The week of April 12-18 marks National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week.
The staff of Animal Protection of New Mexico and all who care about the welfare of animals know the importance of honoring the men and women who protect the animals and communities in which they live and serve.
Often the first responders on the scene, Animal Control Officers (ACOs) frequently find themselves in dangerous, volatile situations. A call concerning an injured dog turns out to be an incident of domestic violence. A welfare check on two cats leads to the discovery of animal and child abuse. On any given day, ACOs are called upon to assist animals and people in myriad situations.
From recovering a cat trapped in a storm drain to calming and carefully freeing a horse entrapped in a cattle guard, from ordering a dog’s owner to unchain his animal to rescuing a calf mired in mud, ACOs are there to help. These officers speak for the animals who have no voices, reminding us that animals deserve to be free from hunger, thirst, discomfort, pain, injury, disease, fear and distress.
Animal Control Officers are also educators. Whether in a school classroom or responding to a call from dispatch, officers teach humane stewardship and the importance of spaying and neutering to reduce the numbers of unwanted animals. They regularly educate the public about animal-related ordinances and state statutes.
For their hard work, dedication, patience, compassion and ingenuity, the staff of Animal Protection of New Mexico applauds the officers of animal welfare departments throughout New Mexico.