Charlsie Duffy and Augustus put in a full day at the Lovelock Animal Shelter
Charlsie Duffy and Augustus put in a full day at the Lovelock Animal Shelter
Charlsie Duffy-Wilcox seized the day. When she heard the City of Lovelock needed a full-time animal control officer, she applied right away. 

Duffy-Wilcox, 30, had interviewed for the position eleven years ago but lost out to a more experienced candidate. Sheri Burrows performed the demanding job with gusto for more than a decade. 

Last month Mayor Mike Giles, Lisa Booth and LPD Sergeant Darrell Mancebo interviewed Duffy-Wilcox. She now joins part-timer, Shailynn Sample, at the animal shelter on 700 South Meridian Road. Sample has been helping the new animal control officer feel at home. 

“Shailynn does a great job and is passionate about the animals,” says Duffy-Wilcox. Until age 11, Duffy-Wilcox lived off-grid in Limerick Canyon, surrounded by horses, dogs, chickens, pigs,  rabbits, cats and donkeys.

After her family moved to Lovelock, her passion for animals continued to blossom. Like most animal lovers, she learned a sad lesson — you can’t help them all.

One morning in March 2015, on her way to Unionville, Duffy-Wilcox drove by a BLM Mustang roundup near Oreana.

She spotted a foal roughly 200 yards from the road. He looked about one month old.

“I got out of the truck and neighed at him,” she said. “I’ll never forget that foal – the way he ran right up to me. I picked him up and put him in my truck. I was tempted to take him home, but I called my mom, and she said I needed to return him to the BLM because I could get in trouble.”

Duffy-Wilcox reluctantly accepted her mother’s advice. 

“I drove back to the BLM roundup but asked them to mark the horse, so when it came up for auction, I could buy it,” she said. “I called numerous times, but no one seemed to know what I was talking about.”

With an ache in her heart, Duffy-Wilcox moved on with her life. Many in Lovelock remember her as the friendly assistant manager at the dollar store. She moved to Elko for a couple of years but recently came back to Lovelock to be closer to her parents. Her hobbies include working out, fishing and family. And she’s determined to make a difference in the lives of as many animals as she can.

She’s off to a good start. So far, she’s sent five shelter dogs to rescues in northern Nevada and Calif. 

“Three more dogs are on the line to go next,” she added. “We’ve adopted out a couple of dogs and four cats.” 

Duffy-Wilcox also wants to help Pershing County residents get their animals altered. She acknowledges that sterilizations can run into big bucks, not to mention transportation time. The closest vet is an hour’s drive from Lovelock.

Luckily, the animal control officer can point adopters to resources that defray or even eliminate the cost. 

In 2018, after years of fundraising, Dixie McKay got “Dejaiz STEPP” (Sterilize Every Person’s Pets), up and running. Since the program’s inception, hundreds of animals have been spayed or neutered at little or no cost to Lovelock residents.

Another resource is Inez’s Fund, a voucher program formed in 2015 to help low-income families with sterilization. Western Nevada Veterinary Services in Fallon will spay or neuter cats or dogs and provide the first set of vaccines for free. Pet owners must transport the animals themselves.

Both STEPP and Inez’s Fund reach out to Lovelock’s many community cats.

Duffy-Wilcox supports TNR (trap, neuter, release) of community cats. She urges people who manage colonies to have the animals spayed or neutered. Otherwise, the population increases exponentially – and the life of a free-roaming cat can be tough. Feeding without sterilizing always causes suffering down the road, she says.

According to Alley Cat Allies, scientific studies prove that TNR reduces and stabilizes populations of community cats.

Duffy-Wilcox leads visitors to one of the shelter’s outdoor kennels. Augustus, a two-year-old Pyrenees mix, bounds to greet the animal control officer. A shyer dog hides in his dog house. She has kind words for both.

“Animals are my thing, and I will go above and beyond to help any I can,” she says. “My goal is to get every one of them to a safe home.”

For more information about adopting from the Lovelock Animal Shelter or help getting animals spayed or neutered, call Charlsie Duffy-Wilcox at 273-7297 (landline) or 775-770-0933 (cell).