Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's True!

As I've mentioned before, I'm an animal control officer. It's not an easy job and I've posted plenty of rants about it. (Check out the Animal Control category of "Stuff I Think About" to your right if you want to see a few.) But it's not all bad. One of the fun parts of this job is that you never know what's going to happen next. Some of the complaints I get are so bizarre that I really don't know what to think about it. For today's Thoughtless Thursday I thought it would be fun to share some those situations. Please note: ALL these stories are true, but names have been changed or omitted to protect . . . well . . . ME!

Mrs. Alvarado called the office saying she had trapped two cats and needed them picked up. When my partner and I got there she led us around to her back yard. She pointed to one of the traps and in a heavy Filipino accent said "That one is ugly. It has no hair on it's tail. Take it away." It was an opossum.

I had an angry resident call to complain that raccoons were eating the fish out of his koi pond. Of course they were!

There was a 911 call about an aggressive dog chasing people on Petunia Road next to the elementary school. I got there and saw a large, yellow lab sitting in a yard. If I stayed 50 feet away the dog was fine, but if I stepped into the yard it charged, teeth bared. I asked for police back up to keep pedestrians away until I could get someone with a tranquilizer gun to come from the county. The police lieutenant walked into the yard -- despite my warning -- and was chased to his car. I think he may have soiled his uniform. (30 seconds before he had said "What are you talking about? It's a lab, labs aren't dangerous.") Eventually the dog was darted and transported safely to the shelter where she was later reclaimed by her owner. The funny part: the dog was named Muffin. I have eaten many muffins in my life; that was the only time a muffin try to eat me!

A woman complained that an eagle was stalking her 4-pound Yorkshire terrier. I called Fish & Wildlife for advice. They said "Eagles are protected, Yorkies are not." The dog was not allowed outside for two weeks until the eagle got bored and went somewhere else.

I chased a wayward Weimaraner down a busy street. The dog stayed three feet out of my reach the entire time. Pretty soon I had an audience, and each bystander had a sarcastic suggestion or snarky comment. In frustration I said "Hey Buddy, wanna cookie?" The dog actually stopped and turned around! He got his cookie -- and a ride to the kennel.

I had a woman call to say that there was a sea turtle on her front porch. I was perplexed since she lived several miles from the ocean. I relocated the snapping turtle to a retention pond down the street.

A woman found a stray dachshund mix. She thought it was cute and took it home. It promptly bit her son in the stomach. HARD! She brought it to the police station on her way to the hospital. I put the dog in a cage in the back of my truck and got her information for the bite report. Then I discovered that my battery was dead. I opened the hood (the international sign for "truck broke") and stepped inside to call the mechanics to get a jump. The police department and the fire department share a building. My truck was parked right next to the fire bay. I was away from my truck for less than two minutes. I came out to discover that the dog was missing. The shift supervisor had thought the dog looked thirsty. He opened my tailgate and the cage door to give the dog some water and accidentally let the dog out. He thought it was funny until I told him that if I couldn't quarantine the dog a 5 year old child would need several painful -- and expensive -- rabies shots. And I would be sure to tell the mother who was responsible for it. The entire department spent the next four hours searching for the runaway bite dog before we finally caught it. I told them that the next time a fireman touched my truck I was going to touch theirs.

I've caught countless dogs by opening the door to my truck and asking "Wanna go for a ride?" Even the big, scary ones can't resist an R-I-D-E.

I got a call from Mrs. Smith. She said that a crow had been sitting on her deck chair for two days. I had no idea how to catch a crow, let alone what to do with it once I had it, so I walked up and told the crow he wasn't welcome at the Smith's house any more. He blinked twice and flew away.

The police had to serve a warrant on a house that had "two vicious pit bulls" inside. They needed my help. I hid behind a police car as ten guys in SWAT gear cleared the house. I heard someone yell "Animal Control!" and went inside. Four guys were handcuffed and lying on the floor as I walked through. I thought "Hey, this is like COPS." And then thought "OMG! This IS COPS!" I found the dogs cowering in a back room with two police officers in the doorway pointing guns at them. I looked at the trembling dogs and in a happy voice said "Hey puppies, want to come with me?" They couldn't stop wiggling. Vicious my ass! The big officer barked "What do you need us to do?" I said "Move out of my way." The crowd of armor-clad officers parted like the Red Sea as I -- an unarmed girl -- walked the leashed dogs to my truck.

When I come home from work Hubby always asks "How was your day?" Often the answer is just "Weird."


It's Thoughtless Thursday! Hop around and see what others are thinking -- or NOT thinking -- about today. -- K