Grapevine Animal Services Officer Kaylee Paniagua is being recognized as the 2023 Texas Animal Control Association Field Officer of the Year.
The James Vyers Field Officer Award is given to an employee with proven actions that go above and beyond what is normally required. Only one person earns the award each year in the State of Texas, and Paniagua was chosen for her strong performance and dedication to field services and to the City of Grapevine.
Kaylee Paniagua was nominated in part due to a dog rescue last April at Parr Park, where she spent more than half an hour coaxing a scared dog out of a river. “Every minute that went by, she began to slip deeper into the water. I was alone at the time, but I knew I couldn’t fail her,” recalls Paniagua. She remembers grabbing a branch to support her weight so she could step into the water herself to put a leash on the dog.
As soon as Paniagua could get the dog elevated to a safe location, she sat on an angled ledge while speaking gently and encouraging the dog with treats and petting. She ultimately was able to convince the dog to walk to her work vehicle, so the dog could be taken to Grapevine Animal Services.
Gia proved to be a fun, playful pup who was adopted by a loving family. Paniagua says Gia will aways have a special place in her heart, and she knows Gia’s new family will have a great Thanksgiving with her by their side.
Grapevine Police Chief Mike Hamlin said, “We are proud of Kaylee’s accomplishments. There is no doubt her professionalism and dedication to animal welfare has made a great difference in our City.”
Grapevine Animal Services is a division of the Grapevine Police Department.