The Humane Society of Ventura County is proud to introduce Humane Officer Jenna Utter. Utter was officially sworn in on June 16th by Judge Henry Walsh at the Ventura County Courthouse. A ceremony was later held at the shelter in Ojai where Officer Utter’s badge was presented to her by Director of Investigations Jeff Hoffman, Senior Humane Officer King, and her father, Steven Utter. Utter’s family, Vice President of the Board Sheila Kane McCollum, and the entire HSVC staff were present to celebrate her milestone.
Officer Utter began her journey with the HSVC as an Adoption Counselor in November of 2019. She exhibited all the outstanding qualities necessary to become a Humane Officer and was offered the chance to pursue her passion for animal welfare. Director of Investigations Jeff Hoffman spoke at the ceremony praising Officer Utter’s perseverance and commitment to the welfare of animals in need. “We are thrilled to welcome our newest Humane Officer, Jenna Utter. We are very pleased with her good nature and are confident she will be a great asset to our organization,” said Jeff Hoffman.
To become a Humane Officer, trainees must complete hundreds of hours of training including an 80-hour Animal Law Enforcement Training Academy, an additional 40 hours of advanced officer training, and pass extensive background checks performed by outside agencies. Officers must also complete the 832 PC, pass search and seizure training courses, and receive continuous education through livestock, circus, and animal fighting courses.
Now badged, Officer Utter will continue field training with Senior Officer King where she will be able to investigate cases of animal abuse and neglect. In addition to enforcing California’s anti-animal cruelty and neglect laws, Humane Officers educate the community about responsible pet ownership and offer resources to pet owners in need. Officer Utter has consistently proved her commitment to such duties and continues to represent the HSVC with class, kindness, and pride (pictured above with her family).
“As Humane Officers, we have to be compassionate for not only the animal but for people as well. Jenna has demonstrated the skills necessary to know when an investigation turns into an educational visit or if someone may need a little push in the right direction. I believe Jenna has what it takes to meet this standard and make the Investigations Unit here at HSVC proud,” said Senior Humane Officer King (above).
The HSVC is the only organization in Ventura County to employ Humane Officers. We are ecstatic to add Humane Officer Utter to our team to help fulfill our mission of promoting the safety, welfare, and protection of animals in need. We are also pleased to announce a promotion for Humane Officer King to Senior Humane Officer. “Kendra has proven to be a fine Officer and displays good leadership skills. She has also set up a training program for the Emergency Response Team (ERT) for volunteers to assist with disasters. We are proud of the great work King and Utter provide for the people and animals of Ventura County,” said Jeff Hoffman.
Special shoutout to Gail Mortensen for donating a gorgeous cake to celebrate the occasion!