It’s National Animal Control Officer appreciation week and we are honored to share the stories of our amazing officers! They work tirelessly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to keep the animals of Philadelphia safe from harm.  Whether they are helping cats stuck on roofs or rescuing abandoned dogs, our officers perform their duties with compassion and respect for all living things.  We are proud to call them our coworkers and friends. Thank you for everything you do!

Alberto Reyes

Alberto has been an ACO for over 5 years. His favorite part of being an ACO is saving animals in need that are in unfortunate situations. It makes his day to find out an animal has gotten a home! One of his favorite stories while being an ACO is when he and fellow officer Don Choi rescued a dog from the Philadelphia Zoo who managed to get inside one of the animal enclosures! The lucky dog was later adopted 🙂

Terry Butler

One of our newer officers, Terry has been with us as an ACO for almost 2 years. His favorite part of the job is saving animals lives. One of his favorite stories is when he was able to save a drowning kitten from a sewer. It took almost 45 minutes but was worth it to save the life of the little kitten.

Amanda Moore

Amanda has been an animal control officer for 13 years and 8 months. Her favorite part of being an animal control officer is how different everyday can be, there are so many things to learn and experience day by day. She also loves being able to give animals hope and stop their suffering. It’s hard for her to pick a favorite memory from all of her years being an officers, but some of her most memorable experiences are when a horse was running at large at 52nd and Market street and the time she found a hog (yes, as in oink!) at 6th and Cayuga.

Daniel Rivera

Danny has been an animal control officer for 3 years and 2 weeks. He has so many favorite stories from being an animal control officer. He really likes that when he brings an injured or sick animal to the shelter, the staff works together and tries to find an outcome for the animal. He likes to hear about animals living out their lives after ACO’s save them.

1505239_368795793298182_5863679024955165628_nDon Choi

Don has been an ACO for 7 years. His favorite part of the job is rescuing animals. One of his favorite stories is when he and a partner saved a cat stuck in a hot car engine. The cat, now named Mr. Biscuits, was in pretty bad shape and had severe burns. One of our amazing rescue partners pulled Mr. Biscuits and provided the necessary medical care. Today he is healthy and doing great! You can follow Mr. Biscuits on his very own Facebook page!

Jose Rivera

Jose has been an ACO about 2 years. His favorite part of being an ACO is saving animals, and also to be able to just simply help people. It makes him feel good to be able to help, not just as an animal control officer but as a human being. He likes being able to help the people and animals in Philadelphia. One of his favorite stories since becoming an ACO would have to be when he first started. There had been many calls for a pregnant dog that had been running at large. Four officers went out to the location. After about an hour him and a partner were able to get the dog in an abandoned house. They were able to catch her and her puppies and they all went to one of our rescue partners. This is when he realized he had found his true calling!

Steven Morales

Steven has been an animal control officer for 1.5 years. His favorite part of being an animal control officer is rescuing animals that are in trouble (stranded, tied up, hurt, badly injured or lost). Also it is exciting! Everyday is an adventure and you have to be prepared for anything. He also loves getting to meet a lot of really cool people. He has a lot of favorite stories but one of the best would be when his partner convinced him to climb a 50 ft fire engine ladder in the middle of Frankford Ave to save a cat from the el train track bridge. He was at the very top of the ladder and it was swaying left and right. It was scary at first, but it has since helped become more comfortable with climbing high ladders.

Joselito Morales

Joselito has been an officer for 5 years. His favorite part of being an officer is having the chance to rescue an animal in distress at any given time and place. One of his favorite stories would have to be the time he and a partner carried a ladder for about 20 minutes through a trail to get to an injured hawk. The hawk had a talon stuck in a wedge in a tree and could not get it out. The bird was rescued and taken to a wildlife rehabilitation clinic for treatment and eventual release to the wild.

Dion Henry

Dion has been an officer for 12 years. His favorite part of being an ACO is the opportunity to help owners keep their animals by giving them different resources such as the pet food pantry.  Dion loves seeing the smile on their faces when they learn they can keep their pet.  He also likes educating  people who feed stray cats about our spay and neuter programs, it seems to give them hope. One of his favorite stories from being an officer would be a couple of times throughout the years that he would get a call about an injured animal, mainly dogs or cats, and then the member of the public decides to take responsibility for caring for the injured animal. He has seen dogs with possible broken legs, mange or cats with bad burns and dermatitis. It makes him feel good as an officer to see that the public still cares just as much as he does.

Kenneth Atwood

Ken has been an officer for 22 years! His favorite part of being an ACO is being able to see the smile’s on an owners face when their lost animals are found because an ACO has located or rescued the animal. One of his favorite stories is when him and 2 other officers were trying to catch an all black pit bull running inside of a soccer field in South Philly. They were all trying to catch the animal in this huge open space and ended up chasing the dog for about 45 -90 minutes. Ken looked up as the dog tried to run by him for the umpteenth time…Ken  tossed his net out and the dog ran right into it! They were able to bring the stray dog to safety at the shelter.

Brian Burgin

Brian has been an officer for 10 years but has been in the animal control business for 18. His favorite part of being an animal control officer is being able to help animals with irresponsible owners. He also likes helping residents of Philadelphia keep their animals whenever possible. One of his favorite stories was when he and a partner had to rescue a cat from 3 stories up. The cat did not want to come down, but they finally got him. Unfortunately the cat was not happy and peed on everyone on the way down!