April 9-15 is Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week, so we wanted to feature one of the ACOs from the Seattle Animal Shelter to recognize the work this team does day in and day out for the Seattle community and its animals. Meet Brandi.

Time & role at SAS
I have been at Seattle Animal Shelter since January 2010 (hard to believe it’s been that long!). I have only been a field officer since being hired, although I have spent a significant amount of time covering in the shelter as we are cross-trained as animal care officers as well.

Animal Connections Through the Years
This is a hard one! I would GUESS 2000+ animals with an average of five/week? Some days you don’t handle any animals as a field officer! Some days you serve a warrant that results in the impound of 45.

Path to Animal Welfare
My life veered into the welfare arena around 2003. I had adopted my third dog from a private rescue and began volunteering as a dog walker. I was a licensed vet technician from 2001-2009 and heavily involved in several rescues at the same time.

Typical Day (if there is such a thing)
As ACOs, our days are all over the place! We do a roll call first thing, then try to catch up on paperwork/reports/phone calls before we need to get out the door to handle ongoing cases and new calls. Some days are slow, most are not. We do a lot of neighbor mediation, assist the police, educate people, investigate cruelty, patrol parks, respond to emergencies, transport SAS animals and the list goes on and on! Each officer is responsible for a geographic area and “on-call” until 18:45. The end of the shift is getting any impounded animals vaccinated and set up comfortably – and lots more paperwork.

Rewards of the Job
The most rewarding part of this job is, hands down, getting an animal out of a bad situation and into a great one!

Memorable Animals
While there have been many memorable animals I have been lucky enough to work with over the years, there is one that stands out the most: a pit bull , whom I called Squirms. She was days from starvation, when we got her impounded. The owner was charged with cruelty. Because of my veterinary background, I got to foster her and had her with me for six months until she passed. Unfortunately, the abuse she had suffered took its toll. It was a heartbreaking experience. I still have her ashes next to my bed.

Pets & Life Outside SAS
I currently have a 12-year-old pit bull (from Hurricane Katrina) named Mason-Dixon and a 1-year-old American Bulldog named Ernie. I brought Mason back from Los Angeles, where I volunteered in 2005. Ernie was just adopted in November from SAS.

Outside of work, I love to garden, see bands, ride my bike and take my dogs out to explore.

The SAS Family
The staff here at SAS is fantastic! It’s a very stressful business to be in, and we all try to treat each other like family. Working at an animal shelter is a very unique experience – the highs are high and the lows are low.