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Snapshot: Emily Whittaker



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How would you describe your occupation? I am a part-time kennel keeper and part-time Newtown animal control officer. A few days a week, I take care of the animals in the building and I clean the building. A couple other days a week I go out to animal control calls and deal with the public involving dogs.

Who is in your family? It’s me, my mom, my dad, and my older sister Jackie.

Do you have any pets? I have two German shepherds and a Lab mix. Zach was the first dog I got myself. Then, I have Lucy, who just turned two; and Duke, the newest one. I also have a stray cat named Mama who has been living under my shed for five years.

How long have you lived/worked in Newtown? I’ve worked here for five years now.

What do you like to do in your free time? I love being outdoors. I love swimming, going on hikes, and really anything with Zach specifically. He’s really energetic, and he always wants to be doing something working-wise.

What is your favorite book? The Stand by Stephen King. It’s a long one, but really good.

Who or what has been the greatest influence on your life? Probably my dad. He always worked so hard to give my sister and I a really good childhood. Even though he worked a lot, he was still really involved. I have to include my mom too, because she was the best mom growing up. She did everything with us, and just wanted us to be so happy all the time. They both emphasized working for what you want. We were never handed anything, and I think that’s a really great thing to teach children. I think they’re the best role models, especially when it comes to parenting.

If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? My grandpa. I lost him in 2018, and I miss him a lot. I would love to see him again.

Who is your favorite musical artist? The Doors. My dad is a big Doors fan, and he got me into them when I was a little kid. I could listen to them any day or any time of year. Or, Pink Floyd.

What is something you cannot live without? Time alone. I don’t think I could live without a few minutes a day to be by myself, just relax, and not think about anything.

What is your proudest accomplishment? My dog, Zach. When I got him, he was intended to be a pet. I made a really good connection and a great friendship with Newtown Canine Officer Felicia Figol and she taught me all about working dogs. With her help, and with a lot of other trainers and canine handlers, I’ve trained him for drug detection, tracking, and a little bite-work. I’m so proud of him and how far he’s come. When I first got him, he was just a skittish little baby. Now he’s a fierce dog.

What is your favorite travel destination? So far, Acadia National Park. It’s just so beautiful there. I’ve always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon, though. I’m drawn to it.

What is the best part about Newtown? The sense of community. It seems like everybody is really drawn to making the town a better place, spreading awareness on things, and supporting each other. That’s really rare nowadays. I love how people in town want to preserve nature like at the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation and at Fairfield Hills.

Emily Whittaker
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