Recognizing Animal Services for National Animal Care Appreciation Week

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – National Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week runs April 10-16, a time to recognize the many contributions of animal service officers, shelter and office staff, and volunteers of El Dorado County.

“Working and volunteering in animal services requires a strong passion for helping animals and serving others,” said Henry Brzezinski, director of animal services for El Dorado County. “The work can be tough at times, but we all love what we do. Our county is very grateful to our dedicated staff and volunteers.

According to Brzezinski, the work of animal services takes place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of weather conditions. Officers respond to day-to-day animal care and control needs and can also be called in at any time to respond to emergency situations.

“Our officers actively respond to emergencies such as wildfires,” Brzezinski said. “We work side-by-side with other emergency responders to ensure animal safety and to reunite lost and frightened animals with their owners. Animal services regularly coordinate with community partners such as local fire departments, search and rescue teams, the sheriff’s emergency services office, animal protection groups and others.

Animal services also respond to situations where pets may be neglected, abused or starved; and situations where a rabid dog or wild animal may have bitten someone.

“In every situation, our first concern is the safety of residents and animals,” Brzezinski said. “We educate and collaborate with citizens on proper pet care at every opportunity.”

In addition to field services and emergency services, Animal Services also operates two animal shelters in the county; one in Diamond Springs and one in South Lake Tahoe. Animal services take in abandoned and stray dogs, cats, livestock and other pets from roads and other areas; reunites lost pets with their owners; and arranges for the adoption of unwanted animals into their forever homes.

Animal Services support staff care for all animals located at each county animal shelter and coordinate adoptions. A team of dedicated volunteers assist the shelter staff with tasks such as welcoming kittens, walking dogs at the shelter, helping with livestock care, taking photos of adoptable animals so photos can be posted online and found by potential adopters, and more.

“In a small, rural county like El Dorado, we are very fortunate to have such great staff and volunteers, as well as our close partnerships with other agencies,” Brzezinski said. “I want to thank from the bottom of my heart all those people who work alongside us every day to ensure the safety and well-being of the people and animals of our county.”

El Dorado County Animal Services’ two facilities are located at 6435 Capitol Avenue in Diamond Springs and 1120 Shakori Drive in South Lake Tahoe. The refuges are open by appointment from Monday to Saturday.

For more information, call 530-573-7925 in South Lake Tahoe, or visit

Source: El Dorado County

Staff at the South Lake Tahoe office include Animal Services Officer Supervisor Joe Avalos, (left to right) Shelter Attendant Susan Baumflek and Animal Services Officer II Kim Lusby.

Boyd S. Abbott