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Volume 7, Issue 64  |  August 12, 2022


Take Five: Meet Valerie Schomburg, animal control supervisor for the NBPD

By AMY SENK

A month ago, a mountain lion possibly displaced after the Coastal Fire was captured after wandering around the Port Streets. The young male cat was relocated and hearing the stories made me think of Valerie Schomburg, Newport Beach Police Department’s Animal Control supervisor. I’ve known Schomburg for more than a decade, and we’ve talked over the years about everything from dog bites and barks to starving birds. But this mountain lion was something new, and I reached out to her to catch up and learn more. 

Take Five Valerie Schomburg

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of NBPD

Valerie Schomburg

Q: What kind of wildlife generally do we have in Newport Beach and how should we handle close encounters?

A: Newport Beach has wildlife such as coyotes, bobcats, skunks and opossums. We advise people to keep their pets on a leash when off the property and don’t leave pets in the backyard alone. Citizens can call the Animal Control Unit if they have questions regarding the wildlife in the city.

Q: What’s the typical day in the life of an animal control officer? 

A: Every day is different as we handle a huge variety of calls. Animal cruelty investigations, bite reports, responding to found stray animals, barking dog complaints and leash violations. The most common calls are leash violations and injured birds and marine mammals. Animal Control also runs the City Animal Shelter and cares for all the animals we have there. We are very excited for the new facility and hope it will open by the end of the year.

Take Five Valerie and Officer Bubbles

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Valerie Schomburg with her canine favorite, Officer Bubbles

Q: What is the craziest call you’ve ever responded to? 

A: The mountain lion call is the craziest call I have responded to as we have never had a mountain lion sighting south of the 5 freeway in my career until last month.

Q: I remember one summer, you arranged for the bait barge to help feed birds that were starving because of the ocean water temps. Is this something that you think could happen again, or that you plan for?

A: We always try to help when animals are in need, so if the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center has starving sea birds, we will help.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add? 

A: Animal Control would like to stress the importance of having your dogs on leashes at all times.

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Amy Senk is a long-time resident of Corona del Mar and a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.

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