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Herriman Journal

Herriman Animal Shelter moves to temporary location, seeks volunteers

Nov 07, 2023 10:40AM ● By Elisa Eames

Animal Services Coordinator Debbie Pederson shows off her vehicle. (Elisa Eames/City Journals)

The City of Herriman is getting a new permanent animal shelter—in about five years. But if all goes as planned, a temporary—albeit long-term—shelter will open in January 2024. Currently, Herriman has only a small transfer station that houses animals for a few hours before reuniting with owners; the facility is not equipped to provide long-term care. 

Prior to 2019, Herriman paid a contract fee to Salt Lake County and received animal services on an as-needed basis. But as the city grew, it became evident that the county’s reactionary approach was no longer working and a service model that included proactive patrol was needed. “Salt Lake County Animal Services wasn’t able to meet our needs…” explained Herriman’s Deputy Chief Cody Stromberg, one of the coordinators for Herriman Animal Services. “There has been a natural evolution in the growth of the city, so the city council created its own animal services that function under the unit of the police department. Our intent was to provide a higher level of service for the money, and this is not possible with larger entities because there are so many service areas.” Another goal was to lessen the distance residents traveled to reunite with animals. Before the split with the county, owners made the trek to Salt Lake to retrieve animals in custody.

Since this departure four years ago, Herriman has maintained an agreement with the city of South Jordan for long-term-stay animals; when an animal needs to stay overnight, Stromberg, Coordinator Debbie Pederson or Sergeant Greg Shaver transfers it to the South Jordan Animal Shelter. Stromberg, Pederson, and Shaver handle all animal-related issues, including recovery, intake, adoption and even criminal investigations into cases of abuse and neglect. “One of our animal services personnel is on patrol every day of the week,” Stromberg said. “We respond to all calls for animal services, including when an animal is seized, such as for a law enforcement issue, and needs to be sheltered while its owner is jailed.” Stromberg’s team also works to educate citizens at community outreach and adoption events, where they hand out informational literature along with dog leashes.

Herriman’s partnership with the South Jordan Animal Shelter is expected to end in December. The city has signed a five-year lease contract for a temporary, no-kill shelter in a warehouse on Porter Rockwell Boulevard.

 “[We will] gather some good data about the city’s sheltering needs in terms of the size and scope of a permanent shelter. We’ll gather data for three years and build for two and be done at the end of five years,” Stromberg said. 

Among the reasons for the move to the new facility are the advantages of local financing and management. “We want to provide service tailored to Herriman with taxes from Herriman, and we want those taxes to stay in Herriman,” Stromberg said. Also, like Herriman, the city of South Jordan has grown, and with the extra burden and traffic added by Herriman, its shelter is reaching capacity. 

“They’ve been great partners, but they need their full capacity now,” Stromberg said. In addition, the city’s agricultural roots create unusual demands that other shelters don’t encounter. “The usual animals are dogs and cats, but here, we have farm animals,” Stromberg said. Sheep, horses, cows and other livestock living within the city present unique sheltering needs. With a chuckle, Stromberg notes that he used to keep a bridle on hand for errant horses. 

The space will provide the equipment necessary for long-term care, essentially functioning as a full shelter, and will also allow the city to capitalize on help from volunteers. Due to the limits of the transfer station, the city has not yet been able to accommodate volunteers, but with the new facility, that is about to change. 

“What will be beneficial in the future is the ability to strengthen that connection with community volunteers and capture some of that desire for involvement,” Stromberg said. “Once the leased facility is open, there will be lots of opportunities for volunteers. It will be a no-kill, adoption placement facility, so we will always be looking for help.” 

There is no specific taxing entity responsible for Animal Services, so operational funding comes from the general fund. The permanent shelter will be part of capital improvements along with roads and stormwater. As Animal Services is impacted by reduced sales, increased costs and critical road projects, economic factors could alter the projected costs. The city council will determine how to prioritize funding for projects over the next five years. City attorney Todd Sheeran is at the helm of efforts to revise and update Herriman’s animal code.

To volunteer or get more information, contact Herriman Animal Services at [email protected]

“It’s an exciting time for the city,” Stromberg said. “Growth is challenging but brings immense opportunities... It’s an exciting project to be part of. We love our animals. They’re part of our lives.” 

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