A Day in the Life of Animal Control Officers

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-  On Friday we are taking to the road with Jonesboro Animal Control officer Jeff McGinnis.

Our first stop is on Washington Avenue where a property owner caught a possum in a trap in their back yard.

Animal Control officers say that's what makes their job interesting is that you never know what kind of animal you might be dealing with or what you could be pulling up on.

"Sometimes we can get out and visually see what we are walking into. Other times we can't. We have to go around a house or a blind spot where we don't know what we're walking up on," said McGinnis.

But other times, Animal Control officers are more than aware of what they are dealing with.

Our next stop landed us off Belt and Bridge Streets at a residence where five dogs were running loose through the neighborhood.

All are known for being agressive.

And this is a location officers are more than familiar with having already cited the property owner in the past.

So after lasoing one of the smaller dogs, mcginnis decides not to take any chances on the larger ones.

"What I'm doing is loading up 3 c-c's in each dart. This is a tranquilizer. It will slow the mentality of the dog down," said McGinnis.

With the help of backup officers and the tranquilizer darts, eventually some of the dogs were caught.

The residents were finally contacted and showed up.

However, since this wasn't the first time this had happened...it was more penalties from Animal Control and from Code Enforcement.

"The charges today are 5 counts of running at large and 5 counts of animal cruelty. It's going to be in a 10-54 code of the ordinances for multiple offenses. We've been over here several times," said McGinnis.

Code Enforcement cited the dog owners for a nuesance against public health.

In the end the resident took responsiblityk, and took the dogs back into custody, but it's here that McGinnis reminds that a good pet owner would keep this situation from happening.

"It's all due to irresponsible pet owners. We wouldn't have to do this job if people were responsible and took care of their pets like they are supposed to," said McGinnis.

Animal Control captures dozens of animals a weeks and urges anyone looking to adopt to check with them.

And everyone who works for Animal Control says its a job of balancing the love of animals with the law and public safety.

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com