By Diane Forrest
A few weeks ago I was flipping through the TV channels and saw that one station was playing the Lady and the Tramp. I hadn't seen it in years, so thought I would watch it. There was one scene where a rickety old wagon was making its way down the street, and all the dogs were running and hiding from its view. Then when Tramp was captured, it started to race back to the lock up unit, hitting another dog trying to stop it.
Im sure that movies like this and others that depict the role of the dog catcher in a bad light, made this job a particularly hard career choice, and hated by the younger crowd. The small town that I live in only has one Animal Control Officer, and she works five days a week, from 8 to 5. However, she doesn’t just pick up stray dogs. The area is surrounded by wooded land and the Mississippi River. She has had to respond to calls about bears, snakes, alligators and even a wolf.
According to Wikipedia, the availability of training and popularization of the job through television shows has brought increasing opportunities to the field. The New York American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) employs several animal "cops" with quasi police powers. This arrangement is becoming more common throughout the United States, accordingly offering greater compensation. Due to FBI profilers finding an association between cruelty to animals and interpersonal violence, some animal cruelty investigators are specially trained police officers and many domestic violence shelters include sheltering for animals through animal control agencies and suggest protective orders for pet animals for victims seeking services
This week is National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week. This week of appreciation will finally give some recognition towards the hard-working men and women of Animal Control that risk their lives and spend huge amounts of personnel resources including time away from family and friends while serving the public like all the other public safety and law enforcement agencies involved and empowered with the same duties. To show your appreciation to your own local animal control officer/officers give them a call, send a card or take a batch of brownies, let you know that you appreciate the job they do to keep you and animals safe.
(All Images from Google)