The field of animal control and humane law enforcement, or as some call it, dogcatching, is regularly dismissed as a menial, lowly job done by individuals whose hatred of people is only surpassed by their disdain for animals in general. For many years it was simply catching and removing dogs to protect the human population from a deadly disease called Rabies. Although fighting this disease is still something we are tasked with regularly, the responsibilities and assigned duties of animal control have grown exponentially in the past few decades. We are public servants, peacekeepers, first responders, protectors, and rescuers for all creatures big and small. Being a dogcatcher isnt just a job anymore: for thousands of us it is a passion, an obsession, a calling, to do what many willingly admit they could never do.
Meanwhile, a staggering percentage of the public still seems to take great comfort in coddling the idea that their local animal control’s sole purpose is to harass good citizens, steal friendly dogs from their front yards, and randomly end the life of any animal they can get their hands on. Citizens stubbornly cling to the notion of zombie-like government employees plodding through their day emotionless, only in it for the paycheck, only cracking a smile when we get the opportunity to unfairly punish someone who wasn’t doing anything wrong. Animal Control is hated and feared, abused and ignored. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the population has in fact no real concept of what it means to be in Animal Control and Humane Law Enforcement. And no, it’s not what you’ve seen on TV.
This blog is to invite you into the world of one animal control officer. I am a public servant and an officer of the court. I am a wildlife rehabilitator, a foster, a volunteer, a pet owner. I am an advocate of what’s right, a seeker of progress, and a proponent of change. I am a soldier in a war that will never, ever end.
The opinions expressed on these pages are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the opinions, policies, or procedures of any current or past employer, and should not be interpreted as such. These are the thoughts, frustrations, interpretations and celebrations of one officer; shared in the hopes of broadening the curious minds, answering the awkward questions, and reminding the rest of the world that we are all in it for the animals.