Staffing issues to blame for lack of animal control officers

HINDS COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) — Hinds County leaders say staffing issues are to blame for a lack of animal control officers right now there aren’t any officers dedicated to responding to animal calls.

Animal control in Hinds County has come to a dead end for the time being, as the county struggles to find officers available to respond to emergencies.

“They had to move people back into the jail they had to have the personnel to work in the jail so rescheduled, and they reallocated and redeployed their officers to the jail which left the two animal control officers working in the jail,” Supervisor Robert Graham said.

County Supervisor Robert Graham says he brought it to the board’s attention after seeing the problem continue for nearly six months putting added pressure on employees at the Mississippi Animal Rescue League.

“Right now what we want to do is just make sure that we give them enough money to where they can have enough to fund the next year to help the county out in eventual laity that the sheriff is not able to put those officers back out there,” the Supervisor said.

Deborah Boswell with MARL says they get nearly ten calls a day to respond to animal control issues, and summer is the busiest time of the year with their animal intake tripling in the hot months.

She’s asking the public to be patient with them and says if you find a stray animal to please bring it in, and they will accept it, but they don’t have the man power to go and pick up every animal.

“A dangerous sight is a horse or a cow in the road, a deceased animal, a wild animal, a vicious dog, so you have to have someone who will respond to that you just can’t allow the citizens to do it they shouldn’t have to do it,” Graham explained.

That’s why he’s hoping that during the next board meeting they’ll be able to come up with a permanent solution instead of temporary fix.

“I proposed the Board of Supervisors allocate money to the Mississippi Animal Rescue League in order to fund some animal control officers so that we will have someone to pick up stray animals dogs horses cows in the county and hoping that we will be able to put an amount in next year’s budget to accomplish that,” Graham said.

Boswell says they are working well with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department and suggest that people call the sheriff’s department with any animal emergencies and they will send a deputy out to help.

We contacted the Sheriff’s Department, but have not heard back.

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