Working with Veterinarians

While working in Portland Oregon, we discovered the difficulty that our local veterinarians had with animal disposal. We decided to assist them with their need, in exchange for them helping us. We agreed to dispose of their dead animals, if we could bring injured animals in for treatment. The arrangement worked well, in that a veterinary hospital was always in the vicinity when animal control officers picked up injured animals. With only one exception, the program worked very well.

Animal control officers would report back to me that one veterinarian was never available to assist with injured animals. The solution was quite simple, I sent a letter advising the veterinarian that we were discontinuing pickup services at his clinic. Upon receipt of the letter, the veterinarian asked to meet.

In our meeting, he asked how he could make things right. He blamed his staff for rejecting the animals. It just happened that a couple of my officers were investigating an animal cruelty incident and I suggested that he go onsite with the officers to provide field examinations in preparation for court. His assistance would “buy” his way back into the program.

There are many ways that animal control can work together with their local veterinarians; you just need to attend their local meetings to talk things out. In many communities, veterinarians assist their community by having rabies clinics and selling pet licenses. It is surprising what you can do together.

Service Animals

One of the greatest examples of where we have been as to what we have become is the issue of service animals.  As pioneers we crossed our great land in stage coaches holding our therapy chickens for the two week crossing.  Today, we feel the need to hold a peacock for a two-hour airplane flight.

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) created a mess when dealing with the issue of assistance animals.  Since people were not required to prove that they were disabled and there were no programs for certifying assistance animals; people took advantage of the ACT to be able to keep their pets, when their landlord discovered that they were violating their lease agreement.

People pushed the issue for taking their pets on public transportation and now have reached the extreme by demanding that their pets be allowed on aircraft.  There seems to be a contest as to who can go to the greatest extreme as to the size and type of animal that they choose as a therapy animal.