Animal control officer needed | Editorial

San Juan County Sheriff Ron Krebs said he is open to training one of his detectives as an animal control officer. We urge Krebs to make this idea a reality. Not only will a trained officer be able to deal with animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect on the island, but they will be able to educate other deputies on the force on how to deal with animal cases.

In the article “Do we need an animal control officer?,” Krebs said it’s difficult to find veterinarians willing to testify, or even go on record, in cases of abuse or neglect. He gave the example of a horse that officers and citizens were concerned about, yet, when photos of the horse were provided, the vet stated the animal appeared fine. Without an expert, there was no case, and the horse was left with its owner.

With an animal control officer, people who abuse animals could be brought to justice. Officers can handle everything from barking dogs to animal cruelty, neglect, beastiality, arranging fostering and transport of animals from horses and goats to cattle.

According to the article, farmers can suffer losses when pet dogs accidentally escape their enclosures and gain access to farm animals. An animal control officer would be able to investigate those instances and determine if there are repeat offenders. This would benefit farmers as well as protect the canines.

We also hope the animal control officer could offer education and outreach to the community about appropriate animal care.

We live on an island where orcas, foxes, dogs, cows and people can interact all within several miles. Having an officer on hand to help with all these different creatures will create more harmony than discord.