Reining In Animal Control

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Is it reasonable to expect some minimum level of competence for animal control officers who investigate allegations of abuse and neglect?

Is it fair to the animals these officers are supposed to protect not to require at least entry-level expertise in conducting abuse investigation?

A Facebook post from a few weeks ago prompts the questions. The owner of an equine rescue facility complained of being hassled by a local animal control officer, who reportedly was responding to calls about horses in very poor condition at the rescue. This sounds ridiculous on its faceÑhorses wind up at rescues across the country because they are abused or neglected, and it would be a rare rescue, indeed, that did not have some animals early on the road to recovery and looking rough.

I’m not suggesting that rescues should get a free pass from animal control. Most rescues do a good job with limited resources, but a few do not. Seizures of horses and other animals from rescues are uncommon, but not unheard of, and in Kentucky it is illegal for an animal control to refuse to perform his or her statutory duties. If there is a complaint, an animal control officer should investigate

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