Richmond Animal control officer honored for his kindness

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 6:19 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Daniel Leech is one of the Animal Control Officers at Richmond Animal Care and Control. He says no two days are the same, which is something he prefers, but the job comes with a bit of heartbreak.

Oftentimes, Leech is the one dealing with some of the most horrific cases of animal abuse and neglect.

“With the winter weather recently you could imagine a lot of dogs left outside, chained up and otherwise,” says Leech.

Weeks ago he rescued Mama Hope Elizabeth, a pregnant bulldog abandoned by a Richmond dumpster. She had a bad infection, pneumonia and after surgery, she couldn’t recover and had to be euthanized.

“It’s been a rough week for him, he’s had a lot of rough cases lately,” said Christie Chipps Peters is the Director of RACC.

Other days, Leech gets to save animals and watch the recovery process from start to finish.

“This little bean is called Amelia Fieldmouse by the staff. She was found off of Midlothian Turnpike over towards Chippenham, so if anybody recognizes her please let us know. Hopefully, somebody recognizes her. She’s a super sweetheart. Some sort of Pitbull mix,” says Leech.

It’s an emotional rollercoaster, but Daniel is committed to his job.

“We’re so proud of him in everything that he does and the way he interacts with members of the community, the way he helps the animals in his care, he’s a wonderful asset and we’re happy to have him on our team,” says Chipps-Peters.

Lucia Medek, a volunteer and animal advocate in the community, has worked alongside Leech in various capacities.

She wrote to NBC12 to nominate him for the “Acts of Kindness.” It comes with $300 dollars cash and a $50 dollar gift card to Mexico Restaurant.

“I was talking to a couple of friends to find ways to make sure he knows that we appreciate him. They’re walking up on horrific things. I know it’s got to be tough, and they probably need a little strength and thank you,” says Medek.

Every job can be stressful, but it’s the pain behind the eyes of these abused animals that make it worth it. They can’t speak for themselves, but because of Daniel, and everyone else at RACC they have a second chance.

“We know how wonderful he is and all the good he does out in the community so to have that confirmed by someone else is really wonderful,” says Chipps-Peters.

Daniel doesn’t know what he’ll do with the money just yet, but he’s got plans for the gift card.

“Mexico Restaurant’s queso dip is definitely on the agenda.”

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