Unleashed – PAWsitive Stories from Salt Lake County Animal Services
April 09, 2021
April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Month. Salt Lake County Animal Services believes cruelty to animals and humans should be prevented all year long. If you believe an animal is being abused, please contact your local Animal Control to report it. In 2019, Salt Lake County Animal Control Officers responded to 2400 cruelty calls, and an additional 1400 calls in 2020.
How to Report Animal Cruelty
Call your Local Animal Control Dispatch. If you live in Salt Lake County, you can begin by calling Dispatch at 801-840-4000.
Try to gather the following information before submitting a report of animal cruelty:
A concise, written, factual statement of what you observed—giving dates and approximate times whenever possible—to provide to animal control/ law enforcement.
Photographs of the location, the animals in question and the surrounding area. Note: do not put yourself in danger! Do not enter another person's property without permission, and exercise great caution around unfamiliar animals who may be frightened or in pain.
If you can, provide animal control/law enforcement with the names and contact information of other people who have firsthand information about the abusive situation.
It is possible to file an anonymous report, but please consider providing your information. The case is more likely to be pursued when there are credible witnesses willing to stand behind the report and, if necessary, testify in court.
Keep a record of exactly whom you contacted, the date of the contacts, copies of any documents you provided to law enforcement or animal control and the content and outcome of your discussion. If you do not receive a response from the officer assigned to your case within a reasonable length of time, make a polite follow-up call to inquire about the progress of the investigation.
March 29, 2021
Australian cattle dog VS Blue or Red Heeler:
There is no difference, they are the same dog. The term Blue Heeler, Red Heeler, Queensland Heelers or Australian Heelers is a reference to the color of the Australian Cattle Dog. There will always be different temperaments or personalities between individual dogs, but color has nothing to do with it. Now that we have that out of the way let’s talk about this breed of dog.
What Does a Heeler Need:
The heeler was MADE to herd and this is his/her “occupation” and a large part of the personality and temperament. After all, herding cattle is a big job. They are quick thinkers and can be stubborn. They can run fast, they are very agile, can change directions quickly and are tireless workers. While this makes them a wonderful “ranch hand” it can be very challenging for them to be a family dog.
Heelers are very intelligent dogs and are motivated. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation or they will become frustrated. Proper training is a must so that they learn they are not in charge of the “herd” (Pack, or family) but instead a member of it. They would benefit from learning agility, disc or frisbee, hiking, running, or jogging. These are just a few suggestions to help keep your heeler mentally and physically stimulated. They need a “job” to do.
The Australian Cattle Dog is very loyal, loves to herd animals, they are typically good with young kids, you will just need to be aware; they may herd your children, it is after all their “job” and what they are bred to do. (They herd by nipping at the heels, this is where the term Heeler came from). They have a ton on energy, love to play and run and while they love their family due to their loyalty, they can be wary of strangers.
Size & Health:
If you are thinking of adding an Australian cattle dog/heeler to your family make sure you have done your research and that is the breed for you and your lifestyle. They need a lot of exercise (2-3 hours per day) so if you are an outdoors exercise kind of person, they could make a great companion. A walk around the block is not going to do it for this breed. They typically live anywhere from 12-15 years. Males weigh in between 35-45 lbs and are typically 19 inches in height. Females weight ranges from 35-45 lbs and typically 18 inches in height. Due to them being cross bred they can have some potential health problems. Deafness, retinal atrophy, and hip dysplasia. It is important to make sure they don’t get wax buildup in their ears and their teeth are cleaned regularly.
Australian Cattle dogs/Heelers are intelligent, alert, courageous, watchful, reliable, trustworthy dogs who are bred to perform demanding tasks and are loyal to their owners and fiercely protective as a watchdog. They do not tend to be barkers and require ample opportunities for exercise.
FUN FACT: A true Australian Cattle Dog/Heeler is born with and all-white coat. Puppies will begin getting their color quickly and you can see their patterns emerge by 6 weeks.
FUN FACT: They have a dense double coat; they are equipped with an undercoat and overcoat that is water resistant and can keep them dry in the rain, the top layer acts as a wick. They shed the undercoat 1-2 times a year, so they do not require a lot of grooming, just occasional brushing, and bathing.
Origins of the Heeler:
During the early 1800’s British immigrants, who were cattle herders and had immigrated to Australia, found their Smithfield dogs were not holding up to the harsh conditions of the outback. The cattlemen began experimenting with a variety of dogs to come up with the perfect herding dog for the outback. After some failed attempts cattlemen mixed a Dingo (ideal working dog) with a Smooth Highland Collie which became the “Halls Heelers,” cattle men continued to refine the breed and added a Bull Terrier (determined nature), they then added a Dalmatian (affectionate and loyal to its handlers) and then the final piece of the cattle dog puzzle was a Black and Tan Kelpie (Enhanced working ability). This is what is now considered to be the Australian Cattle Dog.
FUN FACT: Bluey is officially the oldest dog ever recorded and verified for The Guinness Record. He lived to be 29 years and 5 months. This would make him 151 in dog years.
March 09, 2021
So, you are considering a husky type of dog? Here at Salt Lake County Animal Services, we are seeing more and more huskies ending up in the shelter, hoping to be adopted. Did you know that they rank 14 of 193 in breed popularity according to the American Kennel Club?
We know this breed is beautiful and they have amazing markings, striking patterns, and eyes that are entrancing, but this is not the reason to pick the dog you are welcoming into your life and home. It is important to pick the breed that is best for you and your lifestyle.
What Does a Husky Need:
A Husky can be a great family dog, but this depends on you!
They need physical activity both to stay in shape, and to be happy. They love to be a part of the family and love their humans, but they do need socialization, training, and leadership.
They LOVE TO RUN!! They often do well with other animals but do have a high prey drive and may chase small animals: small dogs, cats, etc. Some are story tellers and others never sing you their song. They are known for their ability for great escapes because as we mentioned they LOVE TO RUN! They can be a fan of digging and can clear a fence. If not exercised properly they may also take it out on your furniture, door, garden, wall, and more. An obedient husky is an exhausted husky.
Huskies are loyal, intelligent, somewhat independent, outgoing, friendly, active and at times mischievous dogs and they like all breeds are not for every household. Do your research!
We believe a good match for a potential adopter is very important. No matter what breed you are interested in make sure you have done your research and you have the lifestyle and know-how for the dog you are bringing into your home. There are many great dogs looking for their second chance and a wonderful home. Check out our adoptable dogs. Do you have a husky type dog and need some help with their behaviors? Or want to learn more about Huskies? Check out our monthly virtual Snow Dog Squad workshop with Arctic Rescue.
The Origins of the Siberian Husky:
They originated in Siberia and their ancestors were used for hunting that is until another use evolved, and they started teaching them to pull a sled with goods and food over long distances, commonly referred to now as Mushing. Each tribe started breeding its own specific type which eventually evolved into distinct breeds that we now know today as the Alaskan Malamute, the Eskimo, the Samoyed, and the Siberian Husky to name a few.
They became sled dogs because tribes lived inland, and they often depended on the sea for their food source. They needed a way to get the food from the sea to the tribe. This is where the Siberian Husky enters the picture as a sled dog. They are tough enough to carry the weight over a long distance, they are smart, and they are dependable. All attributes needed for this task.
The Siberian Husky is typically medium sized. Their average height is 21-23.5 inches for Males and 20-22 inches for females. This is important to know before adopting to consider if you have the proper space to care for them.
They are quick and light on their feet, they are a working dog who loves a physical challenge and activity. They can be very serious and equally as playful.
Husky’s have an amazing combination of speed, power and endurance, because of this they need a home that will keep them active running, walking, giving them a job to do and providing daily activity to keep them happy and healthy and out of trouble. They have been known to be mischievous when they are bored.
FUN FACT: Did you know Siberian Huskies can run up to 28 mph and up to 150 miles a day when mushing with their pack!!
Siberian Huskies have double coats, it is medium in size and straight. They do require grooming and that is something an owner needs to consider.
FUN FACT: The Huskies tail is abundantly coated and is meant to easily protect its face from snow and wind when it is curled up on the ground. Remember they are accustomed to a lot of cold weather and like snow and cold temperatures.
Their life expectancy is typically 12-14 years on average. Keeping your husky active and engaging in needed physical activity can have a lot to do with this.
February 22, 2021
Celebrate your pets’ favorite activity, and walk them on February 22, 2021 as part of National Walk the Dog Day. Salt Lake County Animal Services wants to remind all pet owners to walk your dog on leash unless you are in a designated off-leash area, with a sign that says dogs can be off-leash. Also, don’t forget those pet-waste bags to clean up after your pup. You don’t want to be a nuisance.
How & Why to Celebrate Walk the Dog Day:
- Take your dog somewhere they’ve never been. They LOVE new smells.
- Join a Virtual 5K or sign up to walk for your favorite rescue through other virtual apps such as WoofTrax.
- Invite a friend and their pup to join you, and pack treats! Who doesn’t love a treat break for good behavior?
- Walking reduces stress and anxiety in both you and your dog!
- A walk everyday is great for your dog’s health, and yours.
For more information about laws regarding walking your pet on leash and cleaning up pet waste, visit the “Laws” section on our website for more information.
February 10, 2021
If you look around the internet hard enough there is a day for everything! Some are just for fun, some are local, and some of them are a really big deal – like WORLD SPAY DAY! World Spay Day is historically celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of February – so this year it is February 23rd. You’re asking yourself, “Who celebrates a day that is all about removing the reproductive organs of pets?” Well, to that we say Salt Lake County Animal Services does, and so should you!
The Doris Day Animal League (yes, that Doris Day) founded Spay Day USA in 1995 as a day to bring attention to the pet overpopulation problem in the United States and also to encourage animal population control by spaying and neutering pets. The movement later spread globally to over 70 countries and is now known as World Spay Day. Animal welfare agencies, rescue organizations, and even veterinarians worldwide celebrate and support World Spay Day as a day of awareness, a day of action, and a day of hope. Hope that someday, with the help of the communities we support and serve, we can bring an end to the euthanasia of healthy and adoptable animals in our nation’s overcrowded shelters.
Here in Utah, we have an amazing animal welfare and rescue community that has been on this mission since 2008. Thirteen years later, Utah is ALMOST a ‘No Kill State’ – the state is only 1% away from it being official! Here at Salt Lake County Animal Services, we have been at or above the ‘No Kill’ metric since 2013. This achievement is due in no small part to the heroic efforts of our amazing veterinary staff. They are here seven days a week, 365 days a year, and every year for the last ELEVEN years our vet staff has averaged over 3,200 spay or neuter surgeries/year. That’s almost 36,000 animals that are not able to reproduce and contribute to community animal and shelter overpopulation!
Imagine how many animals have been spayed and neutered in the last eleven years by other organizations all over the country – that is an unfathomably huge number. But still, every year shelters are being forced to euthanize over ONE MILLION ANIMALS in the United States alone. That number is WAY down from the estimated 2.6 million animals euthanized in 2011.
So how can you help? Every year in the United States 70,000 puppies and kittens are born. Surveys of the pet owning community indicate that almost 60% of those litters are accidental. If we were able to prevent all of those unwanted canine and feline pregnancies, we could prevent over 410,000 puppies and kittens every year! We know that sounds like a huge task, and it is! But, with our community’s help and diligence about getting your owned pets fixed, we are well on our way to a solution to our pet over-population problem. But now you’re thinking “but puppies and kittens are SO CUTE! We can just find homes for all of them, right?” We all wish that were always the case, but with over one million pets still being euthanized in shelters in the United States every year, we’re afraid it’s not.
Even though our shelter and many others in our community are ‘No Kill,’ there is room for improvement. Here’s where you can help – please spay and neuter your pets BEFORE they have a litter! If they’ve already had a litter, let us help you get them fixed before you find them new homes. If you have already fixed your all of your pets, first of all – thank you, consider donating to our Spay & Neuter Fund so that we can continue to help those who need assistance in our community!
So you want to get your pet fixed - where do you start? Check with your veterinarian about getting your pet fixed today! Citizens in Salt Lake County can schedule their pets for spay/neuter surgeries at lower prices with our clinic ONLINE. These spots are for owned pets and licensing is required for animals within our jurisdiction with the spay/neuter appointment. During the appointment, your pet will also be microchipped and vaccinated.
What about the community cats, you ask? Well, community cats in our jurisdiction are getting more attention than ever as well. We have added even more TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) and SNR (Shelter-Neuter-Return) services to our jurisdiction and we are creating a Working Cat Program for cats that come to us and don’t especially want to live in households. We are expanding programs to help other trappers, rescues, and veterinarians in our community too. We realize that if we all work together as a team, we can bring the community cat population down and keep it under control. You can help us with this goal too! If you see community cats in need, please email our Community Cat Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pet overpopulation can be prevented one pet at a time.
Randee Lueker/Rescue & Events Coordinator
February 01, 2021
February is National Cat Health Month. It’s time to celebrate your feline friends and make sure they are happy and healthy! Here are some tips from Salt Lake County Animal Services to help you be a responsible pet parent:
1. Take your cat in for a vet visit
Yearly vet visits are a must for any cat owner. Cats tend to hide their illnesses until it is almost too late for them to recover. Yearly bloodwork and vaccines will help keep your feline friends healthy.
2. Keep your cat active
Cats tend to sleep most of the day but help keep them active by introducing them to new and different types of toys!
3. Prevent obesity
Obesity in cats can lead to other health issues including Diabetes. Ask your veterinarian how much and how often you should be feeding your cat. Keeping your cat active will also help prevent obesity.
4. Cuddle your cat
All cats enjoy “cuddling” in a different way. Some prefer to sit next to you on the couch while others want to always be in your lap. Give your kitties the type of affection they enjoy daily whether its chin scratches, cuddling under a warm blanket, or getting pets while sun bathing!
How Staff Care for Cats at the Shelter
At Salt Lake County Animal Services we monitor our cats closely and help keep them happy and healthy while they are waiting to find their furr-ever homes.
Every cat that comes into the shelter as a stray are examined by our Animal Care Specialists during the intake process. They are all weighed, vaccinated, and checked for a microchip. If any medical concerns are seen our veterinarians are notified.
Cats are monitored daily for the amount of food/water they are eating/drinking, their behavior, and urination/defecation. All senior cats have bloodwork sent to the lab after they are off of their stray hold.
All of our cats get fresh food and water a few times a day, different enrichment activities to keep their brains busy, and an extra designated afternoon nap time to keep them refreshed for visits with potential adopters. If you're interested in adopting check out our adoptable pets or if you would like to foster a cat, find out more about our foster program.
January 29, 2021
Salt Lake County Animal Services is excited to announce its 2nd Annual Cutest Couple Contest! By couple we mean, you and your pet. Anyone who would like to participate is welcome. When the voting begins be sure to tell your friends and family because the "Cutest Couple" will win:
• A 1 night stay for you and your pet at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake City
• $100 Visa gift card
• Personalized Gift Basket for your pet
How To Enter
A $10 donation is required to enter. Please follow the directions below:
1. Go to http://bit.ly/slcocutestcouple
2. Click "Donate" at the top of the page.
2. Enter $10 in the donation amount.
3. Fill out your contact information and submit your donation.
4. Email a photo of you and your pet to email@example.com. 1 photo per entry.
*All submissions are due no later than 5PM February 13th.
Things To Know
The winning couple will be determined by the number of votes.
Voting will be open to the public beginning February 16th at 10AM and will close February 28th at 5PM.
Every $1 counts as 1 vote and you can vote as many times as you want!
The couple with the most votes will win a 1 night stay at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake City (winning pet welcome) and a $100 Visa gift card!
*If there is a tie between couples the winner will then be determined by the number of individual votes.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a fundraiser sponsored by Salt Lake County Animal Services. All funds raised from this event will directly benefit the animals at our shelter.
January 14, 2021
We are sure you have seen the term “Longest Term Resident” posted before when referring to an animal in a shelter. While some animals find new homes quickly, others sit and wait for their turn for months. This does happen from time to time at Salt Lake County Animal Services.
Each animal at the facility, no matter their length of stay, is provided daily enrichments, time outside (for dogs), music, oils, lights out hour (for quiet napping) and time to hang out with staff and volunteers. Enrichments for the dogs rotate daily from a frozen Kong, toys toys in their kennel, a food puzzle, a Nyla bone, etc. The cats receive lick mats, toys, and lots of treats. Each day both dogs and cats have a music hour, diffused oils and more.
These are essential components to help the animals in our care and are meant to provide enrichment short term while they are with us, but what happens when you have a “Long Term Resident” one that ends up being in the shelter for months, how do you help keep their minds active, and help them thrive in the kennel they call “home.”
This is the story of Dollar; he is one of many that have become “Long Term Residents” at the shelter. Dollar was found as a stray and brought into our facility March 17th, 2020, literally the week the world shut down. Dollar was scanned and had a microchip. We called the microchip company and the people had moved and changed numbers and did not update any of their information. We had hit a dead end. Dollar waited through the 7-day stray wait period and no one came in to redeem him, so Dollar was assessed and placed up for adoption.
Dollar was very young and handsome and seemed like a candidate for a quick adoption. This was not the case for Dollar, he became a “Long Term Shelter Resident” beginning his strange journey to his forever home.
Dollar was young and in need of manners and did not have great skills with other dogs in the shelter when we first met him. It was the first of the pandemic and staff was focused on trying to place dogs into foster homes as we were not sure what adoptions would like in the coming months. Dollar was one of over 88 animals that was lucky enough to find a foster home.
Dollar’s foster home invested a lot of time and energy into working with him and teaching him better manners and within a couple of months had decided to adopt him. Unfortunately, this is not were the story ends. His adopter had bought a new house and on either side were dogs and people who had breed bias, Dollar is a Staffordshire Terrier (AKA: a “Pit Bull”) after much consideration and knowing that the odds may largely be stacked against them in their new neighborhood, they returned Dollar.
Dollar then waited and waited for someone to make him a part of their family.
While Dollar waited, he was growing up in the shelter and the staff became his family and as such began teaching and training Dollar. Dollar needed daily enrichments to help him work his mind and keep him busy. Staff members created a training plan for him to help him learn how to walk on a Halti properly, basic manners and to be muzzle trained. He excelled with all his training and high fives were his favorite command to give.
Dollar had been advertised on social media many times and had developed a fan club of sorts, people who loved him and wanted to see him succeed but unfortunately could not adopt him themselves. Just like many times before we listed Dollar on social media, but this time let people know that Dollar had been in the shelter nearly 200 days and that was far too long to live in the shelter. This day, this post, it went VIRAL! It was all over the internet. Over 3.000 shares. One of the shares went onto a page of a person who stepped forward and claimed to be Dollars owner after 7 months in the shelter.
Remember we told you he was microchipped? They never updated their information when they moved so we were never able to contact them and let them know he had ended up at the shelter.
After 7 months and very long conversations, Dollar was heading home. Unfortunately, this is not the end of the story. After 3 weeks back in the care of his previous owners they contacted us and said they were not capable of taking care of Dollar and wanted to return him. While we were very sad to hear this, we were grateful that they had reached out to us.
Dollar was a part of our family and we had grown to love him and had invested a lot of time and training into him. Once again Dollar was looking for a home that could meet his needs and want to make him a part of their life. After all he had been through, we had to become very strict about the person who would come in to meet him.
Poor Dollar had become a “Long Term Resident” and had a lot of cards stacked against him for adoption. He was not the perfect fit into any home, and that is sometimes very hard for people to understand, and for adopters to understand why it is that organizations have the rules they do. As an organization we always want what is the best for the animals in our care and the potential adopters who will be welcoming them into their family. We knew that Dollar’s time would come, he would find that perfect fit. In the meantime, we continued our trainings with him.
On December 4th, 2020, Dollar met his person, the one who took to heart each thing we knew about Dollar, the one who understood he is a great boy who will still need structure, training, and dedication, the one who came in and fell in love with Dollar and all he had to give. 262 days after he first came into the shelter, Dollar found his forever home. We have received updates and his new dad loves him, is committed to continued Dollar’s training and we are happy to see that he is succeeding in his new home.
Long Term Shelter residents are not always common to find in a shelter, but it does happen and thanks to dedicated staff, volunteers, and a supportive community, it’s why dogs like Dollar have a happy ending.
If you would like to learn more about our enrichment program and the items needed please look at our wish list.
If you are interested in volunteering please email: email@example.com for more information
If you are interested in fostering please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
If you are interested in adopting, please visit our Adoptable Pets page to see our available animals.
January 11, 2021
We would like to take a moment and celebrate one of our cat adoptions from 2020. Often at Salt Lake County Animal Services, a pet will enter our shelter after their owner passes away. This is what happened in Dashielle’s case.
In May of 2020, Dashielle, an 11-year-old, neutered male, arrived at the shelter after his owner passed away. Upon examination, Dashielle needed quite a bit of medical care for kidneys that were not fully functioning, and a dental to clean his teeth.
Dashielle spent 5 months in the shelter waiting for his new home until he was adopted in October 2020. He spent most of his time at the shelter sleeping or hiding from the other cats, but he did enjoy celebrating Halloween at the shelter!
He is now living in a wonderful home where he gets to wear all the sweaters he wants! Dashielle loves going on walks with his harness, cuddling with his dog siblings, and laying out in the sun. He is a very relaxed happy cat.
Thank you to Dashielle’s adopter for giving this boy a second life in a new home. If you’re interested in adopting a senior pet (over 5-years-old), and you are over the age of 55, we will waive the adoption fee as part of our Senior to Senior program. Senior pets often have a lot of life left in them and will make great companions.