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Animal Lover Becomes an Animal Control Officer

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PLEASANT GROVE, UT (ABC4 UTAH) Her love of animals lead her to law enforcement. Eight years later she is still serving and protecting creatures of all types. 
 
In this week’s Behind the Badge profile – we catch up with Pleasant Grove Animal Control Officer Sandy Sargent. 
 
Dogs, cats, chickens, duck, deer, cattle and coyotes. That is just a partial list of the animals Sandy has dealt with during her career. “We had a bear call up there, I want to say, earlier this summer.”  “We had two sightings of a bear. The first one was not confirmed. The second one is on video.”  But after 8 plus years on the job – Sandy says dogs dominate the calls. “Dogs running at large. Dogs that have gotten onto someone’s property. Dogs that have killed chickens and killed rabbits. Numerous times we are called to emergency rooms and hospitals from a human who has been attacked by a dog.” 
 
Sandy says despite some public perception – she is not just a dog catcher. “People think we hate animals. We are out to hurt animals. We are out to kill animals. That is not the case at all.” In fact, she says most officers love animals and try to serve and protect them. “We get in this job because we do love animals. We are their voice.” And some animals seem to know that. “There’s a dog checking me out over there.” 
 
Sandy was a records clerk at the Pleasant Grove Police Department before becoming the city’s first and only animal control officer. As an animal owner and lover, she takes her job seriously and believes being an animal officer means being an animal advocate. I’ve arrested so many people because of animal cruelty and neglect. As far as emotionally – those get pretty hard.” “I arrested a man for six cases of animal cruelty because he was starving his horses to death.” 
 
But even she admits – some animals never seem to learn. “Believe it or not. Like police officers, we have repeat offenders.” 
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