Unleashed – PAWsitive Stories from Salt Lake County Animal Services
Volunteer of the Month: Janet Harnsberger
Meet Salt Lake County Animal Services' September Volunteer of the Month: Janet Harnsberger! Interested in volunteering find out
you to SLCoAS?
I came to volunteer after touring SLCoAS with the University Osher program last winter.
What is your
favorite thing about volunteering?
My favorite thing about volunteering is hearing the cats, especially the ones with the 'feral' markings, cuddle up and start purring. My second favorite thing is to work with such a dedicated cadre of good folks who are saving SO MANY animals' lives.
What do you
like to do in your spare time?
Since I am retired, all of my time is "spare." I work with Habitat for Humanity sometimes, this year at The Grove in Wyoming. I also went with a bunch of good women to Puerto Rico where we rehabilitated the previously submerged YWCA. Almost every day I do Zumba, and I also work in
Tell us about
your family and fur kiddos:
No fur kiddos, my husband is allergic to animals (but he is otherwise pretty good.) I have three grown sons who live nearby, and a three year old grandson who is my heart's delight.
do you have for new SLCoAS volunteers?
For new volunteers: Dig in! Don't be shy! Don't worry if a cat is in a bad mood - that cat will warm up over time.
Do you have a
favorite adoption story?
I don't know any adoption stories - I would love to know more about what happens to the cats. I would also like to know their social and medical stories.
something unique about you:
Sort of unique about me - I have worked a lot as a physician in Africa and I speak some Swahili.
Where is your
favorite place to travel?
Though I have been all over the world, I still think the VERY BEST PLACE for travel is the inter-mountain west.
Where Are They Now: Soter's Story
Soter (AKA Yukon at the shelter) was adopted from Salt Lake County Animal Services several months ago. We love hearing and seeing how our pets do after they're adopted.
Here is Soter's update from his hooman:
On November 1, 2017; our beloved Great Dane, Cardea
succumbed to aggressive bone cancer. It was a short 7.5 years, but a life full
of great adventures. I swore we were done having poochies and would just
babysit for friends. On December 22, 2017; I was casually scrolling through
Facebook and saw a picture posted by Salt Lake County Animal Services, of a
handsome fella by the name of “Yukon.” I immediately thought, “he needs to come
home.” I packed up my little nephew and off we drove to meet the cutie. We
arrived at Salt Lake County, only to discover he had been moved to Best Friends
in Sugarhouse. Off we were again, calling on the way to ensure he was still there
and he was. When we walked through the doors, he immediately started scratching
at his glass enclosure. It was almost as if he knew we were there to see him.
Our “meet and greet” went great!! He was so excited to go for a car ride and
even more excited to see so many friends at Petsmart and receive so many new
and fun things.
“Yukon” was quickly changed to Soter. In Greek Mythology;
Soter is a daimon of safety, preservation, and deliverance from harm. He
couldn’t have a more fitting name.
At Soter’s first vet checkup; it was learned that he was
most likely a bait dog, was definitely beaten, and his ears were cut/ cropped
with scissors. Because he had no history when we adopted him, the vet guessed
that he was around 5 years old. We decided that his birthday was 12-22-2012. We
will celebrate the day he came to his furrever home as his actual birthday.
Since Soter has been in our family; he has packed on a few
lbs, his hair has grown back nicely; almost covering all his scars, and his
personality has come out full force. He has quite the smile and loves to show
it off! He didn’t seem to know what a blanket, or pillow were and now he loves
them. He almost had to be taught how to play with toys and now he runs around
with them and throws them to himself. His kid frequently spoils him with new
toys and he goes absolutely nuts for them. He loves picking toys out of his toy
basket to play with. Dental treats have really helped with the tartar on his
teeth and he loves to have his nails filed with a nail file. He sits with his
cat brothers for treat time and he fiercely protects them from other doggies.
Nobody harasses his kitties, but him. 😊 Soter has made some
great new furry friends and is extremely docile (unless his cats are in
danger.) He loves to pacify on a few of his toys, so we think he was taken from
his Momma too soon.
Soter’s favorite pastimes are napping and cuddling. His
favorite treats are Blueberry Greenies. He’s been nicknamed “Meatball” because
of his stout size, “Bowling Ball” because he likes to ram into people, and
“Turtle” when he rolls onto his back for belly scratches.
I never thought I’d look into rescuing an animal and would
absolutely do it again. We are even considering finding a brother, or sister
for Soter because cat brothers aren’t so fun to play with.
Responsible Pet Ownership Tips
Dogs bring many benefits into our lives and to ensure they
remain healthy, happy and safe it is important that we are invested in their
well-being and the well-being of those around them. If you are thinking of
adopting a new dog it is important to take into consideration all the care
involved. Their size, energy, medical care and temperament. It is also
important to consider your lifestyle and the type of dog that would fit it
Owning a dog is not just a privilege-it’s a responsibility.
Some of the basics of pet ownership include:
Regular veterinarian exams, yearly vaccinations,
Spaying/Neutering ,training, a good diet, proper identification (IE: Collar,
tag and a microchip), keeping your dog safe from the elements, cleaning up your
dog’s poop, exercise for their body and mind and keeping your dog leashed in
Being a responsible pet owner involves more than assuring
your dog is healthy and regularly sees a veterinarian. A mentally and
physically stimulated dog will be a happy dog and a wonderful family member.
Here are some very basic obedience commands that dogs should learn to help make
them good “Canine Citizens."
Not only is this fun for you and your dog to learn together
but these can be very helpful tools when you are out in the community. A
well-behaved dog is a reflection of his/her owner. It's easy to go online and find videos that will teach you
how to train your dog or you can sign up for a basic obedience class with a
local trainer. Many dogs end up being surrendered to a shelter because of
“behavior” issues, which if the owner would have worked with their dog these
“behaviors” could have been curbed.
There are many local
dog friendly hiking trails in Utah, getting your dog out on walks or hikes is
healthy for both of you and a healthy dog is a happy dog. If you have had a busy day and did not have the chance to
get a walk in, you can play fetch or tug. Pull out a food puzzle at feeding
time and exercise their mind.
Socialize your dog to new people, places, things and other
dogs. Unsocialized or under socialized dogs can be fearful, anxious and timid
and when this is left unchecked it can lead to aggressiveness.
Take care of your dog when they get old. Remember, you will
grow old one day too and it is important to go on the difficult journey at the
end. Everything is easier for your dog when you are there.
And last but certainly not least Love your dog!
Unfortunately, dogs are with us for a relatively short time. Make that time the
best it can be for you and your best friend. You have your work, your
entertainment and your friends. They only have you.
A Soiree for Strays: Art Show
Join Salt Lake County Animal Services and Liz Dranow Photography for our first ever art show, to promote the beauty, joy, and love, many a stray dog has inserted into the heart of their hooman. This is a free event.
Join us for a Soiree for Strays during the monthly Art Stroll in the 9th & 9th neighborhood. Featured Photographer Liz Dranow will have her photos on display to purchase throughout October at The Stockist, located at 875 E 900 S.
All photos are of rescued, and well loved, shelter dogs: all different shapes, sizes and breeds. All proceeds of sales will be donated back to Salt Lake County Animal Services.
Q & A with photographer, Liz Dranow:
I've been volunteering since January 2015 (no, really!).
What have you learned about taking photos of pets in a shelter environment?
I've learned a few things: 1) some of the dogs with the roughest pasts are some of the sweetest dogs I've met, 2) the volunteers and staff are an amazing group of people and my life is richer for knowing you all (sappy, maybe, but very true), and 3) there is an amazingly supportive group of shelter and rescue photographers from around the world, and the collective efforts of all of these photographers is incredible. It's very fulfilling to know that I'm a part of something that makes such a big impact on the lives of animals around the world.
Favorite dog or photo?
Oh, hell. There are to many to count. The peanut butter photos are always entertaining - there are times that I have laughed so hard at the faces the dogs make that I can't actually take photos. However, one dog who has always stuck with me is Paisley. She clearly had a rough life - had been bred too much, had scars on her face probably from being a bait dog, and yet she was so regal, and so sweet. She gave me the most gentle kisses, and I was so moved (I still get teary-eyed thinking about it) that a dog with her background of likely knowing nothing but harsh treatment from humans was so amazingly gentle. But overall, I just love every time we get a dog who behaves completely differently than how the staff expects - when they expect a scared dog, and as soon as the dog realizes that this is his/her moment in the spotlight, the dog completely hams it up for the camera. Or when we discover that the dog knows all sorts of tricks or shows a totally different side of his/her personality than what the staff sees in the kennels. I love being a part of bringing out the inner beauty of a dog.
What advice would you give someone trying to take photos of their own pets?
For anyone taking photos of their own pets, I would strongly urge patience, and keeping it fun. And paying attention to their pet's signals; when a dog (or cat, or bird, or whatever) starts to walk away, put down the camera/phone and go play with your pet. If you keep pushing it, your pet will learn that the camera/phone means nothing fun is going to happen. I also suggest really good snacks.
Find out more about Liz and visit her website: https://www.lizdranowphotography.com/
Volunteer of the Month: Ellen Grove
Meet Salt Lake County Animal Services' September Volunteer of the Month: Ellen Grove! Interested in volunteering find out more.
What brought you to SLCoAS? I’ve always wanted to volunteer at a shelter, but I have worked full-time and didn’t want to take the extra time away from my own pups. When I retired last fall, I signed up to get a group tour and information session conducted by FACES. I didn’t know previously that SLCoAS was a no-kill shelter and I was really impressed with that and with everything that the shelter has accomplished over the years. I love doing the enrichments for the dogs. The pupsicles are kind of messy to make, but the expressions on their faces when I hand them out makes it worthwhile. When I do this, or aromatherapy, or CLICK for QUIET, it gives me the opportunity to just visit with them for a few minutes.
Tell us about your family and fur kiddos: I am a retired librarian, so I spend a lot of my free time reading. I also spend time walking and playing with Gunnar, my almost 4-year-old Norwegian Elkhound. I’m a little embarrassed to say that he’s not a rescue, but I became acquainted with this breed when I was in college and always wanted to have one. I’ve had a number of wonderful shelter dogs in the past, who have helped me get through some difficult times. I’ve been married to Don, a retired software engineer, for twelve years. Retirement is new enough for both of us that just spending some time hanging out has been wonderful.and Gunnar is happy to have us both at home. We are empty nesters, but I have two kids and five step kids scattered around the country. Our first grandchild is now four months old but lives in Virginia, so we can’t see her nearly as much as we’d like to!
What is one of your favorite adoption stories? I haven’t been volunteering that long, but my favorite adoption story so far has been Bruno (AKA Burger) He was on of the first dogs I met and I fell in love with him. He was always so happy to get attention. I’ve been able to follow him through our volunteer Facebook page, and have been thrilled when he went to foster and ultimately was adopted.
What advice do you have for new SLCoAS volunteers? My advice to volunteers is to try to learn as much as you can through asking questions (everyone’s friendly and grateful for what we do). Take advantage of the behavior seminars; I’ve attended three so far, and have learned a lot to help me understand the shelter dogs and my own dog.
Tell us something unique about you: My husband says my laugh is unique! I do try to find humor in situations and this helps me to deal with the sadness. Also, I read 128 books last year and 66 so far this year.
Where is your favorite place to travel? I’m very excited to be traveling to Cape Cod this year. I lived there for many years and have not been back in 25 years! Otherwise, most of our travel has been to visit family members (San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Virginia Beach, and Idaho).. In my younger days, I traveled to Russia, France, and the UK. I’m hoping to get back to Europe soon.