As Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week approaches, CATalyst Council would like to acknowledge the incredible individuals who devote their lives to the welfare of animals as well as their communities at large. Animal Care and Control personnel work tirelessly both professionally and personally to protect animals in need, enforce necessary Animal Control laws, and educate the public on proper animal care, and they surely deserve our appreciation for their essential work.
We had the great fortune of speaking with Deputy Director Dan DeSousa of the San Diego Department of Animal Services, who also resides on the board of the National Animal Care and Control Association and recently earned his Certified Animal Welfare Administrator credential.
DeSousa is an open and enthusiastic advocate of feline companionship, having always owned cats himself. In DeSousa’s words, cats are “particular” as to who they like. A dog will like anyone, but it is a special honor to be chosen as the friend of a cat. When DeSousa arrives home, he’s happy to have his dogs running around in excitement, but it is particularly meaningful to him when the cat deems his presence worthy with an affectionate head butt.
As we know, cats are often perceived as inferior companions to dogs, but DeSousa is well aware of the inaccuracy of this. He has two cats at home, one of which is all too happy to sit with the dogs when it comes time for treats. DeSousa can’t take all the credit as he admits his wife trained the cat for this trick, however, we did agree it was more likely the cat was not trained but rather graciously allows such behavior.
According to Dan DeSousa, if a cat loves you and lets you love it, you must be a pretty good person. The fact that DeSousa has been chosen by so many feline friends speaks for itself. We so greatly appreciate his and so many others’ efforts for helpless animals and all members of their communities. The work these individuals do is no small sacrifice, and the significance of it is no small matter.
If you would like to show well deserved appreciation to the Animal Care and Control agencies in your community, visit http://www.nacanet.org/ for ideas in recognizing the superb men and women and the important services they provide. Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week kicks off April 10 and concludes April 16.