Giving Thanks to Our Animal Control Officers for What They Do for Pets

It doesn’t take too much mental energy to conjure up an image of the dogcatcher. Anyone who’s watched Saturday-morning cartoons is familiar with the caricature of the animal care and control officer, with their white outfit and their net on a long pole. They are both feared and ridiculed, as a matter of course. But, did you ever stop to think of how they add value to your community, your own life, and the life of your pet?

Animal control and care officers, like other public safety officials, are charged with protecting and serving the communities in which they live. National Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week is the second week in April this year, and what better way to celebrate than by taking a look at some of the ways that your local animal care and control officers benefit you and your pet’s life as they risk life and limb in your town.

dog catcher helps pet owners

Stemming the Spread of Communicable Diseases like Rabies

According to the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the four key steps to prevent rabies in pets is to “Call animal control to remove all stray animals from your neighborhood since these animals may be unvaccinated or ill.”

Rabies, and other diseases that can be transmitted from wild and feral animals to pets (and then to humans in some cases), are largely kept in check through the steadfast efforts of your local animal control and care officers.

Over the last century, the amount of human deaths from rabies infections has plummeted in the United States, while the amount of wild animals that carry the virus remains steady. Recent statistics show that only about 100 dogs a year contract the disease in the U.S., and the rate of human infection is almost negligible.

Protecting People and Animals From Aggressive and Sick Animals

One of the key ways that animal care and control officers serve their communities is by protecting people and pets from aggressive or sick animals. Animal care and control officers get stray animals off the streets and into shelters, where they can be adequately cared for and assessed, with adoption into loving homes as the preferred outcome. This is far better, in practice, than allowing stray and feral animals to roam the streets.

Protecting the Reputation of Responsible Pet Owners

Animal care and control officers also investigate animal neglect and abuse cases. They are on the front lines, fighting illegal breeding operations, dog-fighting operations, and police animal hoarders.

In many ways, your local animal control department protects your reputation as a responsible pet owner by dealing with the irresponsible pet owners, breeders, and traffickers who would do animals harm for profit, or neglect them out of apathy or due to mental health issues.

Join in the Celebration and Thank Your Local Animal Care and Control Officers

You may never have considered what all your local animal care and control officers do for your pet and for you. Take a moment during National Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week to reflect on everything they do for your community and to celebrate their fine work as keepers of the peace. They protect you, your pet, wild animals, your reputation, neglected and abused animals, and the strays of your community from harm.

Author: Giano Panzarella