Animal Control gets part-time officer

Animal Control gets part-time officer

Originally published on November 28,2007

ADDITION WAS NEEDED TO IMPROVE SERVICES

By CHRISTINA EICHELKRAUT
PVT

Nye County Animal Control has a new part-time addition to its staff, now that the county commissioners approved an emergency hire for the department.

Neal Couch is already hired and works 25 hours over five days a week.

Tim McCarty, supervisor, described Couch as “clearly a man of character,” and said the help is welcome and needed.

“Three officers for Pahrump, Beatty, Amargosa, handle more that 500 calls last month, yeah, I’d say we were understaffed,” McCarty said.

One of the reasons McCarty said a new officer was needed was to improve the quality of service that Animal Control can provide.

He pointed out that for every call officers go on, paperwork needs to be filled out and well-written reports need to be filed with the District Attorney’s office in order to pursue prosecutions.

Often times, however, the officers are called out on another call before even finishing the work needed for a previous one.

“It takes time to write out a quality narrative,” McCarty said. “You get a few minutes to work on it, then you have to go out again. We’re just not providing a quality product like I think we’re capable of.”

In addition, McCarty said that lack of staffing led to longer response times.

Less staff also means fewer resources to actively investigate hoarders and small animal rescues, and a lack of regulations only leads to more of those facilities.

“This is exactly how we ended up with 67 Yorkies living in squalor, how we had 300-400 cats suffering at F.L.O.C.K. from starvation and disease, how we discovered 125 cats living in horrific condition on Daag Circle,” McCarty wrote in a letter to the commissioners.

Although he called for updating county ordinances that prevent hoarding operations, McCarty also pointed out additional ordinances approved by the commissioners come with an increased need for resources to enforce them.

“I believe Animal Control and Nye County are at a pivotal time when we have to acknowledge the true needs of our county and choose to do the right and reasonable thing and that is to equip the Animal Control Department with the necessary manpower to do a quality job,” McCarty wrote.

Additional manpower, he continued, would allow the department to go beyond simply to responding to calls and “go further to uncover the many ‘off the reservation’ and unregulated problems that exist throughout our county before they are brought into a bad light in the media.”

The department has seen an exponential increase in the number of calls in the last year.

In July of 2006, there were 97 calls, but July of this year saw the three officers responding to 304.

Calls for the month of August increased from 150 in 2006 to 312 this year.

The biggest jump occurred in September, with the department receiving 85 calls last year and 489 this year.

“They’ve been kind enough to look at the numbers and approve it,” McCarty said of the commissioners. “I hope to demonstrate the need for a full-time officer in the future.”

NOTE: The 125 cats living in horrific condition on Daag Circle were in Sherri Allen’s house.

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