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Occupation: I am Newtown’s municipal animal control officer. I have always loved animals. I worked part-time on weekends at the old pound, then I was hired for kennel. When there was an opening for this position, one of the sergeants saw my potential and knew I could do the job, so he offered it to me. In total, I have been here for about 12 years. I am devoted to this job 100 percent, and I want to do it the best I can. We do law enforcement, but we also are an organization that helps a lot of animals and people. We are invested in our animals and get to know them. We do a lot for the wildlife, too. For anyone who needs advice, we are a good resource.
Family: I have a daughter, Melissa, who’s a police officer. She just bought a house in Southbury. My son, Anthony, is a construction worker and owns a dumpster business. He just built his house in Newtown. I’m thrilled about that. My husband, Charlie, is semiretired. We’ve been married since 1982, so 34 years. I have a wonderful family; they are very supportive.
Pets: I have a few favorite animals at work who are going to stay here for no fault of their own. Russell is boxer-mix and Winston is a Jack Russell. Both are about 12 years old. I’ve had Winston since 2009, and he gets walked 95 percent of the time by me. Misty is about 8 years old and has been through a lot. She’s my office buddy. I consider them my pets. At home I have two dogs; Abby the Jack Russell and Wiggles, who was born at the pound in November of 2004. I have six cats and all of them were from the pound. Also, I have two roosters, a bunny, and a chicken.
How long have you lived in Newtown? My parents bought the lot here and built the house in 1977. I’m originally from Trumbull, but moved here with my family after I graduated high school. I decided to raise my kids here, because I love Newtown. I have been very happy here, and it is a great family-oriented town.
What do you like to do in your free time? I like to cook a lot of Mexican food like fajitas and tacos. I really like to relax, since I do a lot during the day. I like to spend time with my family.
Do you have a favorite book? I enjoy reading recipe cookbooks. I like reading books from Food Network stars like Giada and Barefoot Contessa.
What is your favorite travel destination? I love to travel. I really like Aruba, and I’ve been to a lot of the islands. I’d like to see more of the United States and go to California next. Another place I’d like to go is Sturgis [South Dakota], and I want to see Mount Rushmore.
What is the best thing about Newtown? Newtown is home to me. I raised my kids here and there are a lot of people who I know. One thing that I adore about the people is that they are very supportive with the animals. We are very fortunate.
Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My family. They are all so supportive. I’m proud of my kids. I’m amazed by them. They’re great kids. I feel blessed with them.
If you could spend the day with anyone, who would you choose and why? When you’ve experienced life, you want to spend time with somebody who has really made an impact. I would say my family. Every year we go to Wildwood, New Jersey, and that is our fun place. We can drive, sit on the beach, and relax. It’s the highlight of the year so I’d always choose to do that.
What is your favorite TV show? I try to watch things that are happy in life. I can watch the Food Network channel all day. I like Chopped.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever received? Have a better outlook; look at more of the positive than the negative. My son Anthony told me that.