The most rewarding thing about working for animal care and control is the opportunity to help people and animals. Animals touch everyone’s lives and being a resource to assist them and their pets with the many issues that arise helps make safer and happier communities.
Animal shelters are essential services. Our officers must still respond to calls for sick, injured, abused, lost, or dangerous animals. Animal Care & Control Officer Appreciation Week is April 12 – 18, 2020. This week recognizes the courage and compassion officers bring to their job every day. They keep residents and animals safe from harm. Our care center staff must care for the animals in need that have no place to go. We are their refuge.
During COVID-19, DACC has made many changes to its operating practices but continues to meet its core mission. Our dedicated staff are the essential workers that continue to provide critical services.
One silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increase in animal adoptions and fostering because people are adhering to the Safer at Home requirements and can devote time to a new pet. DACC has greatly expanded its fostering program so people can quickly and safely choose a pet to take into their home for a period of time, providing that animal with a calm and nurturing home environment. The joy and companionship brought by these animals are great comforts during this challenging time.
DACC is also here to assist people who are experiencing safe housing issues. Our COLA-HI program provides temporary sheltering for pets belonging to people experiencing homelessness. This allows these individuals to get into safe housing without worrying about their pets. DACC’s Ani-Safe program provides temporary housing to pets belonging to victims of domestic violence. Many victims do not leave abusive situations because domestic violence shelters do not accept pets. They and their pets are forced to continue to endure the abuse. DACC will provide confidential and safe housing for these animals so victims can get the services they need and move into safe living arrangements. In both these scenarios, the pets are later reunited with their owners when they have found permanent safe housing.
As DACC is adapting to the new operating practices created in response to COVID-19 we are learning new and better ways to manage the various services we provide. For example, using appointment systems has greatly improved the customer experience for adopters and owners reclaiming their lost pets. Expanding fostering has brought joy and love to many animals and people. While this is a very difficult time for us all, there will be valuable lessons learned that we can rely on in the future. Just as Hurricane Katrina revolutionized animal rescue during natural disasters, COVID-19 will also be a catalyst for transformational changes in animal sheltering.
You can rest assured that DACC is continuously monitoring the environment to stay current on emerging information, trends, and best practices. We remain open to adapting to any change that can improve our operational practices. We continue to be committed to our mission of helping people and animals. You can rely on us.