Our Hometown Hero for this week is Sarah Fallin, Program Coordinator for Orange County Animal Services. For the past 13 years, her love of animals and knack for working with people have made this position her “perfect job.”

“I like my job because it is working with people and animals,” said Fallin. “It is the best combination. However, being a part of seeing our animals go to their forever home is the most rewarding.”

Prior to her work with Animal Services, Fallin worked with people with developmental disabilities for about 25 years. She garnered skills working with people, and she feels these skills are applicable to her position as a program coordinator.

Orange County’s Animals Services Center operates both intake and adoption services. They partner with area rescue organizations in order to adopt out as many animals as possible. Depending on the season, the center can house anywhere from 150 to 250 animals. Kitten season is particularly busy, averaging about 50 adoptions per week. The rest of the year averages 35 to 40 adoptions per week.

“We have special adoption fees just about every other month,” said Fallin. “Check out our website and Facebook to see what adoption special we are running. August is our ‘Back to School Special,’ and our adoption fees are about half price.”

Hayley Fallin, Sarah Fallin

The Center provides animal control services to the unincorporated portion of Orange County and Hillsborough, enforcing state and county laws that apply to animals. These include cruelty laws, nuisance animals and dangerous wildlife. The center also manages licensing, offers rabies clinics, spay and neuter programs and other services.

Fallin’s passion for animals stems from her childhood, having grown up with chickens, bunnies, dogs and plenty of cats. She loves all kinds of creatures, but dogs hold a special place in her heart.

“I really think sloths are cool and I have been following the birth and growth of Fiona the baby Hippo,” said Fallin. “However, when it comes right down to it, there is nothing better than a dog, man’s best friend, right?”