As of Monday, thousands of people have signed a petition online to help a beloved animal control officer in Hartford get her job reinstated.
Dozens marched to City Hall on Monday evening to show their support for Sherry DeGenova, who has saved countless animal lives in her 17 years as an animal control officer.
"The animals will suffer because nobody works harder than her to find them homes and the people in the city will suffer because so many of them have relied on her over the years,” said Laurel Cox.
Supporters of DeGenova said she has gone above and beyond for the sake of the animals.
Jerilyn Nucci said she rescued a 16-year-old blind dog named Marvin who had been thrown out a car window. She said DeGenova made sure he would find a home.
"He is about 16 years old, he has no teeth, he's 100 percent blind and he is one of the best things that has ever happened to our family and we wouldn't have him without Sherry,” Nucci said.
For DeGenova, the outpouring of support is astounding.
“I am beyond overwhelmed. This just goes to show what I have done for this city, in this city and these are people from all over the state of Connecticut." DeGenova said.
In a statement, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said “None of these layoffs are the result or reflection of any individual’s performance, and I wish that none of these painful decisions was necessary. These workforce reductions are, however, part of the many difficult changes required to confront our city’s dire fiscal challenge. I earnestly hope that we will be able to get enough savings from labor negotiations that additional layoffs will not be necessary.”
It is unclear if this march will reverse the decision to lay off DeGenova.
There are only two animal control officer positions remaining, but only one is working as the other is on medical leave.
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