Twenty-nine cats and dogs are situated inside their crates for the long haul to Joshua Tree. Unbeknownst to them, they’re in for quite a day — surgery in fact — and the return trip home. It’s what needs to be done every other week for about 30 animals at a time. For Devon Apodaca, executive director at Humane Society of Imperial County, it’s all in a day’s work.
While the 29-year-old born and raised in the Imperial Valley admits to sitting at a desk for the requisite duties in management, he’s not the typical suit-and-tie director. Rather, in steel-toed boots, jeans and a T-shirt, he’s right in there with the staff: cleaning and washing dishes, safely transporting pets to and fro, and making the decisions he needs to lead the society to perform as a shelter that not only assists animals that are abused and neglected but in educating the community and fostering connections with rescue partners near and far.