Faces in the Crowd: Kelsey Harty
An animal services and enforcement officer has a passion for helping, Kelsey Harty considers it an honor to serve the people and animals of Rapid City and Pennington County.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Kelsey Harty has been an animal services and enforcement officer for over 3 years at the Humane Society and says her position doesn’t feel much like work.
Harty says, “It was always a dream to be able to work with and be able to work with animals and not have to work a day in my life — just to enjoy what I’m doing.”
Kelsey grew up in New Underwood with an inherited love for animals.
“There was always a dog and a cat in the house when I was growing up, I grew up around horses, cattle … I was born into it.”
Kelsey says she is excited to go to work everyday and is living her dream.
“Growing up, I always watched that was ASPCA shows on TV about the Houston animal cops and all of those shows and I just always wanted to do this and I just couldn’t imagine doing anything different.”
There are two other officers on staff who deal with everything from a noise complaint to warrants to cruelty investigations. But she says a big aspect of her job is helping not only animals but also people.
“Because I do help a lot of animals, but mainly I’m dealing with people. I’m knocking on doors and talking to animal owners and helping people more than I’m actually helping animals. And by doing that I’m helping the both of them.”
The line of work keeps the officers busy with new challenges and opportunities each day, which Kelsey finds fulfilling.
“We stay very busy — rain, shine, sleet, snow. I mean animals are getting out, animals are in need. We are always there 365, 24/7. We got an on-call officer, where we are always able to help where we are needed.”
She recently held a bite prevention seminar with the U.S. Postal Service letter carriers, informing them on dog awareness and safety. Another component of her job is education.
“We’re not out there to write tickets. We’re not out there to take dogs. We’re not out there to be the bad guy. We’re out there to educate for responsible pet ownership and safe pet ownership.”
Kelsey also promotes getting your pet microchipped and registered, which you can do at a veterinarian office or the humane society.
She also wants to remind people that with the warmer weather approaching, not to leave animals in a car.
The Humane Society of the Black Hills is hosting a Dog Carnival Fundraiser on June 8th.