National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week is celebrated every second full week of April and is endorsed by the NACA (National Animal Care & Control Association). This year the NACA Appreciation Week is celebrated 10-16th of April.
The organization was formed back in 1978 for the sole purpose of helping its members to conduct their daily duties in a professional manner. The mission of the organization is to, “endorse the bond between animals and humans by advocating for responsible animal ownership by setting standards of professionalism in public safety and animal welfare.”
The brave men and women of Animal Control put a lot of devotion and time into serving the public while risking their health and lives in order to provide comfort and well-being for both people and animals.
What do Animal Control Officers actually do?
To begin with, animal control officers pick up stray animals and sometimes even DOA’s (Dead on Arrival). But the profession has much more to it. The officers seek justice in cases of abused, neglected, and abandoned animals; they conduct humane investigations and bring in helpless animals. They protect animals from abusers and people from dangerous animals.
Animal officers encounter sick, lost, aggressive, and injured animals on a daily basis. They work on public safety issues and perform bite quarantines and rabies prevention activities, and they educate the public how to provide better care for their pets.
They are individuals that constantly struggle with emotionally and physically challenging situations in a profession that demands concentration, stamina, endurance and a clear mind.
What to be thankful for?
That a control officer comes rushing into situations when everyone else is running away.
Picking up pets when seniors or disabled people can’t care for them any more.
That a control officer looks after your own health by controlling and preventing rabies outbreaks and injuries inflicted by loose animals.
That they investigate animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect.
For responding to calls of stray or lost animals, bite incidents and noise complaints.
For assisting in rescuing animals from fighting rings.
That they relocate wildlife back to the wild.
For being the voice of justice for the voiceless victims which they often defend in a court of law.
How to thank them during National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week
To keep in mind that our New Orleans Humane Law & Rescue team is only able to enforce the animal laws in Orleans Parish. We have a contract with the City of New Orleans to provide animal control services and are only able to enforce the laws as they are written. For cases of animal abuse and neglect, they gather the information pertinent to the case and trust the courts to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.
In a usually thankless profession, Animal Control Officers deserve to hear that their work really matters and makes a difference. If you know an officer that helped you in one way or another, this is the time to support them in their endeavors by officially thanking him/her.
We use this opportunity to help the local community get to know our New Orleans Humane Law & Rescue team! Throughout the week, we will be featuring each officer and asking them questions to help the community get to know them better.
We think most ACOs (Animal Control Officers) will be happy and satisfied just by knowing you are a good pet owner that doesn’t abuse or abandon his/her pet, follows regular vaccination protocols and has provided some sort of identification for the animal (microchip and collar ID tag).
Please call 911 for animal-related emergencies and 311, option 1, for all other animal-related calls.