The hard, yet rewarding, job of El Paso Animal Services animal attendants

2021 Clear the Shelters Category

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Animal attendants at the El Paso Animal Services have their hands full with the shelter constantly filling up with abandoned pets.

As EPAS continues their Clear the Shelters event looking for “furever” homes for many dogs and cats, the people behind the curtain are working hard to make this happen.

Animal attendants are in charge of cleaning the kennels, feeding the animals and making sure they have fresh water. They also provide them with enrichment by taking them out on walks and playdates.

Elizabeth Sanchez,, an attendant at the EPAS, said she loves her job and making a difference, but admits that it is a lot of work and can be stressful at times. Most people don’t get to see the dog’s personalities, she said, when they are exercising and having fun.

“It does stress us out too because we wish we could do a lot more,” she said. “When we take them out, it’s great because we feel like for those 15 or 20 minutes, these dogs are going crazy in the park, running for the balls, they’re playing in the pools and in the kennels. You don’t see that, you just see them sitting there, sad.”

Sanchez said she tries to take the dogs out for walks as much as she can.

One of her favorites is Daria, who has spent nearly a year at the shelter. At the time we interviewed Sanchez, Daria was still looking for a home, but she has since been adopted.

Sanchez said she believes her job is rewarding, especially when one of the dogs she’s been taking care of gets adopted.

“Totally worth it, as stressful as the job is, it’s nice seeing them leave the shelter,” she said.

Michele Anderson, acting marketing and public engagement manager at the EPAS, said since the start of Clear the Shelters campaign, there were about 450 animals that left the shelter.

El Paso Animal Services will be waiving adoption fees until the end of the campaign on Sept. 19.

You can check out available pets for adoption at elpasoanimalservices.org.

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