The Washington Humane Society (WHS) wears many hats in advocating for DC animals, including providing superb Animal Care and Control for the city. In this function, WHS employs a dynamic team of 17 individuals: seven officers, four dispatchers, three investigators, one corporal, one sergeant, and one director. Together, they cover all corners of the District, all hours of the day and night, every single day of the year.
On this day, Officer Cindy Velasquez has already been on shift for five hours, and it’s only noon. She heads out the door of the WHS New York Avenue Adoption Center to respond to the next call.
On Newton Street, NE a patron has called about a small kitten hiding under her front porch. Sure enough, the kitten is there, a fact that is obvious from the loud mews. Thankfully, the homeowner is at home and can provide access to the locked enclosure. The itty bitty, hissy kitty is scared and attempts to evade capture, but Officer Velasquez is far too skilled in the art of kitten rescue. Less than five minutes after arrival, the small cat is safely in a carrier inside the vehicle, and Officer Velasquez is in route to the next location in need of her services.
WHS officers like Velasquez are trained to handle any type of animal situation, although the majority involves domestic animals. They are also trained to multi-task, a skill which is very helpful on this day. While on her way to another call, Officer Velasquez drives past a small terrier type dog walking down the sidewalk on a semi-busy street. She pulls over. The timid but friendly dog has no collar, no ID tags, and potentially no home. The dog soon, however, runs up a set of stairs to a seemingly familiar small house. Velasquez follows the dog, to see if this is in fact his home, and finds another dog atop the stairs, a pit bull type puppy. This dog is very skinny and tethered to the porch by a very short leash. While the small terrier stands guard, Velasquez makes a call to the WHS Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) division to report the condition of the puppy. An HLE officer is soon on her way to investigate this situation.