LEAVENWORTH — Teresa Osborne’s busy job as an animal control officer at Leavenworth Animal Control has been the ideal occupation for a woman who describes herself as an animal lover who has a passion for wanting to help people and animals in the community.

This two-year rescuer at Animal Control says it’s hard to estimate how many animals she picks up each week. Every day is different.

Although truly “stray” dogs who live on the streets with no owner are rare, she says that dogs running loose within the city limits are technically considered strays, but the majority of them have owners and somehow become separated from them or have wandered away from their homes to check something out.

“We have no city ordinances regarding cats, however in certain situations such as an injured cat we will pick them up if they are not owned,” Osborne said. “We also pick up a great deal of wildlife, such as opossums, raccoons, snakes, reptiles, pretty much any animal that has wandered somewhere it should not be, such as inside someone’s garage. Or if it has been found wounded.”

Although Animal Control doesn’t pick up stray/feral cats, it does loan traps so that people can catch an animal and take it to the shelter.

“I do believe that the Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society is doing an amazing job with their help in keeping the pet population down,” says Osborne. “They are a wonderful organization that is doing great things for our community.”

Osborne is the proud companion human to three cats, Jazzy, Lulu and BooBoo. She also has a 55-gallon aquarium with neon betas.

“BooBoo came into the shelter with a litter of four with no mama, his siblings all got adopted and he quit eating,” she said. “I was worried about him and decided to bring him home to make sure he was eating. My husband fell in love and I was already won over so we chose to adopt him. He is a big boy now and doing amazing. He stole my heart immediately.”

While capturing animals and transporting them to safety is challenging, for Osborne, witnessing the results of cruelty and neglect is heartbreaking.

“It never gets easier to see any animal suffering,” she said. “But almost all of the animals return home, get adopted or thanks to the wonderful volunteers we have, many also get moved to other rescues.”