Polk County Animal Control to host program at Lanier Library June 7

Published 8:00 am Thursday, May 31, 2018

Even those whose dogs or cats are current on a rabies vaccination  may be in violation of a county ordinance.

Preferring education to citation, Polk County Animal Control Officers Patti Lovelace and Alan Brackett will explain often misunderstood laws at the next Live@Lanier talk on Thursday, June 7, at 6 p.m.

“I know many owners who have been unknowingly in violation of the county rabies ordinance,” Lovelace said. “These are conscientious people who keep their pet vaccinations current and care for their cats and dogs like members of the family. But, they’ve never read, or been told, or they forgot that every cat, dog or ferret 4 months or older must wear a collar with a rabies tag at all times and have proof of vaccination in the form of a rabies certificate.”

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Lovelace stressed “at all times.”

Lovelace and Brackett will also take listeners into the darkness of human cruelty, negligence and arrogance that they routinely find on patrol. But there are also smiles with the joy of rescues and finding lost pets.

“One occupational hazard is getting attached to any one animal,” Brackett said, mentioning Hulk, a dog at the Foothills Humane Society.

“With the multiple low-cost rabies vaccination clinics throughout the year, sponsored by the County, Foothills Humane Society, and others, there is no excuse for a pet to be unprotected,” Lovelace said. “There are also low-cost spay and neuter programs.

“No matter how hard the staff and volunteers work at the Foothills Humane Society, the space keeps filling with rescues and strays that Alan and I and others bring in. Space is an ongoing challenge. There are laws and ordinances for dogs in heat and enforcement is necessary to relieve the population crisis. But perhaps, even more so, education is critical and of course, personal responsibility.”

– Submitted by Vincent Verrecchio