League City Animal Services Manager Kim Schoolcraft is no stranger to law enforcement. The City’s animal shelter and all animal control efforts fall under the direction of the League City Police Department. But, you may be surprised to learn, Kim herself has over 25 years of experience as a law enforcement officer, serving as the first-ever female sergeant, captain, and chief of police for the City of Galveston. Learn more about Kim in this week’s I am League City employee profile.
How long have you worked for League City?
I’ve been the Animal Services Manager for five years, and before that, I worked for Galveston County Animal Control. And before that, I worked in law enforcement for 25 years. I was the first female sergeant, captain, and chief of police for the City of Galveston.
What was it like being a female in a predominately male work environment?
I would be lying if I said it wasn’t challenging. I couldn’t even apply at first to become a police officer because of the height and weight restrictions, but then in 1975, they relaxed the restrictions and I was able to take the exam and apply. I was 23 years old when I joined the Galveston Police Department. I loved being a police officer. Every day was a new adventure and I loved working outside and working with people. Family needs made me retire, but I left on a high note having served for three years as the first female police chief for the City.
Why not stay retired?
I was too bored and depressed when I retired so I had to do something. I have always loved animals and have volunteered at animal shelters all my life, so it made sense for me to combine that with my law enforcement experience. I came to work for League City in 2013 because of the City’s commitment to make the shelter “no kill.” That was extremely important to me and I am proud I was able to play a role in making that happen. We have so much community support in League City and I am grateful for the number of volunteers we have at the shelter and for those individuals who serve as fosters for us.
What was your first pet?
Growing up in a military family that moved every few years, we couldn’t have pets. Though I will admit, I tried having a lizard live in my closet once, but that didn’t work out so well. My first dog was actually one I found tied up, chained, and abandoned while I was on patrol in Galveston. Her name was Melanie. I was always finding stray dogs and cats during my patrol shifts and then I would spend my off hours trying to find them homes. I ‘ve fostered hundreds of dogs over the years. Currently, I am fostering two dogs—a puppy named Aldie that came into the shelter with parvo and Gizmo, a hospice dog with cancer.
What is your favorite part of your job?
When we reunite owners with their pets. We have a high return-to-owner rate in League City, and part of that is because the shelter is very active on social media. We recently found a cat off Highway 3 that had a severe facial injury. The cat was microchipped, but the chip wasn’t registered. Through Facebook, we were able to find his owners in Friendswood. The cat had stowed away in a contractor’s truck who was working on their home, which had flooded during Hurricane Harvey. The family was very grateful not only that we found their pet, but for the medical services we provided as well.
Are you excited about the new shelter?
I cannot wait. It’s not only going to be a great place for animals, but for people as well. I see it as a community gathering place, where residents of all ages can come to learn, volunteer, find a new friend, and even have their birthday parties. We hope to break ground in early 2019.
Any plans to retire?
I am 66 and I have no plans to retire any time soon.