Humane Society: Animal Control isn’t a dog catcher

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah animal shelters united at the Utah State Capitol Tuesday to meet with legislators for the 2020 Animal Welfare Day. 

Rachel Heatley, Advocacy Director for the Humane Society of Utah says the Humane Society and multiple local animal control services gathered in solidarity to support Animal Control and the work they do. 

Shelter staff, officers and animals from Davis County Animal Care and Control, Heber Valley Animal Shelter, Herriman City Animal Services, Salt Lake County Animal Services, Sandy City Animal Services, Utah Humane Society and West Valley City Animal Services all stood on the South steps of the capitol to show support.  

Officials with the Humane Society say Utah animal shelters and the Utah Humane Society are working to build an Animal Welfare Coalition to support each other through training, transfer partnerships, and the sharing of resources to eliminate animal cruelty. 

Deann Shepherd, Humane Society of Utah Director of Marking and Communications says Utahns can support Animal Control by breaking stereotypes.

She says the best way for all Utahns to join them in supporting Animal Control is to be educated pet owners who are responsible for their pets.

When animals are taken by Animal Control they go to an Animal Control run shelter where they spend a short amount of time before they are reunited with owners or transferred to another shelter.

Many animals not reunited with owners are then taken by the Humane Society to be fostered or adopted out.

Shephard says being responsible and truly caring for your animals supports everyone in the end.

Heatley says the Humane Society doesn’t have the power to investigate animal cruelty cases in the state of Utah. She says they rely on Animal Control to address those cases throughout the state. 

“We know in the community, there is a misconception that Animal Control is the dog catcher. Instead, we want them to be looked at as the public safety officers that they are,” Heatley says. 

She encourages Utahn’s to support their local animal control and recognize they do more then is commonly viewed. 

Humane Society officials say Utah shelters will strive for overall improved animal welfare in legislation and regulation. 

“Our message is to really just make sure you support your local animal control. We want to make sure they get the funding they need, that they have the public support they need because they do the hard work in this state…and we need them to enforce animal cruelty laws.

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