Randy Covey, manager of Washington County Animal Services and the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter, was recently recognized for his significant achievements in animal welfare with a Lifetime Contribution Award. This award was presented by the Oregon Animal Control Council (OACC) at their annual awards banquet on September 14 at the Spirit Mountain Casino & Conference Center in Grand Ronde.
OACC’s Lifetime Contribution Award honors those who have significantly influenced the quality of animals’ lives through long-term personal and professional commitment and dedication to the field of animal welfare. This award is not presented every year. Rather, it is intended to be a special honor for those whose career and positive influence expand beyond the organization’s other established awards.
Covey is a nationally recognized expert in both animal welfare issues and in training field officers who enforce animal-related codes and laws. He joined Washington County Animal Services as an officer in 2010, was promoted to the division’s field services supervisor position in 2012, and was then promoted to manager in 2017. Previous roles include nearly a decade as a special agent investigating animal abuse and neglect with the Oregon Humane Society and time as the director of Disaster Services with the Humane Society of the United States, where he supervised a national staff who responded to more than 40 large-scale disasters.
Upon receiving the award, a very surprised Covey said, "It's nice to be recognized, but I don't do this work for myself or the recognition. I do it because animal welfare is an important aspect of our society. Any success I've had is due to the many dedicated and talented professionals I've had the honor and privilege to work with over the course of my ongoing career."
The mission of the OACC is to improve and promote professionalism within the field of animal control while exercising justice and equality in the enforcement of animal control laws. Membership is open to individuals and agencies focused on animal welfare throughout Oregon.
Although OACC uses the words “animal control” as a broad term for those that provide services related to animals, Washington County Animal Services uses “animal services” to describe the care it provides to the people and pets of Washington County. These services include investigating animal neglect and abuse cases, investigating dog bites and protecting people from dangerous dogs, helping stray and injured pets, licensing dogs, and more.
Washington County Animal Services also took home awards for Animal Control/Welfare Agency of the Year, Animal Control Officer of the Year (Kelly Bowie, Animal Services Officer II), and Shelter Employee of the Year (Sheila Farrin, Animal Shelter Technician II).
Pictured left to right above: Mjere Simantel (director of Washington County Health and Human Services), Kelly Bowie, Sheila Farrin and Randy Covey.