By Kyle Siegel
The Sedalia Animal Shelter Manager Jamie Ditzfeld has been with the shelter since 2009, but he has been around animals since he was a young child.
Ditzfeld was born in Sedalia, Missouri and he attended high school at Green Ridge. While in school he participated in Little League baseball.
After high school Ditzfeld attended State Fair Community College.
Ditzfeld was asked what he did for a living after attending school.
“My first job was actually fun. It was working for the Wagenknechts at the movie theater selling popcorn. While he (Seth Wagenknecht) still owned it, he took me downtown to inside the old Fox Theater. It was neat,” Ditzfeld said.
Ditzfeld explained his connection with animals that started at an early age with his grandfather’s influence.
“When I was young my grandfather Charlie Sleeper, he was the caretaker at the Four Square Sale Barn.
“He lived on the property and took care of it. I remember him driving me around on the bobcat, looking at animals.
“It’s always stuck with me. I was always bringing strays home. It upset my Mom quite a bit,” Ditzfeld explained.
Ditzfeld was asked how his job with the Sedalia Animal Shelter came about.
“I happened to come in at the right time when they needed help. I was interviewed by Becky Hardesty. Later that day she called me and hired me,” he said.
Ditzfeld went on to give a brief explanation of his duties as manager of the shelter.
“I manage a staff of two full time and one part time employees. I also coordinate the volunteer work here. I work with a fellow at the courthouse with community service. I also work with two vets in town and animal control,” Ditzfeld said.
He added, “I think I am lucky, but I love coming in to work and not everyone can say that.”
Prior to working at the Sedalia Animal Shelter, Ditzfeld worked at McLaughlin Furniture and Funeral Chapel for 13 years.
“I worked on the furniture side with my grandfather Dick Ditzfeld, and then I eventually went to the funeral side and earned my funeral director’s license. That was kind of different, but it was rewarding helping families in need,” Ditzfeld said.
Ditzfeld also has a second job where is a rural route paper carrier at night.
Ditzfeld has been married to his wife Mary Lynn for 12 years. Together they have three children. Jamie Gail is 21 and away at college, Adam is 16, and their daughter Brianna is 13.
“My youngest helps out in the summer. She volunteers,” Ditzfeld said.
Ditzfeld was asked what he enjoys doing when not working.
“I am pretty much a homebody. I am content to spend my time at home with my family.
“I do love to crappie fish though. I just don’t get to do it often,” he said.