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The City Journals

Dog and cat adoptions all the rage at the WVC-Taylorsville Animal Shelter

Jul 13, 2020 01:39PM ● By Carl Fauver

By Carl Fauver | [email protected]

There’s no two ways about it, the West Valley City-Taylorsville Animal Services Shelter (4522 West 3500 South) is often bucking the trend, zigging when others are zagging, as it were. 

About a year ago, the economy was purring along and life was full of positive news. Taylorsville City Council meetings were never controversial. Well, make that almost never. About that time, one council meeting was filled with 50 or more advocates who were not happy with some of the practices at the animal shelter.

That was about the time Animal Services Director Maranda Weathermon moved from Wyoming to assume her post. She may not have smelled the boiling tar or witnessed the chicken plucking, but somewhere it was happening.

However, within weeks Weathermon was turning heads and building community alliances. Soon, the animal activists were on board, city council members were pleased and it was back to “no pet news is good pet news.”

Then along came coronavirus. And now, while virtually every bit of the news we hear is not good, the once-beleaguered animal shelter is making positive headlines. Weathermon and her staff just can’t seem to get in step.

Salt Lake television news teams recently reported the innovative ways animal services is continuing to adopt out pets during the pandemic. Using social media and online adoptions, the WVC-Taylorsville shelter has been so successful that it had to scour the entire state and beyond to locate more stray dogs to adopt out.  

“We took in dogs from the Humane Society, Best Friends Sanctuary in Kanab, even animals from Wendover and Page, Arizona,” Weathermon said. “Our online adoptions were going so well that we were able to help these groups get their animals into homes as well. South Jordan and West Jordan also gave us dogs to adopt out. It has been very successful.”

Additionally, the reputation makeover at the animal shelter is also leading to unprecedented donations from the public. During the pandemic lockdown, many people have donated to something the shelter is calling “Operation Food Drop.”

“My entire shelter garage was full of dog and cat food, and kitty litter, from hundreds of donors,” Weathermon said. “We started asking for donations when so many people were losing their jobs. People can apply online, and we drop the pet food off on their porch.”

Anyone needing a pet food donation should apply at wvcpets.com.

WVC-Taylorsville Animal Services now employs 19 people. It needs two more part-time kennel technicians, but a West Valley City hiring freeze during the pandemic has those hirings on hold.

Now, exactly a year into her “new” post, Weathermon believes it is going well.

“Both jurisdictions (Taylorsville and West Valley City) are being very receptive to the changes we are implementing,” she said. “The staff here has been great. They are sharing the vision for what we want to do at the shelter, moving forward. Residents seem to be pleased as well.”

Now, what to do with those hardened tubs of tar and bags of feathers?