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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Animal Control tips to keeping your dog safe

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Officer Dylan Thomas has only been the Greenwood Animal Control Officer since February 2019 and enjoys what he does. He picks up an average of 4 or 5 dogs every day that are lost.

With an animal shelter that can only contain 14 dogs, there can quickly become an overabundance if they can’t find the owners quickly.

Officer Thomas sees many people who find animals decide to keep them at their home. While this is understandable, it can make it more difficult to find the owner.

“I don’t recommend keeping an animal at your home when you find one. Contact me at 479-322-8814 so that I can come get the animal, have them scanned for a chip and get them back to their owner much faster.”

Since February, he estimates between 140-150 dogs have been picked up. When asked where the most popular areas are where dogs are escaping. Officer Thomas says “Everywhere in Greenwood. About 90% of escaped dogs are let outside by their owners to potty but are not put on a leash.”

While Greenwood has a “Leash” ordinance and a “Registration” ordinance, many residents have chosen their own route and have lost their pets in the process, some to never be found.

Officer Thomas says, “This is why there are so many dogs that are running loose in Greenwood. These requirements are in place to protect your dog. There may be some who find your family pet and decide to keep it, causing you to not only worry where your pet is, but wondering if they are being treated well. Then, there’s the added issue of the family missing their pet. All of this could be alleviated with the registration of your dog and using a leash whenever you take them outside.”

While the proper owner will always try to be found, if there is no registration tag on the collar or a micro-chip, sometimes the only thing that can be done is put the dog up for adoption.

When that is the case, there is no charge to adopt the pet and they will be neutered or spayed before you pick them up. If you are interested in adopting a dog, Officer Thomas is the one to contact.

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The dogs that are roaming around are taken to an animal shelter where they are properly cared for in a climate-controlled environment.

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They are regularly let out into a well-maintained area for exercise and potty breaks.

To keep your pet safe:

  • City registration with proper-fitting, secure collar and tag with your information
  • Micro-chip by veterinarian (most charge around $40 unless it is a GPS-type, then those rates are higher)
  • Use a leash whenever they are let outside. Some dogs “escape” when a door is open. In those cases, place them in a closed room before you open the door then let them out once you return
  • Even while on a leash, be with your pet to make sure they don’t find a way to escape
  • Annual rabies vaccine by a qualified veterinarian as well as regular health checks
  • Proper and regular bathing, grooming, teeth brushed, etc.

“Be courteous to your pet, making sure they have proper shelter in all seasons, plenty of fresh water, proper food and regular veterinarian appointments for shots.  Having an animal is a big responsibility. While they are cute and give joy, they deserve to be treated properly.”

Finally, Officer Thomas says, “Keeping your pet safe gives you more time to enjoy them and them to enjoy being with you. Some pets are very anxious and scared when they are not with their owners. Following the above guidelines will make sure they stay with you.”

Contact Officer Thomas at 479-322-8814 if you have any questions or concerns. In addition, if you would like to donate food or treats for the dogs who are at the animal shelter, he would appreciate it.

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