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Unleashed – PAWsitive Stories from Salt Lake County Animal Services

get ready for spring

March 08, 2018

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get ready for spring

It's time to get ready for spring with your pets! We can all hope that this cold weather will be behind us soon and that Spring is truly “in the air”. This does not just mean it will be time for spring cleaning. It is also a time to get your dog ready for spring!

Here are some simple steps that we can take to get our canine companions ready for the warmer seasons so they can enjoy it to the fullest.

Take your dog to the vet:
First and foremost, you should take your dog to see the veterinarian for their annual check-up. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, which is as applicable to dogs as it is to humans.

Make sure your dog is vaccinated:
Since your dog will be spending more time outdoors in the summer it is important to make sure that their vaccinations are up-to-date. This will help them to be protected from a wide range of serious medical conditions that they are more likely to be exposed to.

Your dog is ready to shed their winter coat. Get ahead of the furry mess by grooming them regularly. If you are strapped for time check out a local grooming salon. For a fee, these groomers will scrub and brush your pup while you run around doing errands. 

Keep those New Year’s resolutions:
People are not the only ones who pack on the pounds in winter. Your dog has likely spent the last few months staying warm and being a little less active. Remember to start slowly with short walks and gradually build up to longer walks.

Sensible fashion is a must!
It's important to take a look at your dog’s collar and leash and other accessories to make sure that they are still in good condition. If they are breaking or fraying, replace them before you start any outdoor activities. Make sure that their tags are in good shape and all your information is up to date.

Every pet owner wants to keep their pets as safe as possible. Placing a collar with an Identification tag is important, but sometimes collars become lost so you want to make sure that your pet is properly identified. That is where a microchip comes in handy. A microchip is a way to ensure that your pet finds their way back home.

Watch for allergies:
Pet can get seasonal allergies just like we do.

  • Is your dog scratching more?
  • Is his/her skin red?
  • Are their ears dirtier than normal? Or smell?
  • Are their tear stains darker?
  • Are they licking their paws more?

These can all be signs of allergies. When the seasons change, these symptoms can come on hard.

Watch for overheating:
Some breeds can handle the heat better than others. However, no matter what breed your dog is, you need to make sure they will not overheat. Make sure that they have access to plenty of water for hydration and provide them with shaded places to rest and relax. Above all else you should never leave your dog alone in your car. The interior can become much hotter than the exterior because of the absorbed sunlight and can be fatal to your dog. If you do see a dog in a hot car please call your local animal control or 911. 

march volunteer of the month

March 02, 2018

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March Volunteer of the Month is Michelle Larson!

Michelle Larson is one of our first and most dedicated rabbit volunteers! She has experience with bunnies and offered to come to the shelter and assist in their care and enrichment. It was clear from the get go that Michelle had a lot to offer Salt Lake County Animal Services.

Michelle immediately began bringing in enrichment items, the bunnies favorite hay, getting to know their personalities, and attending events. She even wrote up a wonderful FAQ for adopters! Not only does she stop by every day, she has also recruited other volunteers to join the Salt Lake County Animal Services volunteer family. Michelle is now a volunteer Bunny Mentor and helps train new volunteers in the bunny area. We couldn’t do what we do without her and her passion for the rabbits.  

Thank you Michelle for helping us make a difference. People like you should volunteer in abundance.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” — William Shakespeare

Interested in volunteering, find out more on our volunteer page. 

national pet dental health

February 14, 2018

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"Open your mouth kitty....please? Say AAAAH"?

We know brushing cat teeth can be quite difficult. Here are some tips and tricks on making it a little easier. February is National Pet Dental Health Month and we want to help your kitty have pearly whites.

  • Massage and handle your cats face often to get them used to having part of their face held. Do this for a few minutes each day until they feel comfortable with their face being touched.

  • Once they have gotten used to you handling the outside of their face, you can start massaging their teeth and gums. You can do this with your finger, a soft cloth, or gauze. Also do this for a few minutes each day until they become comfortable.

  • Choose a toothpaste and toothbrush made specifically for cats! Let your cat sniff and taste the toothpaste before using it.

  • Don’t force them through any of it. If they aren’t ready for the next step, keep working on the previous step a bit longer.

  • Brush their teeth every day. Brushing is most successful at preventing oral disease if it’s done every day. Plus, if you do it every day your cat won’t have to get familiar with the process each time.

  • Give praise and reward when finished! Cats love praise and treats! Definitely find the tasty treats too.

  • Some other helpful things to keep your cats teeth clean if brushing is just not working
    - Dental treats
    - Dental wipes
    - Chew toys
    - Dental cat food

If your cat refuses to brush their teeth, you can visit your local vet, who can clean your cats' teeth. If your cat is refusing to eat or chewing, it may be because of tooth pain, and we would recommend you take them to the vet immediately.  

love your pet month

February 14, 2018

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With February being National love your pet month we thought this would be a fun time to talk about the many reasons we love our pets and the way we describe our pets.

There are so many descriptions that apply to our dogs and how they enrich our lives on a daily basis. 

Is your dog a: 

*Comedian*Food Critic

*Couch Potato

*Hiking Partner

*Good Listener

*Alarm Clock





And of course……

*Best friend

It's hard to imagine life without pets. Every animal brings their own joy, laughter, frustration, learning, adventure and enrichment to this world.

Here at Salt Lake County Animal Services, we have the privilege of sharing our space with them, learning from them and having a job where we not only get to work with them but get to work for them and help be a part of the solution in advocating, educating and adopting.

 For National Love your pet month we would love to know how our readers describe their pet? Have a story about your pet you want to share with us and our followers? Please email and we will highlight you and your pets. 

Interested in pampering your pet this month? Join us for our Spa Day at Dirty Johnson's Dog Wash on February 25 from 10 AM - 3 PM. For $25/dog, volunteers will wash and dry your dog and trim their nails. Find out more on our event page

potbelly pig official notice of sale

February 09, 2018

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Official Notice Of Sale

This Potbelly was brought into the shelter in January 2017. He is a male approx. 6-month-old and available for adoption at 10:00am on 2-10-18.

His adoption price is set at $100 and will be adopted to the first qualified adopter to come in on or after the 10th .  

Adopter must be in an area zoned for livestock.

If you have questions please email


February 01, 2018

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Salt Lake County Animal Services would like to thank our February 2018 volunteers of the month: our student group from Post High!

A group of students from Post High come every single week and make pupsicles for our dogs, clean the cattery for us, and socialize the cats. All of them have a deep love for the animals and are a joy to have volunteering at Salt Lake County Animal Services. This program helps give these students new skills out in their community, cultivates empathy, and also benefits the animals here at the shelter, which is a win-win situation. 

We enjoy getting to know each of the students every school year and celebrating with them when they graduate. Some students have come back to volunteer after graduation and it brings it all back full circle.

 We appreciate all that you do for us Post High! Thanks for volunteering and giving our organization the most precious thing you will ever own – your time and talent.

 “Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

We are always looking for volunteers for various projects!  Find out more

Animal Services for Riverton Residents

January 31, 2018

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January 16, 2018

Animal Services for Riverton Residents Shifts from Salt Lake County to Riverton City

Salt Lake City, UT – Beginning February 1, 2018, citizens with questions or concerns regarding lost or stray pets, licensing, complaints, etc. will contact Riverton City at (801) 208-3108 for assistance.

All animals from Riverton currently in Salt Lake County Animal Services care will be turned over to Riverton City on February 1. To ease the burden of the transition Salt Lake County Animal Services is seeking to send these stray and abandoned pets, that came from Riverton, to local animal rescues where they can find new families. This should hopefully ease the burden on Riverton City and ensure a positive outcome for these animals.

Salt Lake County Animal Services will continue to serve the residents and pets as a no-kill shelter facility for Bluffdale, Copperton, Emigration Canyon, Herriman, Holladay, Kearns, Magna, Midvale, Millcreek, Salt Lake City and White City.

Below is information provided by Riverton City for its citizens:  

Where will citizens license their pets?

Riverton residents have two options to license pets:
Riverton City Offices: 12830 S. Redwood Rd.
Stone Ridge Veterinary Clinic: 1381 W. Stone Ridge Ln.

What dispatch number will people call to report lost/found/deceased pets?

Riverton City Animal Control services can be contacted using the following numbers
Office: (801) 208-3108
After hours UPD dispatch: (801) 743-7000

What are the hours a Code Enforcement Officer is available?

Office hours for animal control will coincide with regular City Office hours, Monday – Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  An on-call service for Animal Control is also available so residents can contact a code enforcement officer throughout the day, as well as at night and on weekends.

What are the contact numbers/addresses for where lost animals will be placed?

Riverton City has two locations for animal placement. To retrieve a lost pet, residents should call Animal Control at (801) 208-3108 to coordinate animal pick up.

What or where can someone find the fee schedule for redeeming lost animals?
Proposals for animal control fees are in the process of being approved by City Council and will be available online.

Will animals not redeemed to owner be placed for adoption? And if so, where is that facility located?

An adoption program has been created in partnership with Stone Ridge Veterinary Clinic, located at 1381 W. Stone Ridge Ln. We will help promote the program as animals become available.



 Salt Lake County Animal Services is the largest no-kill municipal shelter in Utah. Our Animal Control Officers provide responsive, timely assistance to animal related issues in the community, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Animal Services provides a variety of amenities to current and potential pet owners: low cost vaccinations and sterilizations, pet adoptions, and free/low-cost microchips to ensure pets return to their loving owners. For more information visit

a shelter cat wants to come home with you

January 11, 2018

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Choosing the shelter cat that wants to come home with you can be intimidating. 
If you're in a shelter with colony rooms, like the ones at Salt Lake County Animal Services,
take your time, sit down in the room and give the cats a few minutes to show you who they are. 

The following are a few tips to help you know if a shelter cat wants to come home with you.  

Tripping You: This cat doesn’t want you to go anywhere without them! When cats rub against you, they are trying to mark you with their smell.


Talking to You: “Chirps,” “Meows,” and “Purrs,” these cats have so many stories to tell, and are great company at home.


The Lap Cat: This cat will always love you, and love to sleep on you.


Making Muffins: Kneading, is said to be one of the ways cats say they love you, and means they are super happy.


The Sleeping Cat: Because really every cat wants to go home. This cat is nice and relaxed and wants you to choose them, but please let the sleeping cat lay.

We want you to play more in 2018 which is why we're promoting $18 adoptions throughout January. Want to know more about cat's available at Salt Lake County Animal Services? Contact, or visit our adoptable cats at 511 W 3900 S, or look online to see them all. 


notice of sale goats

January 04, 2018

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Official Notice Of Sale

Three Pygmy Goats were brought into Salt Lake County Animal Services in December 2017. All of them are females, two of them approximately 3-years-old and the third is approximately 3-months-old. They will all be available for adoption at 10 AM on January 16, 2018.  

The adoption price is set at $45 each and they will be adopted to the first qualified adopter to come in on or after the 16th .  

Adopter must be in an area zoned for livestock.

Additional questions please email



January 04, 2018

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Sabrina was originally adopted from Salt Lake County Animal Services as a puppy but returned to the shelter 5-years later. Sabrina had the cards stacked against her coming into the shelter environment. She was a 5-year-old, black pit bull, who wasn’t well trained and often did not get along with other dogs.

It did not take long for Sabrina to become a shelter favorite with her sassy personality.  Staff quickly realized that Sabrina was too smart for her own good and needed to have her energy directed into positive experiences.

Sabrina spent mornings in an office playing in the toy box (literally), chewing on bones and having some down time before starting with basics: not jumping on the table, learning to wait until called for, and walking politely on leash. After the “boring” lessons, she would play with food puzzles and the bubble machine. Then Sabrina would head to the play yard where she would open the toy box and jump in to retrieve the toy she wanted. She would finish her enrichment time with a stuffed Kong in her kennel.

During this time, a previous adopter, Theresa, began volunteering at the shelter and met Sabrina.  It was not long before Theresa fell in love with Sabrina and her quirky personality: jumping in toy boxes, sitting “frog-legged” and so on.  Theresa would take Sabrina to the park on outings, Barley’s Canine Recreation Center to swim, and eventually became her biggest advocate on “Team Sabrina,” taking her through a 6-week training course.

In August of 2017, Theresa was determined to foster Sabrina at her home. For Sabrina to live in a home with other dogs, Theresa had to redesign her home to provide a separate, safe space for Sabrina. Once they settled in, Theresa began training Sabrina on scent work and giving her all the luxuries of a home life again.

On November 25th Theresa and Paul knew it was time to make Sabrina an official family member. After spending 8 months in the shelter and several months in foster, Sabrina found her forever family.

Sabrina’s story is not uncommon in the world of animal rescue but her happy ending wouldn’t have happened without enrichment, training, and a dedicated team of staff, volunteers, and fosters. The life-saving programming provided at Salt Lake County Animal Services is due to the support of the community.

A special “thank you” to Theresa and Paul for volunteering, fostering, donating and adopting. Thank you for giving long-term shelter dog, Sabrina, the happy ending she deserved. Happy Trails Sabrina!

Here are links if you are interested in volunteering,fostering,  or adopting from Salt Lake County Animal Services or for questions about volunteering email

a new years resolution for your pet

December 22, 2017

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As humans many of us set a resolution for ourselves for the new year. Since our pets can improve our physical and mental health, lets improve the lives of our cats and dogs this year as well.

  • Update Their Tags & Microchips: If your contact information has changed, get your pet a new tag and update your info that’s attached to their microchip. Also, make sure the info on their tag is still readable, often it rubs off.
  • Bring Out the Brush: Not only does brushing improve their coats, it helps you connect.  
  • Declutter! Throw away those dirty, germy, broken toys. Get them something new to play with.
  • Make Time to Play: Whether it’s swimming, hiking, or learning new tricks; your pet needs time to play and bond with you because they love you unconditionally.
  • Measure They’re Food: It’s easy to overfeed a pet who acts like there’s never enough food in the bowl. Throw a measuring cup in their food containers and use it every day. Food is often a way we say, “I Love You.” Love your pet with other things like attention, play dates, or more car rides.
  • Take Them to the Vet: Just like humans, pets should see their veterinarian for an annual check-up. They need to have their yearly vaccinations to keep them healthy and happy. Often when pets get sick, there is something going on with them that we can’t see.

As part of your resolution, resolve to play more! Salt Lake County Animal Services will be offering $18 adoption fees from January 2-31 for all pets EXCLUDING puppies and livestock. 

Licensing or renewing a license? Every pet that lives in: Bluffdale, Copperton, Emmigration Canyon, Herriman, Holladay, Kearns, Magna, Midvale, Millcreek, Salt Lake City, and White City can walk-in to Salt Lake County Animal Services, Monday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM, and receive a free DHPP (vaccine for dogs), FVRCP (vaccine for cats), and a microchip. Rabies vaccinations are done by appointment only.

For more information visit or come by 511 W 3900 S, in Salt Lake City. 

volunteer tracie harrison

December 21, 2017

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Meet Salt Lake County Animal Services January 2018 Volunteer of the Month, Tracie Harrison. Tracie started volunteering with us in July 2017 and can often be found working with our green collar dogs or in our barn visiting with the rabbits! She always has such a great attitude when she comes in and has a smile for everyone. We love having Tracie here as she is so understanding and hard working!

Tracie is a wonderful person to have as part of our volunteer program. Her love for the dogs and rabbits is clear and apparent, and we are thankful she chooses to spend her time with our animals!

By volunteering you have just given the most expensive and priceless gift anyone could have ever given – kindness and love. Thank you Tracie!

We have to do what we can to help wherever and whenever it is possible for us to help.” — Jackie Chan

Interested in volunteering? Found out more or email 


keep pets safe in cold weather

December 21, 2017

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photo credit: Andrea Reiman

The temperatures are dropping, and snow is in the air! Keep your pets safe during the cold weather with a few tips:

  • Grab your pup a coat and some dog booties to protect their paws. Check your dog’s paws for snow clumps when they come in after being outside.
  • Ice melt is dangerous to our pets if ingested. Please wipe their paws when coming inside from a dog walk or a cat outing. There is animal-safe ice melt you can purchase at your local hardware stores.
  • If your dog stays outside in your backyard during the day, please be sure that they have access to shelter and un-frozen water.  During night freezing temperatures, please bring your dog inside. If you’re cold, your dog is cold. Dogs can suffer from hypothermia.
  • If you have a community cat colony at your residence, please make sure they have adequate shelter.

On behalf of all of us at Salt Lake County Animal Services, we wish you and yours a very merry holiday season! If you’re looking to collect holiday donations for the pets here at the shelter, we’re always in need of soft treats for the pups and canned cat paté for the kitties. If you would like more ideas please visit our website, or visit us at 511 W 3900 S, Salt Lake City.  

bello the goat for adoption

December 21, 2017

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Bello, was brought into Salt Lake County Animal Services in December 2017. He is a male approximately 1 year old and available for adoption at 10:00am on January 3, 2018. 

His adoption price is set at $45 and will be adopted to the first qualified adopter to come in on or after the 3rd.

Adopter must be in an area zoned for livestock.

Salt Lake County Animal Services is located at 511 W 3900 S, SLC. 

esther the pig for adoption

December 18, 2017

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“Esther,” the Landrace pig (A462957) will be available for sale on Monday, December 18, at 10:00 AM when the shelter opens. The adoption fee is $150, and she will be adopted on a first-come, first-served basis. If more than one qualified adopter comes in on Monday morning, a random drawing will be held.

She is friendly and is approximately four months old.

potbelly pig december

December 11, 2017

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“Sprocket,” the potbellied pig (A462889) will be available for sale on Wednesday, December 13, at 10:00 AM when the shelter opens. The adoption fee is $100, and he will be adopted on a first-come, first-served basis. If more than one qualified adopter comes in on Wednesday morning, a random drawing will be held.

Sprocket is a very friendly and outgoing black potbelly pig. He is approximately one year old and his initial exam showed him to be neutered.

pig for adoption

December 04, 2017

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“Banjo,” a potbelly pig (A462599) will be available for sale on Wednesday, December 6, at 10:00 AM when Salt Lake County Animal Services opens. The adoption fee is $100, and he will be adopted on a first-come, first-served basis. If more than one qualified adopter comes in on Wednesday morning, a random drawing will be held.

He is a friendly, unneutered, 5-month-old, black & white potbelly big. The adopter is encouraged to have him neutered, and the adoption fee will be refunded in full if the adopter brings in proof of neuter within 30 days of adoption.



December 04, 2017

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Salt Lake County Animal Services December volunteer of the month is Hannah McNeely.

Hannah has been volunteering with Salt Lake County Animal Services for one year now and has jumped right in with both feet. She has participated in our University Dogs Program and really taken to training the dogs here at the shelter. She moved up to an orange collar level this year and always gives great feedback on the dogs that she works with.

We appreciate Hannah and her willingness to work with new dogs for our training program. She is a great team player and works well with other volunteers and staff members here at Salt Lake County Animal Services.

Your diligence, self-motivation as well as dedication have been a source of inspiration for the rest of the us. Great volunteers like you never want anything in return, but are always ready to do great things out of turn. Thank you for volunteering.

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”  – Oscar Wilde

Interested in volunteering? Find out more

giving tuesday

November 27, 2017

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giving tuesday

Help create a positive learning environment for dogs at the shelter and dogs in your own home. Join Salt Lake County Animal Services at RoHa Brewing Project for this one day giving event. 4Truck food truck will be serving food for purchase. Animal Services will be accepting donations and giving away prizes.

Giving Tuesday, November 28, 2017, is a globally celebrated day of giving back and this year Salt Lake County Animal Services will be participating. Animal Services is raising money to continue specialized trainings for our shelter pets and owned pets. One of our life-saving goals is to reduce the number of returns in our more difficult dog population: dogs that may have behavior issues. 

We do this by putting our more difficult dogs through specialized trainings with outside trainers. These trainings help give our dogs much needed life skills that will help make them more adoptable. 

Want more information or prefer to just donate online? Please contact 

This event is for 21 and older. Please leave your pups at home!

Salt Lake County Animal Services is the largest no-kill municipal shelter in Utah. We specialize in adoptions and life saving programs.

RoHa Brewing Project has been open since April 21, 2017 on Kensington Avenue in Salt Lake City, Utah. RoHa Brewing Project seeks greatness in every beer we make, without compromise so we can drink our beers through all the good times and always with good people.

november volunteer of the month(1)

November 02, 2017

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Ari Abalos is our Volunteer of the Month this November at Salt Lake County Animal Services. 

Ari is a very active participant in our volunteer program and always goes above and beyond. Ari quickly moved from a green level volunteer to an orange level volunteer when we had an extremely busy summer and he noticed we needed to get our orange collar dogs outside more often. He has helped at events and also brings his daughter in to read to our cats.

Ari has fostered two dogs for Salt Lake County Animal Services, Major and Shenzi. He and his family adopted Major not long after taking him home; they just couldn’t part with him!

Ari has a great attitude and is willing to jump in wherever help is needed. His passion for animals is very apparent and he makes a difference in the animals’ lives here at the shelter.

Thank you Ari for always coming with a smiling face and a helping hand. We love having you as a part of our volunteer family AND our foster family! 

Interested in volunteering? Find out more!