With calls ‘through the roof,’ Cumberland adds assistant animal control officer | News

CUMBERLAND – Life at Cumberland Animal Control has been so busy, says animal control officer Shelby Boudreaux, that there are days when she barely stops moving and sometimes can’t do all the work of follow-up she would like to do.

Boudreaux now has help, after city council approved the hiring of assistant animal control officer Nicole Cioffi of East Greenwich last week.

Cioffi, who holds a degree in criminal justice from the New England Institute of Technology, previously worked as a crime analyst for the Cranston Police Department and volunteered for the Cranston Animal Shelter last year. She will assist Boudreaux in all aspects of daily operations.

Cioffi told the board she was grateful to Boudreaux for championing the position, saying she met Cumberland’s ACO during an internship at Cranston.

Boudreaux, who took over the job last fall, noted that she has been working long days and has been asking for an assistant for some time.

“Calls go through the roof,” Boudreaux said later. The breezeand activity is not accurately reflected in the number of adoptions completed, the total number of Cumberland animals at the shelter the city shares in Lincoln at any given time, or the total number of animals returned to owners.

There are loose dogs, injured cats with injuries of unknown origin (cat Charles will be up for adoption next week), dog and cat bites, animal calls dead or injured ferals, vicious dog auditions, and so many more, she mentioned. She recently completed her 92nd report since Jan. 1, she said, and that number of reports is nowhere near equaling the total number of calls she has made.

Cumberland Monastery is the first place for calls about dogs on the loose, she said, and she would like to have more time to do random trips around it to make sure the dogs are on leashes. as required by order.

Boudreaux said she wasn’t sure why there had been such an increase in activity, but said it could be partly due to the impacts of the pandemic and the fact that so many people acquired animals from company and that these animals have not been properly socialized for so long.

Many pet owners don’t seem to be aware of the need for proper vaccinations, Boudreaux said, even with the number one concern of rabies. After dogs are detained and vaccinated against rabies, the ACO follows up to ensure the dog is properly registered, another step many owners don’t realize they need to take, Boudreaux said.

Wildlife calls are also out of control, she added, especially as the city continues to see trees cut down for development. Injured animal situations require a call for wildlife rehabilitation.

It’s not just Cumberland that’s having such a busy season as the weather warms up, Boudreaux said, but other communities such as Smithfield and Cranston are also overwhelmed even with multiple ACOs on board.

Many people don’t realize how much an ACO does, she said, including reacting to remove a dead animal from the road in part so that other animals don’t try to eat it and get caught as well. hit by a car. They will also stop to remove an animal if they see it while passing.

Reports are important so she can look back to tell where she was and when on a certain date, she said.

For calls involving live animals, such as baby birds or squirrels, they call the wildlife clinic, she said. On top of everything else, officers must find the time to return to the shelter to clean, feed and care for the animals, as well as follow up on calls.

With Cioffi on board, Boudreaux said, she can do a lot more follow-ups as they seek to provide the best possible service to the City of Cumberland, including tracking animal hospitals and making sure someone is a good pet owner.

Boudreaux said it was difficult to compare the total number of reports or calls with the volume of previous years because record keeping was not a point of attention prior to his arrival.

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