By Joe Rodweller
There have been some misconceptions about animal control calls concerning undomesticated animals. Most of the time it’s a call concerning raccoons, skunks and fox. These calls are usually due to the animal hanging around the house or barn, getting into the garbage or trying to get the family cats or chickens. It depends on the time of year for what the calls are about, most of the time.
The law states that the ACO must control animals that pose a threat to the public health and safety. The ACO may also control undomesticated animals, which no other department is regulated by law to do.
There are only a handful of towns that were actually helping their citizens with these types of matters, most of the time giving them the traps and directions on use but still being there to help the people. Upon checking with Animal Welfare, it was said that because it poses a threat to health and safety, it’s OK for an ACO to help that citizen but an Animal Damage Control person or Game Warden should also be notified. They are charged with taking care of these problems when they can.
This all comes down to if you can get someone there fast enough to help before it becomes a problem or health and safety issue with you or your domesticated animals. I also contacted the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife who also said the Warden Service will take care of these problems.
So now what you should do would be to call your town office to find out exactly what your town’s ACO will be doing for you. Remember times are changing; the money for different services and in your town may not be there, so check it out. As with my town and with information I have received by other towns, the extra services have now been terminated due to lack of money and the citizens not needing it.
For now, you should be asking questions and I will be gathering more information for you. Thanks for reading.
Joe Rodweller of Linneus is a certified animal control officer and operates Maine Animal Control with his wife Debbie. He can be reached at 538-1347 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.