All over Turlock there are dogs and cats curled up in comfort at their forever homes thanks to the efforts of Turlock Animal Services, which has long been under the helm of Animal Services Supervisor Glena Jackson.
Jackson recently retired after 24 years in law enforcement, most of which has been with animal services, but her efforts to help animals won't be coming to an end.
"I have loved helping all the animals and over the years I have worked with an amazing staff who have become my work family," Jackson said. "It's been a wonderful opportunity."
"If animals could talk, there are thousands that would thank Glena for assisting them with finding them their forever homes," the Turlock Police Department said in a statement upon her retirement. "In Glena’s personnel file are many pictures that citizens sent of adored pets that Glena assisted in finding loving homes. There are multiple thank you cards from people who Glena assisted in locating their missing pets. These letters and photos are a testament to how the community appreciated her service and commitment to the City of Turlock and the Turlock Police Department."
Jackson's career with the Turlock Police Department began in 1997 as a part-time Neighborhood Preservation Technician, which at the time included animal services.
"At the time it was just a six-month assignment, so when I reached the end of six months, I thought I was done, but they said 'you're not going anywhere' and it just snowballed from there," Jackson said.
In November 1999, Jackson became a full-time Animal Control Officer and in July 2003, she was promoted to Senior Animal Control Officer. In 2007, this position was reclassified to the title of Animal Services Supervisor.
During her tenure, Jackson oversaw the remodel of the animal services facility and instituted changes to the licensing program that saw it go from bringing in around $2,000 to $100,000. She also was instrumental in getting the first dog park in Turlock and grant funding for the spay and neuter program and the feral cat program. Under her guidance the shelter went from a high kill designation to a no-kill shelter.
One of Jackson's goals was to find homes for all the animals that came into the shelter and she saw the potential for animal services to reach more people by routinely using social media to showcase the dogs and cats up for adoption and to help reunite lost pets with their owners.
One memorable reunification came in 2017 when Jackson and her staff met Trixie, a Maltese mix who was found wandering in a parking lot in Turlock. Turlock Animal Services was able to use Trixie's microchip to locate her veterinarian and then her owner, Tammy Crews in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The family had last seen Trixie in their yard nearly three years prior and since they had never been to Turlock, they suspect she was dognapped. The reunion was written about in The Journal and then landed Glena and Trixie in Woman's World magazine.
"Every pet reunification is a win and one of the successes that you hold onto," Jackson said.
During her time with the police department, Jackson was awarded with the Excellence Award in 2001 and in 2010 the Turlock Animal Services was presented with the same award. In 2005, the Animal Services Unit received a teamwork award. This was in recognition of their outstanding effort towards providing the community quality animal control services while struggling with difficult circumstances. In April 2020, Jackson was the City of Turlock’s employee of the month.
Jackson and her family, which includes two dogs and one cat - all rescues - are headed to a new home in Tennessee, where she will spend more time with her 14 grandchildren and her new hobby of hot air ballooning. She also has several children's book ideas about animal shelters and rescue pets that she plans on penning and getting published.
"It's something I've wanted to do for a while and I'm excited to see what happens next," Jackson said.