Bloomington Animal Control Coordinator John Carlson

At your service: John Carlson

For Bloomington Animal Control Coordinator John Carlson, there’s a wild side to the average work day. He’s seen it all—from ferrets and chickens to puppies and kittens—during his more than 20 years in animal control. 

“We really handle just about anything animal,” he said. “And when it’s not in our wheelhouse I always try to refer people to someone who can help. For example, we’d work with the Raptor Center for a wounded hawk.”

In his day-to-day duties, Carlson answers resident questions and manages the 400 – 600 animals that come into the shelter each year. He works closely with local animal rescues and hospice programs to place as many animals as possible in new homes. He also does the work it takes to maintain the animal shelter, including cleaning, ordering supplies and doing administrative things like fielding calls and filing adoption applications. 

“Everything I do is about helping animals when they’re in need,” Carlson said. “Finding ways to give animals a second chance at life or getting them back to their owners—that’s the reward.”