For many years, Animal Protection Officers have developed a reputation as dog catchers. Thanks to children’s movies and folklore, residents view Animal Protection Officers with skepticism, perceiving their sole mission to be confiscating dogs and ticketing owners.
Jenna Humphreys is an Animal Protection Officer for the Denver Animal Shelter. She is also an animal lover with a passion for community service and innovation. She and the other Animal Protection Officers at the Denver Animal Shelter are on a mission to foster more positive interactions with the community while still protecting citizens and animals and changing that perception. Jenna’s passion for her job has placed her at the forefront of that transformation. In 2015, Jenna completed her Black Belt training with Denver Peak Academy and submitted a host of innovations aimed at improving the citizen’s experience with Animal Protection Officers.
Officers recently started providing owners who comply with the city’s rules on responsible pet ownership with a bag of donated treats. The officers used to distribute a brochure with the treats at a cost of .53 cents per brochure. Jenna designed new, outreach focused printouts so that citizens know exactly why they are receiving the treats and have a quick checklist for what responsible pet ownership in Denver includes. Jenna’s new handouts are also cheaper to produce and will save the shelter approximately $431.42 per year.
In addition, Jenna worked with a team of officers and staff to develop computer generated warning letters for issues such as leash law violations, excrement violations, and livestock violations. The team included Josh Rolfe, Isaac Ben-Joseph, Katie Kirk, and Myra Villalobos. The team estimated that the new computer generated letters will save officers time, gas, and fleet and ensure citizens receive the notices instead of the current process, which involves officers traveling out multiple times to attempt to deliver the notices in person. Once fully launched, the estimated cost savings for this innovation equal $12,485.
Jenna’s approach to the profession is changing the way our community views animal protection officers. With her citizen-focused innovations, Jenna is showcasing that a love for animals works best when combined with a positive approach to customer service.
In 2015, Jenna adopted Reese, a dog she fell in love with while working at the shelter.
Melissa Wiley manages Denver Peak Academy. Prior to leading the team, she served as a lead analyst for Denver Animal Protection (Denver Animal Shelter) and the Department of Excise and Licenses. She has taught nearly 150 courses on process improvement and data to employees throughout the City and County of Denver, within the private sector, and in local nonprofit organizations. She has been with Denver Peak Academy since 2012. She previously worked for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the United States Department of State. She holds a Master's Degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys playing guitar, yoga, trail running, and leading the Denver Animal Shelter's Jog-a-Dog volunteer program. She lives in a suburb of Denver with her husband Craig. Her mission is to infuse joy into all areas of public service.
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