from the Record Eagle
from David P. Agee
I recently met Animal Control Officer Deb Zerafa. I found her to be pleasant, intelligent, competent person and professional. She also seemed discouraged on her way to disillusioned. She is the only officer, works part time and handles serious, even dangerous, situations.
When I met her, she was investigating a puppy mill. Her department is underfunded, poorly equipped and she is poorly paid.
She wears hand-me-down uniforms and a protective vest. She is unable to access LEIN or do background checks before going into potentially dangerous situations alone to see who may have prior felonies, firearms or histories of violence.
Meanwhile, our county commissioners play kick-the-can with the Sheriff’s department over the Animal Control Division.
While it is not a mandated service, communities have always recognized animal control as a need and basic service.
If we can find money for endless studies on bridges, dams, traffic circles and Eighth Street, we should be able to find money for animal control.
We are talking about living, sentient beings here.
Most of us love our animals. We should care about the safety of our public servants. This situation is appalling.