Meet Our New Community Resource Officer, Humane Society Police Officer, Mark Jones

By Krista Koontz, Humane Investigations Coordinator

Tell us about yourself.

Growing up I always had a love for animals in all forms. Steve Irwin was my hero growing up and the Discovery Channel was always on my TV. I spent many of my teenage years and early twenties jumping from job to job trying to figure out what I wanted to do as a career. I worked retail, worked in a tattoo parlor, climbed cell towers, I worked a lot of different jobs but never felt at home until I started the Vet Tech Program at the Vet Tech Institute. Then, I started my job at Animal Friends as a Behavior Care Technician and met the Humane Investigations team and that is when my love for animals came back full force, and I knew I was where I belonged.

Why did you decide to become a Humane Society Police Officer?

I originally thought I wanted to be a State Trooper and was getting paperwork and everything in order before the concept of a Humane Society Police Officer was brought to my attention. I was unaware that the position even existed, but once I was informed, I knew that was what I wanted to do with my life. After volunteering in my first case with the Mass Rescue Team at Animal Friends, that passion was solidified, and I pursued it ever since.

What are you looking forward to most about being a Humane Society Police Officer?

I look forward to adding to the Humane Investigations team with my medical skills and knowledge. Even more so, I think that being the voice for animals that cannot speak for themselves and defending them with everything that I have, is the most fulfilling thing I can possibly do.

What does a Community Resource Officer do?

The Community Resource Officer is not only a Humane Society Police Officer, but also an educational resource. My primary job is to help pet owners take better care of their pets, to make sure they are caring for their pets within the law and giving them the information and resources they need to comply with the laws. I also will be attending Animal Friends and community events, and educating the public on what a Humane Society Police Officer is, what laws we enforce and how we help our communities.

Do you have any pets of your own?

I have two cats, a grey tabby named Twiggy, who came from Animal Friends and an orange tabby named Alphonse, who my girlfriend found as a kitten. I love them both dearly and don’t know what I would do without them.

If you have witnessed animal cruelty in Allegheny County, contact our Humane Investigations team to give your eyewitness report at 412.847.7066.

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