Animal welfare

A village animal protection officer is ready to save lives

Theresa Touchet was re-leashed to the animal rescue mission last month.

City officials said she has been one of two or three female animal control officers since 1985.

Theresa said she grew up on a farm and was always around animals. This inspired her to enter the world of animal rescue and welfare.

She has 20 years of experience in the animal field, ranging from pet daycare, animal research and animal rescue. Theresa was born in Oklahoma and has lived there several times over the years. Her father was in the Air Force and the family moved away.

She moved to Louisiana in 1992 where her career in animal welfare began. It was in Texas and back in Oklahoma in 2011, where she moved from OKC to Del City and back to the Village, all while caring for animals.

At the Village, Theresa said her job is to take calls with questions and concerns, as well as going out to rescue lost or injured animals. She also focuses on reuniting lost dogs or cats with their owners.

Theresa said finding owners of lost pets is her No. 1 priority. Her favorite part of her job is reuniting pets with their owners.

She also wants to make sure Oklahomans are doing their part to protect their pets.

“My biggest thing is people spaying and neutering their animals because Oklahoma (animal shelters) is so overcrowded,” Theresa said.

She recommends that pet owners have their pets microchipped or have a detailed collar tag with their contact information. This helps make room in shelters for more animals in need who have no home to return to.

“If we can get people to be sterilized and microchipped so we can get them back to their owners, that would be really helpful,” Theresa said. “If people find animals, please take them to the vet to be scanned.”

Due to overcrowding at shelters across Oklahoma, animals for adoption are being airlifted to northern states, she said. Shelters in places like Oregon and Wyoming actually lack adoptable pets and have the space that Oklahoma doesn’t.

The shelter is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call ahead for adoptions and other questions at (405) 751-9518.