This week we are celebrating National Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week. I want to take this opportunity to recognize our hard-working and dedicated animal control officers and dispatchers. These are our compassionate first responders who work on the front lines to save the lives of animals out in the community.
Our team of 16 officers and dispatchers, including Officer Greg Murphy, whom I introduced to you a couple of weeks ago, responded to 8,869 service calls last year alone. That includes cruelty investigations, animal abandonment, stray pet calls, deceased animal pick-up and other situations.
If the lost pet doesn’t have identification or an owner cannot be located, the pet is transported to the shelter. There they have an initial stray hold period of five days while we wait to see if an owner will come forward to claim them.
Right now, there are dozens of stray dogs at the shelter whose owners never came for them. These pups — large and small, old and young — are now looking for new homes.
I’d like to introduce you to a few that were brought to the shelter by our caring animal control officers.
- Prince (A507460): On a March evening, we received an urgent call from a good Samaritan who had just seen a dog hit by a large truck. An ACO was immediately dispatched and took the injured dog straight to an emergency vet for overnight care. The dog survived the night and was brought to the shelter the next day. He suffered from a serious fracture to his back leg and, sadly, needed to have the leg amputated. Three-year-old Prince is now on the mend and is ready for a new home.
- Arctic (A507512): On a cold morning before sunrise, two-year-old Arctic was dropped off at the Arcadia Police Station by a good Samaritan. A Pasadena Humane ACO was dispatched to pick up the friendly pup. Artic was overjoyed to see that help had arrived, greeting the officer with lots of excitement and eager howls. No one has come forward to claim this loving dog, and he’s now ready for adoption.
- Charmin (A506821): Charmin was found roaming the streets with another dog. The two pups followed a good Samaritan into her backyard. She searched for the owner by posting on Nextdoor, but no one came forward. Two days later, an ACO brought the dogs into the shelter. Charmin’s friend was quickly adopted, but Charmin has been eagerly waiting for a new home for over two months.
I’m incredibly thankful that our animal control officers were there for these pets when they needed help.
If you are ever in immediate need of assistance with an animal in one of our 11 animal control service areas, please call our animal control dispatch at 626-792-7151.
Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane.
This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on April 14, 2023.