PET TAILS: Animal control, humane society here to help pets in need

Scenario 1: Every day you see a dog that is tied out all day long with no access to food, water or shelter. Who do you call?

Scenario 2: Your elderly neighbor can no longer care for his cat and has not been able to find anyone to take her. He wants to be sure she is well cared and has asked you to help. Who do you call?

The following information should help you decide!

The Brown County Humane Society (BCHS) is a private, nonprofit, volunteer-supported organization dedicated to serving Brown County’s dogs and cats. As an open admission shelter, they accept all of the county’s homeless cats and dogs. They also operate a community outreach program, SPOT (Supporting Pets Outreach Team), dedicated to helping Brown County residents keep their pets in their homes and reducing pet overpopulation by providing low cost, easily accessible spay/neuter surgeries.

BCHS is supported by donations from individuals, grants and foundations, fundraising events, service fees and a contract with the county to care for dogs and cats the animal control officers impound.

Animal Control is a county government entity managed through the Sheriff’s department. The animal control officers report to the Sheriff and their job is to maintain public safety by enforcing laws regarding animal control and to enforce legal standards of animal welfare.

Some of the duties of the animal control officers are: 1) Educate the public on local laws, codes and ordinances related to the care and control of animals, 2) Issue citations and warnings to people for mistreatment of animals, 3) Impound animals from negligent owner’s custody, 4) Capture and impound dangerous, abandoned or stray animals, 5) Investigate animal cruelty cases, 6) Enforce laws and regulations related to animal welfare, 7) Provide expert testimony in court cases.

While BCHS and Animal Control work closely together, they are separate entities. They intersect when an animal control officer picks up a dog or cat that needs care. The officer brings the animal to the humane society’s animal shelter and the humane society takes over from there. The two groups have a very good working relationship and work cooperatively to ensure our community has the support it needs regarding animal welfare.

So, who do you call in Scenario 1? You guessed it – Animal Control at 812-988-6655. And who do you call in Scenario 2? You’re right, the Humane Society at 812-988-7362. These organizations work synergistically to ensure the safety and welfare of animals in Brown County.