County needs animal control officer

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 16, 2015

To the Pearl River County elected officials who eliminated funding for a county animal control officer: You are not much better than the person who dumped two pit bulls at an abandoned house in the Apple South subdivision. You have guaranteed the suffering of countless animals, and endangered the unequipped public you’ve left to deal with it.
Sadly, these particular abandoned dogs are afraid of people and couldn’t be approached. I have a young child and so do my neighbors, and we were afraid to let the kids play outside. I was hesitant to go to my mailbox. While I don’t buy into breed stereotypes, these particular dogs chased our cars, and approached our homes growling and barking. I couldn’t risk them chasing me on foot.
I called the sheriff’s department, and the responding deputy explained that there was nothing he could do because of the lack of an animal control officer, but the neighbors or myself could take the dogs to the shelter. Although unequipped with the proper tools, he was willing to assist but could not legally transport the dogs himself. Since it was the weekend, there was no place open to take them anyway, so it was a moot point. Besides, if I was capable of rounding up two scared pit bulls and taking them to the shelter myself, I would have done so already as I’m an animal lover with three rescue dogs of my own. But I pay taxes so that those I hire with these funds can protect my family where I am not adequate.
Yes, I know that some would advocate for shooting the dogs in situations like this. But that is inhumane and potentially dangerous in a populated area like this, especially when undertaken by the citizens.
My district supervisor, Sandy Kane Smith, along with supervisor Malcolm Perry, fortunately came and personally removed the dogs after three days of my neighborhood feeling held hostage in our homes. While I am immensely grateful that they took on this duty and extremely glad it ended safely for all involved, this is not the best answer for Pearl River County. Unless the supervisors have skill sets I’m unaware of, they do not have the training or equipment to perform this job as safely as an animal control officer.
I encourage all readers to ask their supervisor to please provide the county with a full-time, properly trained and equipped animal control officer—for the safety of the public, local law enforcement, and the animals.

Jennifer Ervin

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