An officer with Memphis Animal Services recently received national recognition.

After someone in Memphis calls MAS, Officer Lawrence Higginbottom uses his knowledge of four-legged friends to either return them home or bring them to MAS.

He helps families reconnect with their pets or adopt new ones. For Higginbottom, it’s more than a job. He said it’s a natural gift that was discovered when he visited MAS more than 8 years ago.

“They seen me handling the dog and said ‘have you had a job dealing with animals’ and I said ‘nah, I just deal with my own dog’ and she just referred me to the people I needed to talk to. The rest is history,” said Higginbottom.

History in the making.

This year Officer Higginbottom was selected by the National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA) as the Animal Control Officer of the Year.

“I can’t imagine a better person to receive an award like this. It’s so much more than the dog catcher persona we saw in movies for many years. Lawrence is a resource to the community,” said Alexis Pugh, Memphis Animal Services Director.

“It’s something good to be appreciated for something you love doing,” said Higginbottom.

His passion for pets is now rolling over to helping out us humans.

“My cousin refers to me as the dog whisperer of the family,” said Higginbottom.