Delivering unexpected and unique experiences is a key part of the live auction at the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation’s Raining Cats and Dogs event. The Seattle Animal Shelter Humane Officer Ride Along is one of those items offered and the lucky winner in 2016 was Pete Segall who took time to share about his experience. Pete and his wife Heather Dolin have been supporters of SASF for years and really enjoy coming to the Raining Cats and Dogs auction year after year and supporting the work of the foundation to benefit the cats, dogs and critters of the Seattle Animal Shelter.

Pete was teamed up with Kevin Mack, SAS Humane Animal Law Enforcement Officer since 2014, for the opportunity to experience first-hand the vital work the team does every day. Officer Mack is one of 11 current officers who work to rescue and keep Seattle’s animals safe.

“Officer Mack provided a very interesting ride along experience as he was so knowledgeable about animals as well as wildlife and was great at sharing that with me,” said Pete Segall, ride along winner. “Plus, I didn’t think I’d get to see a bald eagle in person.”

Before the eagle rescue though, Pete caught up with Officer Mack at SAS to review the call sheet for the day. After prepping the truck, the first assignment was to take a shelter dog to a partnering veterinary clinic for some care. One thing to note here is that with the continuing build out of SAS’ shelter medicine program, thanks to funding from SASF grants, in the future, dogs won’t need transport to outside clinics. And this is because of generous SASF donors.

Next on the list was to do a follow-up visit regarding a bite quarantine. They visited the family where the neighbor’s dog had bit a young boy. Despite repeated guidance not to stick his hand through the fence, the boy did, and he was unfortunately bit as the dog felt the need to protect his yard. They took statements from the parents and neighbors. The parents of the boy felt that it was their son’s fault and not the dog’s. After getting updated statements from both parties, it was time to move onto the next case. But Pete and Officer Mack were rerouted to the View Ridge area of SW Seattle, for what proved to be the most unexpected case of the day: rescuing a majestic bald eagle. For background, a woman was driving and heard a thump against her door and saw what she thought was a bald eagle. Turns out, it was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After arriving on scene, they found crows pestering the stunned eagle on the side of the road. Officer Mack suspected that the eagle was likely tracking prey and was so distracted, he didn’t see the car. Through his past work with PAWS, Officer Mack has extensive experience with bald eagles and returning them to the wild. Pete shared a fun fact he learned from Kevin that male eagles are 30 percent smaller than female eagles. After getting the eagle stabilized, they took him up to PAWS which takes wildlife cases from SAS. Fortunately, he didn’t have serious injuries and was able to be released into the wild after a few days.

“It was a fun experience, especially seeing the inner workings of Humane Officers daily life on the road,” said Pete. ‘’My expectations were surpassed and I learned a lot.” He’d recommend people keep an eye out for the Ride Along experience at the Raining Cats and Dogs auction on October 14.

In addition to supporting SASF, Pete has volunteered since 2009 with another shelter close to his work where he’s part of the adoption support team. He and Heather have also fostered dogs and had their own. After losing their dog Angel at age 18.5, a terrier mix who ran the house, in December 2016, they found their house was too quiet without a dog. They recently adopted an 11-year-old half-blind dog named Porter, a Havanese mix. Pete described him as a sweet guy who’s very smart, acts like a Roomba, is cuddly and just wants to hang out with them. Porter’s previous family had a change in circumstances and had to give him up and through friends and Facebook, he thankfully found his forever home with Pete and Heather. And SASF is thankful to donors like Pete and Heather who are great supporters of the foundation’s work as well as give their time to support shelter and rescue animals.