The People of Animal Control in the City of Gillette

(Gillette, Wyo.) May 7th, the City of Gillette's Animal shelter will be holding a $7 Rabies Clinic. "It's my last one," said Phyllis Jassek, who retires this month after 30 years of service to Gillette, as the supervisor of Animal Control. "I always wanted to work in law enforcement." After seven years as a dispatcher, partly in Dickinson North Dakota, she got tired of shift work with two small children at home, and switched departments. She has a love for animals that translated to joining animal control. "I've always wanted to be on the street, helping people," she told County 17. When she started at the Gillette shelter in 1987, it operated 7 days a week for two hours a day and only had two employees total. The lack of kennel space and resources meant they had to euthanize a lot of dogs. Now, things are different. There are seven staff members, including 3 animal control officers. (Nine, if you count their two resident shelter cats.) And they only euthanize as a last resort, making them a low-kill shelter. "The majority of our animals get adopted," said Jassek. "We just had a man in here today that adopted a dog two years ago. Every year he comes back to visit us, just because he's so happy with the dog. Those are the best parts of the job." Currently at the shelter there were only three dogs in kennels looking for owners. Most are in foster care, if they're old enough. The city of Wright had just sent up two cats that had viciously attacked someone, not wanting to take them in to their facility, and earlier that morning officers had dealt with a dog attack. "You don't have a typical day here," Jassek explained. "Variety is one of the most interesting things about the job." Her biggest piece of advice to pet owners is to constantly check on your pet's restraints. Once a dog finds out it can escape the yard, they'll keep working the fence lines to do it again. Keep your gates closed and locked, your cats indoors (in the city,) and make sure your pets haven't been digging under their enclosures. And one more important piece of general life advice: "Love what you do, and you'll never work a day in your life. That's exactly where I'm at." #county17 #news