DOVER, DE – Three years after it was created, the Division of Public Health (DPH) Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) celebrates today the accomplishments of OAW, including those of Director Hetti Brown.
Brown, who will be leaving Dec. 2, 2016 to move to the Midwest, expressed her appreciation to the OAW team and its many supporters. “It has been a privilege to work with such a great group of people,” said Director Brown. “I have also been lucky to work with so many legislators and animal advocates over the years as we created this office. Moving was a difficult decision and I will miss Delaware. I am confident that OAW will remain strong and that DPH will select an accomplished successor.”
A list of OAW accomplishments include:
• Launched the first statewide animal control and cruelty enforcement unit, Delaware Animal Services (DAS), with a centralized case dispatch function. DAS receives, and responds to, more than 1,000 calls per month concerning stray, endangered, or abused animals.
• Created a statewide Lost and Found Pet Registry and licensing database to aid in reuniting owners with lost pets and tracking rabies vaccination and dog licensing records. To learn more, visit AnimalServices.Delaware.gov.
• Reformed the state emergency response and sheltering program for animals affected during disasters, and developed a State Animal Response Team of more than 100 volunteers.
• Implemented several critical updates to the State Spay & Neuter Program, including a statewide campaign with a website (www.FixedandFab.com), online applications and easy payment options, and new grant program offered to non-profit shelter and rescue groups. The number of clients served has doubled since implementation.
• Published regulations and developed an oversight function for the Shelter Standards Law. Now all shelters receive annual inspections and persons conducting euthanasia in shelters are state-certified.
• Developed state training and certification requirements for animal control officers and cruelty investigators.
• Hosted annual Delaware State Spay Days, providing free surgeries and rabies vaccinations to pet owners with low incomes.
• Launched the Second Chance Program, which teaches adjudicated youth how to train and handle sheltered dogs who need behavioral training before transitioning into their new homes
• Successfully advocated for new laws to prohibit animals from being left in vehicles in dangerous temperatures, increase adoption opportunities for animals seized in cruelty investigations, protect outdoor dogs in inclement weather, improve dangerous dog case management for a more fair and equitable process, and prohibit inhumane euthanasia procedures in animal shelters.
“We are so proud of the Office of Animal Welfare and the job done by Hetti Brown the past three years,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “We will miss her skills, work ethic, and expertise. DPH is soon launching a search for her successor as we celebrate the work of the office so far.”
“Hetti has been the architect of so many improvements in animal welfare in the past few years,” said State Senate Pro Tem Patricia Blevins. “Delaware animals are better off because of her and her team. We will miss her.”
Added Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf, “Hetti has dealt with all challenges thrown her way with poise and a deep love of animals and the relationship that people have with them. I am sorry to see her go and grateful for her hard work these past three years as we celebrate OAW’s success.”
OAW offers a variety of programs and services, including:
• Spay and Neuter Services: provides low-cost sterilization and free rabies vaccination to persons receiving public assistance. Residents of Delaware may apply at www.FixedandFab.com.
• Animal Shelter Oversight and Euthanasia Technician Certification: conducts annual inspections of all animal shelters and investigations concerning possible violations of the Shelter Standards Law. To view inspection records or submit a complaint, visit http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/oaw/animalshelterstdsoversight.html.
• Emergency Animal Sheltering and Disaster Response: a team of over 100 volunteers, named the State Animal Response Team, who assist with animal evacuation, emergency sheltering, search and rescue, and veterinary support during emergencies. Learn more about volunteering here.
• Delaware Animal Services, 24-hour Hotline 302-255-4646: provides animal control, rabies control, and cruelty enforcement statewide, administers the state dog licensing program, and manages the state Lost and Found Pet Registry. To learn more about DAS, residents can visit Animal.Services.Delaware.gov.
• Animal Control and Cruelty Agent Certification: regulates training and certification requirements for all persons acting as an Animal Welfare Officer in the state, and conducts training for officers who wish to be certified
• Delaware Animal License plate: the plate sells for a one-time fee of $50, and $35 of each sale is allocated to the Animal Welfare License Plate Fund. Revenue is used to provide spay and neuter surgeries for community cats, low-income pet owners, and to supplement spay and neuter funds for Delaware shelters and rescues.
• And more….
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.