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May 12, 2022

Salt Lake County Wins National Recognition for Volunteer Program

Media Advisory:
May 12, 2022

Contact:  Callista Pearson
Salt Lake County Animal Services
Marketing & Communications Manager

Salt Lake County Wins National Recognition for Volunteer Progra

Salt Lake City, UT – Salt Lake County Animal Services, Hounds Around Town program, has been recognized with the top Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. For the first time ever, a Salt Lake County program, has won “Best in Category,” being called out and recognized, amongst thousands of submissions.

Awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. Some of the most noted categories are children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, and civic engagement. From each category, with entries and programs across the nations, one is selected as Best in Category. NACo recognized Hounds Around Town, as Best in Category for Volunteers. This is the first time Salt Lake County has received this honor and only the second time, on record, for the state of Utah.

Hounds Around Town (HAT) at Salt Lake County Animal Services allows volunteers and fosters to take shelter dogs out on field trips. Field trips can include activities like hiking, walks, car rides, getting puppaccinos, grooming, shopping, or going out to lunch. This program is bringing in community members who cannot commit to taking care of a dog long term, but still want to work with dogs and help get them adopted. More than 50% of the volunteers signing up for Hounds Around Town are people who have never been to Animal Services before. Taking a shelter dog on a walk or hiking is a great way to improve mental health for both the human and the dog.

“Salt Lake County Animal Services is honored to be recognized by NACo for our leading volunteer program, Hounds Around Town. This program wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of our invaluable volunteers that want shelter dogs to have happy days, full of adventures. It would also not be possible without the amazing and innovative employees at Animal Services. We have redefined municipal sheltering in every way and this team would never dream of letting a dog just sit in a kennel when they could be out exploring the world and finding their new home,” said Talia Butler, Division Director.

For more information about this program or for our other volunteer and foster programs at Animal Services, visit or email

Salt Lake County Animal Services adopted a No-Kill philosophy in 2010. Our mission is to provide comprehensive service and care to the animals and humans we assist in our cities and townships.