog Month! To celebrate our seniors here at Animal Services, we've reduced their adoption fee to $25 through November 30. This includes all dogs over 5 years of age.

Remember a "senior" dog has a lot left to live. Many dogs live to 10 - 15 years of age. Most older dogs who come to us, are here for a variety of reasons, usually having nothing to do with behavior or temperament. More often it's because their owners can't keep them for reasons including: allergies, death of a guardian, a new baby, loss of a job, a move, and various other lifestyle changes.

Have you heard of our Senior to Senior program? If you're over the age of 55 and you find a furry friend here over the age of 5, their adoption fee is completely waived. 

Just think of all the benefits of adopting a SENIOR DOG vs. a PUPPY:

  1. Older dogs are calmer and less energetic than puppies 
  2. They make instant companions
  3. Older dogs usually are potty trained and know basic commands

november volunteer of the month: steven hale

November 02, 2015

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november volunteer of the month

Steven began volunteering with SLCoAS in July of 2015. He started as part of our Sunday Running group that meets every 2 weeks to run the shelter dogs.

He definitely found a passion in helping and decided that he wanted to learn more about being a shelter and event volunteer. Steven quickly took his orientation and signed up for his one-on-one training. He started coming in and spending a good portion of his day with the dogs, and the Special Programs Team here at the shelter, learning as much as he could. Due to Stevens knowledge of the dogs he was able to take over as a lead for the Running Group.

Steven has come out to our events and helped us from start to finish. He was an integral part of helping us set up, tear down and get pets adopted at our largest event this year Pet-A-Palooza!

When the running group needed new leashes, he took the lead and bought supplies for the group to make 15 leashes. Steven has since donated the items needed for us to make leashes and even came in and showed us how to make them. This will give us the ability to create projects for other volunteers and help those that may not be able to afford a leash for their dog.

Although Steven has only been volunteering with SLCoAS for a short amount of time he has made a huge impact and a wonderful impression on us all and truly projects what volunteering is all about.

                                            From all of us here at SLCOAS:

                                          THANK YOU STEVEN!

                                       YOU ARE APPRECIATED!!!

Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls. 

~David Thomas