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Dec 14, 2020

Staff Spotlight: Jessica Emel

Meet Jessica! Jessica is the Shelter Services Lead at the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County. Jessica has always loved helping homeless animals and has been doing this important work for almost 27 years! In fact, her 27th anniversary is in just two days!

Q. What is your role at the shelter?

A. I am the Shelter Services Lead.

Q. How long have you been working at the shelter?

A. I have worked here since Dec 16th, 1993.

Q. Wow, that’s 27 years! So, what made you want to work here?

A. I wanted to work here because I had gotten to know several of the Animal Control officers that would stop by my last job at the North End Vet Clinic. There were no openings at the time, so I volunteered on the behavior help line and helped with cleaning. Seemed like a good group of people that worked here and I wanted to be part of that. And work with animals of course!

Q. What is your favorite part?

A. My favorite part is helping homeless animals. 😉

Q. What does a day in your life at the shelter look like for you?

A. A typical day for me right now starts with checking email when I get in, as I have to shuffle staffing issues if they come up to find coverage for all the animals here.  

For example, today, we had three staff call out sick. That means I have to shuffle things around to ensure we have adequate coverage and the appropriate staff are aware of the shortage. I stock and clean the receiving area and do any secondary assessments on the dogs that need it. I work the receiving desk all day, taking in animals from the public and Animal Control. That means data entry, giving vaccines, intake assessments, setting up animals in cubbies or kennels.  And cleaning… always cleaning…

After we close, I perform the closing duties. I set up any dogs staying the night in our night hold kennels and mop the floor. 

And then I come back the next day and do it all over again!

Q. Any special stories you’d like to share?

A. I have many silly stories and “I can’t believe that happened” stories, but I must say the most special one for me is a cute pit mix dog that caught my heart years ago. She stayed her whole stray hold period with no owner coming in for her. She waited two more days for an owner or new home, but no luck. I decided I couldn’t stand her being here one more day and adopted her!!  Sadie was my bestest furry friend for 14 years.

Interested in a career with the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County? Check out job opportunities here. Want to volunteer or foster? Learn more here!

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Volunteer Spotlight
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