Meet the Animal Control Officer

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City of Kirkland’s Animal Control Officer – Jennifer Matison

Officer Jennifer Matison was hired as the City of Kirkland’s Animal Control Officer in September 2017. As Animal Control Officer, Jennifer helps return lost pets, and provides enforcement and education for domestic animal concerns for the Kirkland community.  

Officer Matison was born in Spokane and raised in Puyallup, Washington. Her diverse work history and education make her a perfect fit for the Animal Control Officer position. She has worked in the veterinary field as a surgical assistant, has experience as a corrections officer and holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She is deeply passionate about animal welfare and has a keen knack for making fast friends with Kirkland’s population of furry four-legged critters and their humans.

Jennifer loves animals and is excited that her position as the City's Animal Control Officer allows her to combine her passion and work experience in veterinary medicine with her Criminal Justice degree and law enforcement experience. 

The City’s Animal Services Program is part of the Kirkland Police Department and is dedicated to serving Kirkland residents and their four-legged family members. One of the cornerstone benefits of the program is its ability to reunify lost pets with their owners through their pet licenses, which are required by law in Kirkland. The fees from your pet license sustain the Animal Services Program, allowing the City to provide animal control services, animal sheltering and care for strays.

Most importantly, pet licenses provide identification information, allowing us to swiftly reunify lost family pets once they are found.

While Officer Matison’s job gives her a lot of cuddly, puppy time, Animal Services is not always about fluffy, friendly canines and purring felines. In her capacity as ACO she responds to barking dog complaints, bite incidents, dog-on-dog attacks, and reports of aggressive/dangerous dogs displaying vicious tendencies. Additionally, she performs welfare checks, investigating potential cases of animal hoarding and animal neglect/cruelty. These are challenging situations in which Officer Matison must work diligently to balance the needs of the animals with compassion for the circumstances.

Responding to reports of possible cases of hoarding and neglect are fragile encounters in which gaining the trust of the pet owner can be challenging at best. Throughout 2019, Officer Matison responded to multiple incidents of animal hoarding and various cases of animal neglect and abandonment. Kirkland residents who have concerns about potential animal neglect in their neighborhoods should contact Officer Matison using the contact information below.

Watch our Currently Kirkland episode for more information on the Animal Services Program and to meet Animal Control Officer Jennifer Matison.