Cumberland Animal Control needs help. New budget provides it
Published 2:24 pm Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Cumberland Animal Control needs help. Fortunately, they’re getting it thanks to some extra funding provided in this year’s budget.
Currently, Animal Control has two officers doing their best to answer calls and take care of animals and people in Cumberland County. They keep busy capturing stray animals, investigating reports of cruelty to animals, managing the animal shelter and taking care of the animals there. Unfortunately with more people coming to Cumberland, two is not enough to keep up despite their best efforts.
“In the last three to five years, our amount of calls has doubled,” said Michael Davis, the lead Animal Control Officer. “We’re basically on call 24/7. Hopefully, hiring another officer will take that off the one person.”
Email newsletter signup
In the county budget for the fiscal year 2024 budget, County Administrator Derek Stamey announced that part of the budget would go to hiring a part-time Animal Control Officer to help share the load.
“Right now we only have two full-time positions in the Animal Control Office and I’ll be frank with you, they are run ragged,” said Stamey at an April budget workshop meeting. “They are responding to calls all the time. If one’s on vacation, one’s always on call and they can never get ahead of themselves. So, I see this as a huge need, and being able to do this mid-year is going to have a huge impact both on them but also on the level of service for our residents.”
Cumberland Animal Control gets help
At the budget meeting, the Board of Supervisors Chair Brian Stanley agreed that the two officers are “worn out” especially with the growing population in the county. More people means more people to report lost or stray pets and new homes causing some wild animals to find a new home or disturb the new residents of their old one.
According to Davis, being constantly on call has made it hard these past few years for him and his co-officer Amelia Baggett to have a good work-to-life balance. Having another officer part-time will help give them a chance to create that balance and serve the community faster.
“Adding another person means we can get to more calls in a timely manner instead of putting some off to the next day or the day after that,” said Davis.
According to Davis, there is no official say on when this part-time position will start. He expects the position to start this coming January which lines up with Stamey’s plan for it sometime in the middle of the fiscal year.