This week, Guilford County government put out a press release simply to remind people of the importance and dedication of the people who care for our animal companions and keep them under control.

The release noted that Sunday, April 11, through Saturday, April 17 is National Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week. 

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners has animals on the brain this week.  The agenda for the Thursday April 17 meeting called for the board to honor a retiring police dog and pass a resolution proclaiming April 30, 2021 as National Therapy Animal Day in Guilford County. 

The board also invited several dogs to attend – though COVID-19 is still keeping most of the humans out of commissioners meetings these days.

“This week of appreciation is designed to give recognition to the hard-working men and women of Animal Care and Control,” the press release states.  “Just like other public safety and law enforcement agents, Animal Care and Control personnel are devoted, compassionate people who risk their lives to ensure the safety and care of wild animals, pets and people.”

It went on to remind the public that the workers in the Guilford County Animal Services Department are managing the animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in all kinds of weather.  They also face animal-borne diseases and “very emotionally charged situations.”

Animal control officers have to capture loose animals – sometimes mean and dangerous ones – and they “investigate animal neglect and cruelty, rescue sick or injured animals, provide educational resources to pet owners about ordinances and responsible pet ownership.  The field team also helps reunite lost animals with their owners.”

 Many county residents may not realize it, but animal control staff also regularly assist law enforcement agencies and Emergency Services teams when animals are on the scene.

Guilford County Animal Services Director Jorge Ortega stated in the press release that he’s very thankful for the work his staff does.

“Animal Care and Control personnel rescue helpless animals from situations of abuse, starvation, injury and neglect,” he said.  “While their jobs can be difficult and often thankless, we appreciate their dedication and commitment to helping pets and people.

He said his staff has a difficult job that includes long hours and extended time away from their families.  He added that the field team is always ready to do their and face whatever comes next.

“We thank all of them for the hard work they do in our community each day,” said Ortega. “If you see an officer this week, say “Thank You!”