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Unleashed – PAWsitive Stories from Salt Lake County Animal Services

adopting a pet during holidays

December 12, 2018

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There have been many mixed opinions on getting a pet for Christmas and often at Salt Lake County Animal Services we are told that the holidays are not the right time. But any time is a good time to bring love into your life, and what greater gift can we give to an animal than a loving, lasting home.

If you are considering bringing a pet into your home whether it is now, or it is 6 months from now. You need to be ready.

  • No matter when you adopt a pet, be sure you are ready for a long-term commitment to care for and love the animal, and that your household is able.

  • Don’t just give a pet as a gift to someone without first making sure they want a companion animal. Some people might love animals but not have the time or the ability to care for one. It’s also a good idea to let the person pick out their own pet. Consider taking them into a shelter or rescue to let them find the perfect pet for themselves.
  • Timing is everything. The holidays tend to be rather busy and our pets can get a little stressed. If you’re planning to go out of town or have a houseful of family guests, schedule the adoption when you’ll have more time to devote to your new family member. That might mean adopting now, giving the pet a chance to acclimate to its new home and settle in before the madness starts, or possibly waiting until after the holidays. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a pet now; you’ll just need to take precautions to keep it safe and happy.

  • It’s important that children realize from an early age that a pet is a living, breathing creature that requires gentle handling, proper feeding and a certain amount of clean up. Let’s be honest, there are some adults who need to learn those lessons, too. Children learn to love and respect all animals by having a pet in the family. Showing them how it’s done will help your child become a better, kinder person and learn responsibility.

A few things to remember as you head out to potentially add a new family member to your home. Include everyone in the adoption. “Meet and greet” It is just as important that your current pets find your new addition as good of a fit as you do.

Consider lifestyle factors and what is the best pet for your home. Are you looking for an adventure seeker or a couch potato? Make sure you are ready for the responsibility of a new pet.

We hope you’ll consider bringing a pet home this holiday. The love they share is the greatest gift of all.

Take a look at our Hoppy Meowlidays promotion for Cats, Bunnies and small mammals this month. We're offering $5 adoption fees for these furry friends through December 31, 2018. 


November 21, 2018

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When pets are adopted from Salt Lake County Animal Services, staff members love to get updates on the new life they go on to live with their new families. 

Here is an update from Beastie's Family: 

Beastie, The Red dog adopted 2015.  I really cannot post a picture of Beastie without her boy Shooter, the Shih Tzu.  They literally are best friends.  They do EVERYTHING together.  She has brought so much love into this house and she is the most loving sweetheart of a fur face I have ever known.  She had several behavioral issues when I got her but with patience, love and a dog named Shooter she has become the best girl ever!  Thanks for letting me share the love of all your hard work.  -Jeannie

If you have adopted a pet from Animal Services, please send us a photo and an update about your pet to 

volunteer december 2018

November 21, 2018

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Meet Salt Lake County Animal Services December Volunteer of the Month: Dawn Vagstad. Interested in volunteering? Find out more on our volunteer page. 

Volunteer Q&A:

What brought you to SLCoAS?
My husband and I came to Salt Lake Animal Services about 2 years ago to adopt a dog.  We were so impressed!  The people at the front desk were friendly and wanted to help.  They answered a lot of our questions about the dogs that we were interested in.  When we decided to take Raleigh out to get to know him, our adoption counselors were kind and knowledgeable.  They helped us introduce our current dog Breeze to Raleigh.  We adopted Raleigh that day.  It was one of those great days you never forget.  

What is your favorite thing about volunteering?
I can’t imagine what it would be like for a dog to be waiting for a home at any shelter.  If there is any kindness I can show to a dog to just make him or her feel special and loved, that is worth everything.  It feels great to get a dog outside.  Each dog loves to be touched and talked to.  Some dogs love to play with a ball.  My favorite part is walking the sidewalk with them, talking to them and being in the sunshine.  Love it.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to run with Raleigh and Breeze.  My husband and I like to hike with the dogs too.  I retired about 2 years ago and really didn’t spend much time on hobbies while I was working.  Now I am getting a little better at drawing, skiing, (downhill and cross country) and cooking.  I went to a plant-based diet symposium at the Salt Palace recently and have been trying out new recipes to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.  We can’t change overnight, but so far, slowly, this new vegetarian diet is pretty good!

Tell us about your family and fur kiddos:
We feel so grateful to have found Raleigh at SLCoAS.  We have had Breeze for about 10 years and we think Raleigh keeps Breeze young.  They play a lot and are best buddies.  Most of our family is in the Midwest, but we have a cousin and family in Sandy, thankfully! My 89 year old dad celebrated his 8th anniversary with his wife this year.  They got married when he was 80 and she was 78.  They are doing well thank God and we will be visiting them soon. Let me tell you it is never too late! 

What advice do you have for new SLCoAS volunteers?
First, I feel grateful to be part of an organization where miracles happen every day.  When you think of all the animals brought in from the street who could have been hit by a car, or been injured or became sick out there, the people at SLCoAS make a huge difference.    Animals see a veterinarian when they get here and they are taken care of.  SLCoAS has humane education, dog training, cruelty investigators and they find new homes for homeless animals.   Nice to help out, you know?

The other thing is that when I take a dog outside, I look for the special qualities in each dog.  Dogs are a lot like people, each one is interesting and special.  I try to see if a dog knows commands like “sit” or “stay”.   Some are pretty scared and just want to be held.  Some can catch a ball in mid air, and some float like a cloud on a leash.  I try to take a minute and write a comment about a dog on our volunteer dog feedback forms.  Any information the staff can pass on to potential adopters can help!

Tell us something unique about you:
I like to set single people up.  I have been a pretty good matchmaker in the past!

Where is your favorite place to travel?
Door County, Wisconsin.  It’s the little peninsula that goes into Lake Michigan.  They have beaches, bike riding, cows, and old fashioned Wisconsin supper clubs.  It is so beautiful.

november senior pet month

November 06, 2018

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November is National Adopt A Senior Pet Month, a month dedicated to helping older pets find loving forever homes. If you have been considering adopting a four-legged friend, consider opening your heart and your home to an older dog or cat in need.

While 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 cool advantages:  

  • Older pets don’t require the constant monitoring and training that puppies and kittens do.
  • Many are already house trained.
  • Senior pets are fully grown, which means you know exactly what you are getting and have important information like personality type and grooming requirements, making it easier to choose the perfect pet for your family.

Understanding the personality of an animal is a key part of making the right match for your family as well as the pet you are adopting. Puppies and kittens are still developing their personalities but with a senior dog you will know right away what kind of personality they have. What you see is what you get! Senior pets take the guess work out of questions like “How big will they get”, “What is their energy level like”, “How much training will this pet require?”

When you adopt a senior pet, you’re not only welcoming a lifetime of love into your home, you’re also saving a precious life.  Senior pets have so much love and compassion to share, and they really make wonderful companions. 

Can’t adopt? Consider fostering. It can make all the difference to senior pet in need to be in a home instead of a shelter kennel. Not only is it less stressful on them but you are able to give them the chance to shine and be seen in a way that they otherwise may have been overlooked in a shelter.

Salt Lake County Animal Services has a wonderful program called Senior to Senior where we offer anyone 55 years of age or older adopting an animal 5 year of age or older a FREE adoption! Learn more.

Interested in our foster program? Email to learn how to become a foster parent.

To take a look at the wonderful seniors available for adoption at Salt Lake County Animal Services visit our website or come in and meet them today at 511 W 3900 S.

When you decide to adopt a senior pet and give them the comfort and companionship in their later years you truly become their hero! 

november volunteer 2018

October 31, 2018

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Meet Salt Lake County Animal Services' November Volunteer of the Month: Nymaya Osman! Interested in volunteering find out more

Volunteer Q&A
What brought you to SLCoAS?

I had been volunteering with animals for about 3 years already, before I joined SLCoAS. I was very interested in how our shelter served the county with respect to animal care and control. I was pleased to find that besides animal control, the shelter also does adoptions.

What is your favorite thing about volunteering?
The animals of course! I especially like seeing the joy on the dog’s faces when we take them out of their kennels so that they can roam free for a while.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m a total football junkie and love that it’s currently the NFL regular season. I’m from California so Go Niners and Raiders!

Tell us about your family and fur kiddos:
My closest family is still in California, and I visit them way too often. Unfortunately I have no fur kiddos yet but I continue to try to persuade my mom to get one.

What advice do you have for new SLCoAS volunteers?
The staff at the shelter are so nice. I would encourage anyone to ask for help if needed. Even with almost 5 years of volunteering, I still ask for help when needed.

Do you have a favorite adoption story?
Unfortunately, I don’t know any particular adoption stories. I think that’s credit to SLCoAS for helping these animals find their forever homes so quickly.

Tell us something unique about you:
I will be an international student in Toronto (Canada) really soon. As excited as I am about this, I will be so sad to be leaving SLCoAS. Thank you guys so much for having me. 

Where is your favorite place to travel?
California. My home and happy place.

giving tuesday 2018

October 29, 2018

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Salt Lake County Animal Services will be participating in Giving Tuesday on November 27 but we're going to get a head start on November 1 so we can meet our $10,000 goal! We will be holding a friendly challenge all month to see who can raise more money for our Injured Animal Fund; cat people or dog people.

How you can donate:

1. Visit our ONLINE PORTALand enter in your information.

2. Enter the amount of your donation in our "Injured Animal Fund."

3. In the comments section enter either "cats" or "dogs."

4. Then share your donation with your friends and family and encourage them to donate.

5. Follow our page and event page to find out more about the animals our Injured Animal Fund has helped fix this past year.

6. Then on November 27 stop by one of the party locations and say hello to our staff and help us raise awareness about our PAWESOME programming! See below for more info!

Stay up to date on who's raising more and help us get the word out there to help us improve the lives of hundreds of injured animals every year.

This fundraiser is to help raise much needed funding the Salt Lake County Animal Services -Injured Animal Fund. Hundreds of stray and abandoned animals come into our shelter injured every year and we need your help to care for them.

We will be holding Giving Tuesday events at two locations on November 27 at Bjorns Brew (dogs Rule) and Tinkers Cat Café (cats Rule). We will be having a friendly competition of who can raise more money for the injured animal fund the cat lovers or the dog lovers. Our goal for both the cats and the dogs is $10,000.

Bjorn’s Brew on Nov 27 from 10 AM - 2 PM: Come say Hi to us at Bjorn’s Brew at the 2165 S State Street location. Weather permitting we will have a couple of adoptable dogs looking for their forever homes. Salt Lake County Animal Services will be giving away a dog prize/gift(blanket, collar, treats and a toy) to anyone who donates $50 or more to the Injured Animal Fund. Bjorn’s Brew will give out a free drink to anyone who donates $50 or more and any donations under $50 Bjorn’s Brew will take a $1 off any drink order.

Tinker’s Cat Café on Nov 27 from 10 AM - 2 PM: Come say hi to us at Tinkers Cat Café 302 E 900 S. Salt Lake County Animal Services will be giving away a cat prize(blanket, cat treats and a toy) to anyone who donates $50 or more to the Injured Animal Fund. Tinkers Cate Café will be doing 50% off all drinks for anyone who donates to Salt Lake County Animal Services – Injured Animal Fund. People who donate can get into the cat room for 50% off for an hour from 11AM - 2 PM. 

RoHa Brewing Project on Nov 27 from 5 PM - 8 PM (This is a 21 & Older event): Come out to RoHa Brewing Project30 Kensington Ave, to celebrate Giving Tuesday for drinks, food and opportunity drawings. Anyone who donates $50 or more will receive a dog or cat gift. We will have an opportunity drawing every hour for prizes. Gerlach’s Food Truck will be serving up delicious food for purchase right in the front parking lot of RoHa’s Brewing Project.

Questions? Email 

where are they now regan

October 24, 2018

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PUPDATE from Regan's new family, formerly called Apple Jack!

We adopted "Apple Jack", now Regan, Aug 22th 2015. He had been at a foster home. He was afraid of everything when we brought him home. Carpet, tile, wood, cement, sprinklers. The first night, I slept on the floor at the backdoor and he finally came in & fell asleep. He has come so far. Now he is all over the place and nothing phases him. When my husband is having a rough day, Regan knows and comforts him, so he can sleep. He is our protector and we can't imagine our family without him. He loves watching Jimmy Fallon at night. If he sees you have a phone, he drops to the ground and flips on his back. He loves posing. Our sweet boy. 

I would adopt again if it was a perfect match. 

meowvember 2018

October 23, 2018

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Find your PURR-FECT Friend at Salt Lake County Animal Services during MEOW-VEMBER! It’s a pick your price adoption event! This means you can adopt a cat or kitten for as little as a $1.

All day Friday and Saturday, we will have stationed in the cattery to help you find the purrfect cat for you. While supplies last, we will be giving away goody-bags with treats and toys. Check out our adoptable cats online

Questions? Email

National Pit Bull Awareness Month 2018

September 28, 2018

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National Pit Bull Awareness Month

October is not just about fall, spiced lattes and Halloween, it’s National Pit Bull Awareness month. National Pit Bull Awareness Day is celebrated on the last Saturday of October, though October has also been deemed the month for Pit Bull Awareness.


This year, October 27th, 2018, is officially National Pit Bull Awareness Day and there are events happening all over the country to celebrate and advocate for the American Pit Bull Terrier.


We here at Salt Lake County Animal Services and the Salt Lake County Pit Crew love to advocate, celebrate and educate about “Pit Bulls” every day but we have some extra celebrations planned to celebrate our stout, short haired friends and their guardians this month which will be listed at the bottom.


Pit Bulls are amazing dogs! They are eager to please, affectionate, joy-inducing dogs who have mad athletic skills, huge personalities, big grins and a tail that may as well be driven by a motor.


We believe that behind every good pit bull is a dedicated and outstanding advocate taking every opportunity to show off this incredible breed and help break stereotypes and correct the many myths surrounding these blocky headed friends.


The goal of National Pit Bull Awareness is exactly that- Awareness, so start spreading the love!


Here are a few suggestions:


1. Adopt! For the month of October Salt Lake County Animal Services will have $40 adoptions on all Pit Bull type dogs that are 6 months of age or older.


2. Get involved! Cannot take in a pet of your own? Volunteering and fostering is a wonderful way to make a difference for an animal in need.


3. Post stories and cute pictures on Facebook and tag them #pitbull


4.Are you on Instagram? Search #nationalpitbullawarenessmonth and join in the love.


5.Put an event together yourself. Many shelters need donations. Take a look at our Amazon wish list at


6. Join our Facebook page Salt Lake County Pit Crew. You can see the many dogs looking for adoption, join in on our events and help us spread the word.


Salt Lake County Animal Services will be offering $40 adoptions for our Pit Bulls 6 months of age or older for the month of October! This includes their spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchip!


You can find more information about Dogtober Fest, Prep School for Pit Bulls workshop, Soiree for Strays, Strut Your Mutt, the Free Pit Bull Fix and more on our website www.adoptutahpets .com


We hope you will join us for our scheduled events for National Pit Bull Awareness Month.


october volunteer

September 20, 2018

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Meet Salt Lake County Animal Services' September Volunteer of the Month: Janet Harnsberger! Interested in volunteering find out more.

What brought you to SLCoAS?
I came to volunteer after touring SLCoAS with the University Osher program last winter. 

What is your favorite thing about volunteering?
My favorite thing about volunteering is hearing the cats, especially the ones with the 'feral' markings, cuddle up and start purring. My second favorite thing is to work with such a dedicated cadre of good folks who are saving SO MANY animals' lives.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Since I am retired, all of my time is "spare." I work with Habitat for Humanity sometimes, this year at The Grove in Wyoming. I also went with a bunch of good women to Puerto Rico where we rehabilitated the previously submerged YWCA. Almost every day I do Zumba, and I also work in my garden.

Tell us about your family and fur kiddos:
No fur kiddos, my husband is allergic to animals (but he is otherwise pretty good.) I have three grown sons who live nearby, and a three year old grandson who is my heart's delight.

What advice do you have for new SLCoAS volunteers?
For new volunteers: Dig in! Don't be shy! Don't worry if a cat is in a bad mood - that cat will warm up over time.

Do you have a favorite adoption story?
I don't know any adoption stories - I would love to know more about what happens to the cats. I would also like to know their social and medical stories.

Tell us something unique about you:
Sort of unique about me - I have worked a lot as a physician in Africa and I speak some Swahili.

Where is your favorite place to travel?
Though I have been all over the world, I still think the VERY BEST PLACE for travel is the inter-mountain west.

where are they now soter

August 31, 2018

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Soter (AKA Yukon at the shelter) was adopted from Salt Lake County Animal Services several months ago. We love hearing and seeing how our pets do after they're adopted. 

Here is Soter's update from his hooman:

On November 1, 2017; our beloved Great Dane, Cardea succumbed to aggressive bone cancer. It was a short 7.5 years, but a life full of great adventures. I swore we were done having poochies and would just babysit for friends. On December 22, 2017; I was casually scrolling through Facebook and saw a picture posted by Salt Lake County Animal Services, of a handsome fella by the name of “Yukon.” I immediately thought, “he needs to come home.” I packed up my little nephew and off we drove to meet the cutie. We arrived at Salt Lake County, only to discover he had been moved to Best Friends in Sugarhouse. Off we were again, calling on the way to ensure he was still there and he was. When we walked through the doors, he immediately started scratching at his glass enclosure. It was almost as if he knew we were there to see him. Our “meet and greet” went great!! He was so excited to go for a car ride and even more excited to see so many friends at Petsmart and receive so many new and fun things.

“Yukon” was quickly changed to Soter. In Greek Mythology; Soter is a daimon of safety, preservation, and deliverance from harm. He couldn’t have a more fitting name.

At Soter’s first vet checkup; it was learned that he was most likely a bait dog, was definitely beaten, and his ears were cut/ cropped with scissors. Because he had no history when we adopted him, the vet guessed that he was around 5 years old. We decided that his birthday was 12-22-2012. We will celebrate the day he came to his furrever home as his actual birthday.

Since Soter has been in our family; he has packed on a few lbs, his hair has grown back nicely; almost covering all his scars, and his personality has come out full force. He has quite the smile and loves to show it off! He didn’t seem to know what a blanket, or pillow were and now he loves them. He almost had to be taught how to play with toys and now he runs around with them and throws them to himself. His kid frequently spoils him with new toys and he goes absolutely nuts for them. He loves picking toys out of his toy basket to play with. Dental treats have really helped with the tartar on his teeth and he loves to have his nails filed with a nail file. He sits with his cat brothers for treat time and he fiercely protects them from other doggies. Nobody harasses his kitties, but him. 😊 Soter has made some great new furry friends and is extremely docile (unless his cats are in danger.) He loves to pacify on a few of his toys, so we think he was taken from his Momma too soon.

Soter’s favorite pastimes are napping and cuddling. His favorite treats are Blueberry Greenies. He’s been nicknamed “Meatball” because of his stout size, “Bowling Ball” because he likes to ram into people, and “Turtle” when he rolls onto his back for belly scratches.

I never thought I’d look into rescuing an animal and would absolutely do it again. We are even considering finding a brother, or sister for Soter because cat brothers aren’t so fun to play with. 

responsible dog ownership

August 30, 2018

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Dogs bring many benefits into our lives and to ensure they remain healthy, happy and safe it is important that we are invested in their well-being and the well-being of those around them. If you are thinking of adopting a new dog it is important to take into consideration all the care involved. Their size, energy, medical care and temperament. It is also important to consider your lifestyle and the type of dog that would fit it best.

Owning a dog is not just a privilege-it’s a responsibility.

Some of the basics of pet ownership include:

Regular veterinarian exams, yearly vaccinations, Spaying/Neutering ,training, a good diet, proper identification (IE: Collar, tag and a microchip), keeping your dog safe from the elements, cleaning up your dog’s poop, exercise for their body and mind and keeping your dog leashed in public.

Being a responsible pet owner involves more than assuring your dog is healthy and regularly sees a veterinarian. A mentally and physically stimulated dog will be a happy dog and a wonderful family member. Here are some very basic obedience commands that dogs should learn to help make them good “Canine Citizens."




*Drop it

Not only is this fun for you and your dog to learn together but these can be very helpful tools when you are out in the community. A well-behaved dog is a reflection of his/her owner. It's easy to go online and find videos that will teach you how to train your dog or you can sign up for a basic obedience class with a local trainer. Many dogs end up being surrendered to a shelter because of “behavior” issues, which if the owner would have worked with their dog these “behaviors” could have been curbed.

 There are many local dog friendly hiking trails in Utah, getting your dog out on walks or hikes is healthy for both of you and a healthy dog is a happy dog. If you have had a busy day and did not have the chance to get a walk in, you can play fetch or tug. Pull out a food puzzle at feeding time and exercise their mind.

Socialize your dog to new people, places, things and other dogs. Unsocialized or under socialized dogs can be fearful, anxious and timid and when this is left unchecked it can lead to aggressiveness.

Take care of your dog when they get old. Remember, you will grow old one day too and it is important to go on the difficult journey at the end. Everything is easier for your dog when you are there.

And last but certainly not least Love your dog! Unfortunately, dogs are with us for a relatively short time. Make that time the best it can be for you and your best friend. You have your work, your entertainment and your friends. They only have you.

soiree for strays

August 30, 2018

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soiree for strays

Join Salt Lake County Animal Services and Liz Dranow Photography for our first ever art show, to promote the beauty, joy, and love, many a stray dog has inserted into the heart of their hooman. This is a free event.

Join us for a Soiree for Strays during the monthly Art Stroll in the 9th & 9th neighborhood. Featured Photographer Liz Dranow will have her photos on display to purchase throughout October at The Stockist, located at 875 E 900 S.

All photos are of rescued, and well loved, shelter dogs: all different shapes, sizes and breeds. All proceeds of sales will be donated back to Salt Lake County Animal Services. 

Q & A with photographer, Liz Dranow:

I've been volunteering since January 2015 (no, really!).

What have you learned about taking photos of pets in a shelter environment?
I've learned a few things: 1) some of the dogs with the roughest pasts are some of the sweetest dogs I've met, 2) the volunteers and staff are an amazing group of people and my life is richer for knowing you all (sappy, maybe, but very true), and 3) there is an amazingly supportive group of shelter and rescue photographers from around the world, and the collective efforts of all of these photographers is incredible. It's very fulfilling to know that I'm a part of something that makes such a big impact on the lives of animals around the world.

Favorite dog or photo? 
Oh, hell. There are to many to count. The peanut butter photos are always entertaining - there are times that I have laughed so hard at the faces the dogs make that I can't actually take photos. However, one dog who has always stuck with me is Paisley. She clearly had a rough life - had been bred too much, had scars on her face probably from being a bait dog, and yet she was so regal, and so sweet. She gave me the most gentle kisses, and I was so moved (I still get teary-eyed thinking about it) that a dog with her background of likely knowing nothing but harsh treatment from humans was so amazingly gentle. But overall, I just love every time we get a dog who behaves completely differently than how the staff expects - when they expect a scared dog, and as soon as the dog realizes that this is his/her moment in the spotlight, the dog completely hams it up for the camera. Or when we discover that the dog knows all sorts of tricks or shows a totally different side of his/her personality than what the staff sees in the kennels. I love being a part of bringing out the inner beauty of a dog.

What advice would you give someone trying to take photos of their own pets? 
For anyone taking photos of their own pets, I would strongly urge patience, and keeping it fun. And paying attention to their pet's signals; when a dog (or cat, or bird, or whatever) starts to walk away, put down the camera/phone and go play with your pet. If you keep pushing it, your pet will learn that the camera/phone means nothing fun is going to happen. I also suggest really good snacks.

Find out more about Liz and visit her website:

volunteer of the month ellen grove

August 20, 2018

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Meet Salt Lake County Animal Services' September Volunteer of the Month: Ellen Grove! Interested in volunteering find out more. 

Volunteer Q&A
What brought you to SLCoAS?
I’ve always wanted to volunteer at a shelter, but I have worked full-time and didn’t want to take the extra time away from my own pups. When I retired last fall, I signed up to get a group tour and information session conducted by FACES. I didn’t know previously that SLCoAS was a no-kill shelter and I was really impressed with that and with everything that the shelter has accomplished over the years. I love doing the enrichments for the dogs. The pupsicles are kind of messy to make, but the expressions on their faces when I hand them out makes it worthwhile. When I do this, or aromatherapy, or CLICK for QUIET, it gives me the opportunity to just visit with them for a few minutes.

Tell us about your family and fur kiddos:  I am a retired librarian, so I spend a lot of my free time reading. I also spend time walking and playing with Gunnar, my almost 4-year-old Norwegian Elkhound. I’m a little embarrassed to say that he’s not a rescue, but I became acquainted with this breed when I was in college and always wanted to have one. I’ve had a number of wonderful shelter dogs in the past, who have helped me get through some difficult times. I’ve been married to Don, a retired software engineer, for twelve years. Retirement is new enough for both of us that just spending some time hanging out has been wonderful. Gunnar is happy to have us both at home. We are empty nesters, but I have two kids and five step kids scattered around the country. Our first grandchild is now four months old but lives in Virginia, so we can’t see her nearly as much as we’d like to!

What is one of your favorite adoption stories? I haven’t been volunteering that long, but my favorite adoption story so far has been Bruno (AKA Burger) He was on of the first dogs I met and I fell in love with him. He was always so happy to get attention. I’ve been able to follow him through our volunteer Facebook page, and have been thrilled when he went to foster and ultimately was adopted.

What advice do you have for new SLCoAS volunteers? My advice to volunteers is to try to learn as much as you can through asking questions (everyone’s friendly and grateful for what we do). Take advantage of the behavior seminars; I’ve attended three so far, and have learned a lot to help me understand the shelter dogs and my own dog. 

Tell us something unique about you:  My husband says my laugh is unique! I do try to find humor in situations and this helps me to deal with the sadness. Also, I read 128 books last year and 66 so far this year. 

Where is your favorite place to travel?  I’m very excited to be traveling to Cape Cod this year. I lived there for many years and have not been back in 25 years! Otherwise, most of our travel has been to visit family members (San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Virginia Beach, and Idaho).. In my younger days, I traveled to Russia, France, and the UK. I’m hoping to get back to Europe soon.

national check the chip

August 13, 2018

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August 15th is National Check the Chip Day:

There’s nothing worse than worrying about a pet who has gone missing. It’s losing a loving member of your family and worrying about their wellbeing and whereabouts.

Nationally, 6-8 million cats and dogs enter the shelter system each year. Many of these animals are not stray animals, they are lost and often shelters have no way to reunite them with their owners. One way to prevent this unfortunate fate for your animal is through Microchip Identification.

Microchipping is a quick, safe and simple procedure and causes little discomfort. The benefits of microchipping in terms of identifying a lost animal and reuniting them with their owner far outweigh any minimal, momentary discomfort. Each microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is inserted between the shoulder blades. A registration number that corresponds to information you have provided on file about your pet is coded to the chip. If your pet becomes lost a microchip scanner can read the chip and retrieve the necessary information needed to contact you and get your pet home safely. Think of a microchip as a permanent ID tag that cannot be lost or misplaced.

If you have moved or changed your phone number, it is very important to make sure that you contact your local shelter as well as the microchip company so that it is easily traceable, and your pet can safely be returned home.

If your pet is transferred to a new owner, the new owner must ensure that their contact details are updated to the pet through the microchip company and their local shelter.

Salt Lake County Animal Services is the only municipal shelter in the nation that provides free microchips for all pets served in the community. Over 2,600 pets were returned to their owners in 2017. This was in large part because of their microchip. Both adopted and owned pets that are licensed in our community receive a free microchip in hopes that if they ever get lost, they can be returned to their homes as fast as possible.

In 2017 we microchipped 6,200 animals in our community.

Hopefully your pet will never get lost, but in case it happens, by making sure that your pet has a microchip, you are giving yourself and your pet the best chance of a speedy, happy reunion. Bring your pet into 511 W 3900 S, between 10 AM- 6 PM, Monday – Saturday to get microchipped. 

volunteer of the month lindsey wood

July 30, 2018

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Lindsey Wood is Salt Lake County Animal Services volunteer of the month:

Volunteer Q&A
What brought you to SLCoAS? I came to SLCOAS to be around animals again! Growing up, we had every animal in the book and we were always fostering more, but now that I don’t have any pets I just wanted to be around them again. Dogs were my favorite pets and I missed them! I craved that specific type of bond and affection that can only be found in a dog.

What is your favorite thing about volunteering?  My favorite thing about volunteering is seeing the dogs slowly start to warm up to me. There is nothing more rewarding than when a nervous dog decides that they can trust you and then turns into a cuddly lap dog.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I like to hike, run and paint in my spare time.
Tell us about your family and fur kiddos:  I live with my boyfriend David, and though we don’t have any pets of our own my parents still have plenty. Our family dog Misty just passed away this last year at age 13. She was happy and loving right up until the end. Since then, my moms have rescued an old and quite chubby chihuahua named Gidget who will climb on your chest and demand kisses, and their foster-fail CJ. who’s goofy personality was too much to give up, she just fits in so well. I look forward to the day when David and I buy a house and have dogs of our own. We want a rottweiler and a german shepherd and they shall be named after characters from the lion king.

What advice do you have for new SLCoAS volunteers? My advice to new volunteers is to keep tabs on your own emotions when you are working with the dogs, and to be patient. They can sense if you are nervous or frustrated and they will play on those emotions. Keep a good non-threatening composure and pay attention to the dogs body language and do not push, the dog might need time to warm up to you-- after all you are a stranger.

Tell us something unique about you:  My favorite adoption story is CJ’s. My mom began fostering dogs after Misty passed away and CJ was her first one. CJ’s tail was still healing (the previous owner had kicked her so hard he had broken it) and she was very skittish and had a litter very young. After a few weeks though, her personality slowly began to shine through and we discovered that she was this playful goofball. My mom and her wife could’t let CJ go and so she became their “foster-fail”. The new CJ is a completely different dog who loves attention and playtime and who is afraid of nothing.

Where is your favorite place to travel?  I hate traveling! I don’t like trying to figure out a new place I would rather go to places I know. I do like to go to Bryce, Zions and Yellowstone and would be interesting in going to the Tetons. But traveling in general is a headache.

Interested in volunteering find out more on our Volunteer page or email 

where are they now romeo

June 29, 2018

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Where are they now? Where do shelter pets go on to live after they leave Salt Lake County Animal Services? Our staff and volunteers love these updates! Meet handsome Romeo:

We adopted Romeo (Nickelbee) from your shelter (Salt Lake County Animal Services) in August 2014. From the moment we laid eyes on him we knew he had chosen us. At first Romeo would never let us out of his sight,  but once he knew we weren't going anywhere he settled down. Romeo is the perfect temperament for our family, he mostly thinks he's a lap dog (a 90 pound lap dog) He is always willing to go along with us, whether it's to take the kids to school, pick them up from school, a nice long walk, a hike, or just a quick walk to the gas station, where he expects a jerky stick. If the kids (mostly Joshua) aren't home, you will find him pacing. His favorite activity is laying on the couch watching t.v. with either one of the boys! You will also find him cuddling with our kitty, Gizmo! They are the best of friends.  Everyday I am so grateful to the shelter for introducing us to not only our furry friend, but to the missing piece of our hearts! We cannot imagine our lives without Romeo being by our sides.

-Amanda W.

Check out our current adoptable pets

volunteer of the month tracie harrison

June 29, 2018

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Tracie Harrison is Salt Lake County Animal Services volunteer of the month:

What brought you to SLCoAS?  Roxxy brought me to volunteer. She had been with me for fifteen years, but when her cancer came back I knew it was time to let her go.  Without Roxxy I was a bit lost. She was my by best friend and loyal companion. Since I couldn’t bring myself to bring home another family member, but still had a lot of love to give, I decided to volunteer.  I contacted my local shelter and was told they only had space for two volunteers in their center and no openings for volunteers with them. I looked online and found SLCoAS! I am so happy I did.

What is your favorite thing about volunteering? Playing with the animals of course! Really it is seeing the different personalities of each dog I take out. Do they like to play with a ball? Do they prefer a rope toy or something that makes noise?  It is fun to try and figure out what type of toys or treats they like. I also enjoy feeding the rabbits and looking in the barn to see what new animals come in. I laugh when I think of someone misplacing their goat or chicken. How do these animals become strays anyways?

What do you like to do in your spare time? Wow spare time??? What’s that? I have been in school for the past 6 years. Between school, work, family and volunteering I don’t have a lot of time. Since graduating from the U of U in May, I now get to put away the textbooks and read for fun.  I enjoy reading historical accounts of the Revolutionary War, both World Wars and biographies of our past Presidents.  I enjoy the outdoors and love to garden. I bring in as much produce from my garden for the rabbits to eat. They love my parsley!

Tell us about your family and fur kiddos: Ha, I am an empty nester. I am also an aunt to two nephews a niece and two fur kiddos. One was adopted for the center a few months ago.!

What advice do you have for new SLCoAS volunteers? I would say to ask questions, if you see you want to do more just ask. There are many other opportunities to help in the center.

Do you have a favorite adoption story? I don’t have a favorite adoption story really. I have favorite dogs that I am happy to see get adopted. One was Sage, she was a blue gray pitty that was featured on a prior newsletter. She has such a fun personality and was so playful. Another was Duncan shari-pei mix his wide nose was adorable. He was such a happy boy that seem to struggle while he was at the center for an extended period of time. I was so excited when I saw him moved to a foster home and later adopted. 

Tell us something unique about you: Hand quilting. I don’t have a sewing machine, actually I don’t want one. But I love to sew and make quilts. I love fabric patterns and colors and I get to be a bit of an artist when I am putting them together to make a quilt.

Where is your favorite place to travel? National Parks! Our county is so large and diverse. National Parks are little pockets of spectacular pieces of nature.  I recently took a trip to Glacier National Park to see what was left of the glaciers before they were gone forever. It was beautiful and yet somewhat sad to see the changes that have happened in the past 30 to 40 years. The next park on my list is Yosemite!

Interested in volunteering find out more on our Volunteer page or email 

adopt miss mia

June 15, 2018

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adopt mia

Miss Mia has been with Salt Lake County Animal Services since January 2017. She is currently living in a foster home, but we would love to find her forever home!

Mia is a 3-year-old black Turkish Angora. She is spayed, micro-chipped, and current on vaccines. She would love to live in a home where she is the only animal. She has the most gorgeous black and brown fur, and toe floofs! She is one of our Century Club cats which means she will get free vaccines for life, and a free initial FELV/FIV test.

Belly rubs
Exploring the yard on a leash
Cat naps

Other animals
Chaotic house
That one shirt you own, you know the one!
Being held

A note from Mia’s foster mom Alex: When she is feeling lovey, she will let you know. If she is curled up on the bed and you walk past the door, she’ll call for you to not only pet her, but scratch her belly as she rolls over for you. She doesn’t like being held. She loves laying and sitting on things other than a blanket or carpet. What I mean by that is if there is a piece of paper in the middle of the carpeted floor, that is where she will sit or lay down.

Miss Mia is very quirky and deserves a furr-ever home of her own!
If you or someone you know would like to meet Mia, please email


June 01, 2018

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Kellie Dickamore is our Volunteer of the Month!

Great volunteers like you never want anything in return, but are always ready to do great things out of turn. Thanks for volunteering Kellie!

What brought you to SLCoAS? 7 years ago, there was a Pittie Pride event at the Shelter. I had rescued a pittie puppy from a horrid situation, and knew nothing about pit bulls. I spoke with a staff member at the event while Cesar was getting his vaccines and micro chip. The employee suggested I check out the volunteer program, so that I could work with, and get to know more pit bulls. So, I did. And I am hooked!

What is your favorite thing about volunteering? My favorite part about volunteering is giving back to the one thing that has taught me the most about unconditional love, sacrifice and loyalty. Dogs. I love being able to help give a voice to the voiceless, and to advocate for them. I also love working with the more challenging furkids!

What do you like to do in your spare time? Spare time.. what is that? I love working with my dogs, spending time with my family, being outdoors, reading and listening to great music. 

Tell us about your family and fur kiddos: I am married to the most amazing man, and have 2 bonus kids who stole my heart from day one. And I am going to be a grandma this year! 

My fur kids are many... Cesar is my 1st pittie, then came Rex, Sophie-she’s my husband’s dog through and through. There are also two felines-Cleo and Figaro. 

What advice do you have for new SLCoAS volunteers? Communication is key! If you are unsure of something, speak up and ask! If you see something, say something. And most importantly, volunteer open heartedly. Everyone at County that you will work with, appreciates you, and all are willing to help you succeed 

Do you have a favorite adoption story?I have a lot. Adopting Rex though is at the top of the list. My little shelter pup has taught me more about myself and the world than I ever knew was possible. I am a better human being because of him. 

Tell us something unique about you: I’m pretty average- I love Disney, Tinkerbell especially, and Martial Arts (though I haven’t trained in a while) 

Where is your favorite place to travel? Disney...Disney... the Southern Caribbean is wonderful, and Europe is on my bucket list. 

Interested in volunteering? Find out more on our volunteer page