Meet the Sarasota County Animal Services Crew
My name is Kristen Little. My age is a well-kept secret. So well-kept, in fact, that I actually had to do the math one year. Turns out I was younger than I thought I was! By day, I’m the Volunteer/Foster Coordinator at Animal Services and at night, I moonlight as a Vet Tech/Receptionist at a local ER Veterinary Clinic.
In between jobs, I have 2 precious girls that I squeeze in all the hugs and kisses I can gather. On the weekends, we play dress up, do hair and makeup (all pretend of course) and paint nails. Sometimes our nails, sometimes our dog’s nails.
Thankfully, I have a very strong, supportive, understanding husband that cooks amazing dinners for the family. He even saves a plate for me when I get home! He puts up with all the random animals I bring home and has learned it’s best to not ask questions. Sometimes we foster dogs. Sometimes we foster cats. Sometimes we transport dogs to rescues and one time we had a bunny as a house guest for the weekend while we waited for it’s rescue transport to arrive. So he’s pretty amazing!
Our family just moved to Sarasota from Bartow, FL. I had been working the past 3 years as a Veterinary Technician for a clinic up there. The company hubby worked for was “merging positions.” Which basically meant he was going to become unemployed very soon. He started putting in applications everywhere in Polk County and even threw one application down here in Sarasota. I remember telling my manager that it was CRAZY he even did that. There was a 1% chance we’d move is what I said to her. Well, guess where we ended up?
After the move, I began volunteering at Sarasota Sheriff’s Office Animal Services. I couldn’t believe this little shelter had some BIG things going on.
They had volunteer dog walkers, events at PetSmart and a compassionate staff. It was so different from the other shelters I’d volunteered at. I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Not too long after, there was a job opening posted on SarasotaSheriff.Org’s job board. I applied and went through the most rigorous job interview of my life! And now, here I am!
I think the best part of this shelter is the people. From the staff to all our volunteers, everyone really has a heart for the animals. They all have their own unique personalities and each staff member and volunteer does their best to really make these dogs shine.
Sometimes I wonder if their former owners even know what great dogs they’re missing out on! Some of these dogs are strays, some are just lost and here for a short time and some are confiscations- but all of the dogs that are placed into our adoption program are very unique and special. It’s very easy to fall in love here!
The best part is when we can play matchmaker. People or families come into the shelter and our staff or volunteers get to know them. They get to know what their home life is like and then they’ll “match” them with a dog (or cat!). We LOVE hearing stories like, “I would have NEVER picked so & so, but he or she is the BEST pet. We couldn’t imagine life without them.” That never gets old.
I’m looking forward to many more happy endings in the years to come. I hope you’ll join me on my happy endings quest. Come volunteer here, you won’t regret it and the friendships made are worth their weight in gold. Stop by and see me at the Shelter, or call 941-861-9525 to talk about how you can get involved.
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