(WFXR) — From Sunday, April 11 through Saturday, April 17, communities nationwide — and in southwest and central Virginia — are celebrating National Animal Care and Control Week, honoring the men and women who risk their lives to protect all types of animals, and well as humans impacted by the presence of those animals.
Here are a few localities that voiced their appreciation for their animal control officers this week:
“Daily, our ACO’s devote huge amounts of personal time and resources to serve the public and help our citizens and their animals in their time of need,” the Campbell County Department of Public and Employee Relations wrote. “We both recognize and appreciate them for their continued dedication and commitment to Campbell County’s public safety.”
The Martinsville Police Department recognized Animal Control Police Officer Jayme Clark, saying it’s hard to find another person “with such a passion for taking care of all creatures, both great and small.”
As someone who has spent ore than three years spent as an animal control officer for Pittsylvania County, Pittsylvania County Public Safety says Leslie Fowler has responded to all kinds of interesting calls, including cows stuck in a creek, a horse stuck in a river, and dogs stuck in wells.
“Some people think a lot of our job is just cats and dogs, but it is much more than that,” Fowler said.
For Fowler, officials say the hardest parts of her job are being on call all the time and not taking all the animals home with her…although she did end up adopting “Chief,” a stray dog found in Hurt.
“Your Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officers do much more than what most folks realize, and if you don’t believe it, stop by and see them sometime to get a better understanding of the many things they do to help keep our communities safe for hoomans and fur babies,” the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Monday, April 12.
The Roanoke Police Department extended their appreciation for their “Animal Wardens” on Tuesday, April 13.
“These passionate men and women are dedicated to helping animals in our community, and we commend them for the difficult work they do each and every day,” the department wrote on Facebook.
In the words of the City of Salem Animal Shelter, “we are so thankful to have such wonderful and caring animal control officers. They perform their incredibly difficult job with great care, poise and compassion. THANK YOU for all that you do, for not only the animal shelter, but the community.”