Letter: Animal Control cutbacks are regressive
In January, all of the Mathews County departments will be submitting their budgets to Mindy Moran, our County Administrator, vying for a piece of the dwindling pie. All of the applicants equally deserve and help our county function every day.
However, most residents are unaware that Ms. Moran’s axe has already fallen on our Animal Control services. Our Sheriff wanted Animal Control out of his budget, so it was kicked back under the County Administrator. Pretty much immediately we were reduced to a part-time officer with very limited duties. There will be no weekend coverage, except for emergencies (whatever they deem them to be).
Animal Control will only respond to "licensed animal" calls, meaning dogs—no cats, pigs, goats, cows or horses. So, if you find a horse abandoned in your front yard, for example, and you call the dispatcher, they will probably send a deputy out and protocol is very vague as to what action will be taken, if any. A deputy told a New Point resident who reported a pig in his yard that we would need 24 hours’ notice, and the resident responded that the pig did not make an appointment.
Residents who have a problem with any wild animal will be advised to call an exterminator. There is no protocol for reporting lost animals or tracking that animal call.
And so it goes, folks, our county has regressed 30 years in our treatment of all animals, great and small. The most innocent creatures will fall victim to budget cuts. I urge you to call Ms. Moran at her office, 725-7172, with any animal concerns or issues.