The Iowa City dogcatcher is the new president of the National Animal Control Association. Misha Goodman says they haven’t actually used the term “dogcatcher” since before she started her 24 years in the career. Before coming to Iowa City, she had prior experience in animal-science, and attended an academy in Los Angeles, where she first became an animal-control officer.
And despite the lingering image of the job as one most city workers don’t want, Goodman says it suited her when she chose it. She says she wanted to work with people, but also loved animals and wanted to work with them — so this was a perfect fit. “You have to do both,” she says, as an animal-control officer.
As for the image of the job as a person causing trouble to pet owners, she says that’s not always the case. Often she shows up to help someone whose animal has gotten into danger or is in some kind of trouble, so they’re glad to see her. But there’s the enforcement side with the responsibility to keep both animals and people safe, so, she says, “sometimes people are not happy to see us.” She says she can’t come up with just one from her many stories of animal adventures.
Goodman says as president of the National Animal Control Association she’s out there to do is get information to owners so they can care for their animals better, and the National Animal Control Association gets information and training out to its members. Those include mostly animal-control officers, but also other professionals. She hopes to get more training out to members in parts of the country where they haven’t had it before. She wouldn’t mind improving the image of her profession, too.
It’s seen as a hurtful thing, she says, or someone who’s just out there to take a pet away. She wants to help people with their animals, and help them stay safe around animals that may be dangerous. She wants to tell everyone to be a responsible pet owner and get their animal vaccinated and neutered — and to help their neighbor.