Scene Maker ~ Dianne Sauve

By Mary Thurwachter – Special to The Palm Beach Post

September 6, 2015


‘The ocean has always been my first true love’

Animal Care and Control director celebrates 13 years at county facility.

 Although she has loved animals her entire life, Dianne Sauve’s work with critters was sparked by her weekly scuba diving excursions in the 1980s.

“My trips would end with finding some injured creature at sea, usually pelicans, sea turtles, gulls or terns,” she said. That motivated her to become a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and raise money to open the county’s first wildlife hospital (the now defunct Ocean Impact Foundation) on the grounds of Animal Care and Control.

“My relationship with the county grew to encompass appointments on numerous government committees and eventually on to my current job as director of Animal Care and Control,” she said. “This month marks my 13th year as director.”

Sauve is looking forward to the second annual Countdown 2 Zero Adoption Event Sept 12. at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. Animal Care and Control and the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League are co-hosting the adoptathon.

The free event will showcase several hundred dogs, cats, guinea pigs, kittens and puppies available for adoption. Last year, 313 animals found forever homes at the inaugural event.

The West Palm Beach woman has two dogs of her own, both rescues, and they accompany her to work every day.

“Palm Beach County is a fun place to work and live,” Sauve said. “The ocean has always been my first true love. I am most at peace while diving. If not submerged 40 or 60 feet down, I find solace walking on the beach. I get more excited about finding a shark’s tooth or a terrific shell than buying a great pair of shoes.”

She grew up in a small, rural town in central Georgia, but has lived in Palm Beach County for 35 years.

If she’s not spending time with her four-legged friends (or scuba diving), Sauve enjoys movies, watching scary TV shows, spending time with her daughter and having dinner with friends.

Favorite place to go out for breakfast:

Howley’s — I’ve been eating at this West Palm Beach institution for more than 30 years.

Howley’s, 4700 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, 561-833-5691,

Favorite place to go for a power lunch:

Gun Club Café to meet up with good friends who also happen to be county directors.

Gun Club Café, 4631 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach,

Favorite place for dinner out:

Darbster because of the vegetarian fare and dog-friendly atmosphere, and Belle & Maxwell’s for fabulous desserts (and their garden area if you’d like to dine with your dog).

Darbster, 8020 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, or in Boca at 6299 N. Federal Highway. 561-586-2622,

Belle & Maxwell’s, 3700 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, 561-832-4449,

Favorite place to take out-of-town visitors:

The snorkeling trail at Phil Foster Park on Singer Island. It’s a man-made artificial reef with an abundance of marine life. It’s a perfect place to take nondivers.

Phil Foster Park, 900 Blue Heron Blvd., Riviera Beach, 561-624-0065,

Favorite place to walk dogs:

Animal Care and Control, of course! The shelter dogs are so grateful!

Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control, 7100 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, 561-233-1200,

Favorite happy hour:

Sailfish Marina on Thursday nights.

Sailfish Marina, 98 Lake Drive, Palm Beach Shores, 561-844-1724,

Favorite place to go to relax and recharge:

60 feet under any ocean! I love being underwater.

Favorite places to shop:

Shoppe 561 in West Palm for beautiful items made by local artists, and Amelia’s Smarty Plants in Lake Worth — it’s like a huge botanical garden with zen music. And, it’s dog-friendly.

Shoppe 561, 319 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, 561-557-7278,

Amelia’s Smarty Plants, 1515 N. Dixie Highway, Lake Worth, 561-540-6296,

Another favorite:

CityPlace — it has everything you could need: restaurants, movies, the Kravis, and, what else? It’s dog-friendly!

CityPlace, 700 Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach, 561-366-1000,