It takes a lot to be an animal control officer. They love animals, big and small, but one of the hardest parts of the job is to see animals suffer. They have to cope with all types of scenarios, every day. As long as there are unwanted, abandoned, feral and homeless animals, there will be a need for animal control officers and this week is the time to thank them for their tireless and diligent work in our communities.
The second week of April is National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week. It’s a time to honor the difficult job animal control officers do to help ensure the well-being of dogs, cats, and animals everywhere.
Animal Care & Control Officers have a tough job.
Animal control officers rescue and protect helpless pets and animals. They face dangerous animals and sometimes dangerous situations. And they assist with rabies prevention programs.
For example, barking dog complaints are common reasons animal control may be dispatched. It may be a noise issue for the caller, but it’s also an unhappy dog, and the situation should be investigated. A cat with litter, living outside the reach of neighbors may be the beginnings of a feral cat colony. At the least, it’s a feline family in need. If a lost dog is wearing a collar with tags or is microchipped, an animal control officer gets to reunite a family. When a fur-baby can’t be reunited, it’s animal control who provides shelter and tries to help the animal find a new home.
They are often faced with confrontational owners, who aren’t fit to be guardians but don’t want to give up their pet, which can be incredibly difficult, and sometimes dangerous.
Ways to help or say thank you.
As a loving pet guardian, the best way to be involved is to make sure fur-babies are safe and secure in a happy, healthy home. Make sure they always have a quality living environment, good food, and plenty of clean water.
Sometimes animals get out of the house, but pets who are tagged and microchipped are the ones who end up being reunited. Animal control officers don’t want to have to chase down an animal, but it’s always the best possible scenario when they have the info they need to return a lost pet to their home.
We should be sure our animals are spayed, neutered, and vaccinated. This helps to remove any question about whether a frightened dog bite could also be the source of an infection.
When we notice an animal that may need help, it’s best to get as many details about the animal, where they are, and why they need help before calling animal control. Details help animal control decide the best way to respond and investigate, before being dispatched to a location.
Residents shouldn’t hesitate to call. Many people mull it over and can often end up leaving an animal without proper care or in dangerous situations for too long. Animal control exists to investigate questionable environments, abuse, misuse, and the health and well-being of animals. They are a community resource.
Volunteering at a no-kill municipal shelter can take a heavy burden off of officers and makes a difference in the lives of homeless and lost pets.
Becoming a foster home for animals waiting for a forever home can free up space in a shelter, so more animals can receive the care they need.
Adopt from shelters. Buying animals from stores often supports puppy mills and other forms of abuse. Adopting from a shelter means a wonderful companion in need of a new home will be given a second chance. And we can encourage our friends who are looking into adding a fur-baby to the family to do the same.