Periodically, we’ll introduce you to some of the wonderful staff members at the Seattle Animal Shelter. Today we’re spotlighting Traci Garcia, Licensed Veterinary Technician at the SAS Spay and Neuter Clinic.


Tell us a bit about the personal and career paths that have led you to your current role at the Seattle Animal Shelter.

I graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Zoology. After school I started working at an animal shelter and decided this is what I want to do. I have worked for several animal shelters and spay/neuter clinics in the Puget Sound area and I have been at the Seattle Animal Shelter for the past four years. Last year I began assisting with emergency and disaster relief. My first deployment with American Humane Association was in Moore, Oklahoma last summer after the devastating EF5 tornado. I went out again with American Humane Association last December to assist in caring for 250 of the over 350 Pit Bulls seized in the nation’s second-largest dog fighting bust spanning five states, with help from the FBI, ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States.

What’s a typical day like at your job?

The morning starts with taking in surgery patients—dogs, cats and rabbits for spay and neuter. Once the patients are checked in we begin preparing them for surgery; this includes sedating the patients, clipping and cleaning the surgical site and setting the patient up in the surgery room. After surgery we monitor and recover the patients until they go home that afternoon. In addition to patient care, we clean and do paperwork.

Any specific stories that demonstrate the impact of what you do?

Every animal we spay and neuter prevents an unplanned or unwanted litter from ending up in the Shelter. Many female dogs, cats and rabbits have come into our clinic with severe infections and are near death because they had not been spayed. Once these animals were spayed, they fully recovered and are doing well.

What’s the main thing you’d like the public to know about your department?

Our spay and neuter services are available to anyone living anywhere and there are no income limits. We also have financial assistance available to help with the cost of surgery if one is not able to afford it. We spay and neuter dogs, cats and rabbits.

Any other tips for pet owners and potential adopters in Seattle?

Spay or neuter and microchip your pet! Spayed and neutered pets live longer, healthier, happier lives. And, microchips do work! I have seen many great reunions because animals were microchipped with current registrations.

What’s the most rewarding thing about working at SAS?

I love working at Seattle Animal Shelter! The staff is passionate about the animals and shows it by the care they give the animals in the field, the Shelter and the spay/neuter clinic. I get to be a part of these great pets becoming new family members. That makes my day!

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Some people are resistant to having their pet spayed or neutered. They are afraid their animal’s personality will change. Or they think that if they don’t plan on breeding, then it just isn’t necessary. Some people feel they cannot afford to have their pets spayed or neutered. In fact, we have financial assistance to help with surgery fees, to make it affordable for everyone.

Why should Seattleites support the Seattle Animal Shelter?

The Seattle Animal Shelter is a great place. We have a high adoption rate because of our dedicated staff and volunteers. Our animals are well cared for, socialized, have enrichment and are loved! We have many amazing animals that need loving homes and we have the community support to make that happen.