The City of Jacksboro employs one animal control officer Star Kinder. Kinder is also a licensed code enforcement officer. Both animal control and code enforcement fall under the fire department in the city's organization.
Kinder offices out of the fire hall, but makes regular patrols through town in search of dogs on the loose.
“At least every couple of days, I hit every street in town,” Kinder said. “But I think the dogs know my vehicle and they hide.”
But the animal control officer is not the only city personnel trying to catch dogs. She gets help from firemen, sometimes street crews and even the city manager.
Kinder said, she picks up dogs when property owners call her to let her know a dog is loose, but she can't do anything about the problem if she doesn't know about it.
But she said she tries hard not to have to take a dog to the shelter or write a citation.
“If it's the first time the dog is out, I make contact with the owner,” Kinder said. “If they're working on their fence, then I work with them unless it's an aggressive dog. I definitely don't want to take the dogs to the shelter.
“I know a lot of owners. If someone's dog is out, I'll call them.”
She added that if someone is missing their dog, they need to call out to the shelter.
Some people will drive out and check the shelter while it's closed, but they can't see if their dog is inside one of the pens in the building. There is a phone number listed on the fence to call.
The Jacksboro Animal Shelter also takes dogs from the county. Kinder said three of the currently seven dogs in the shelter are from the county.
According to Jacksboro's codes, it is unlawful for any dog to run at large with the animal control officer authorized to impound a dog that does.
“I believe a big part of the problem is that a lot of dog owners are not responsible dog owners,” Smith said. “This is an issue that we will probably continue to struggle with for a while. I don't know that if we had a dozen animal control officers that they could catch all the dogs that appear when we are not there.”
Kinder provided intake reports through 2012. In that year, animal control picked up 127 animals and euthanized 21. For 2013, 147 animals were picked up and 19 were euthanized. So far for 2014, 57 animals have been picked up and six were euthanized. Kinder said three of those six were hit by cars.
Some in the city have voiced concerns that when they call animal control, they get no response from Kinder.
“If someone calls and doesn't say call me back, I don't call them back,” she said. “I do not intentionally not call them back. If they say there's a dog on South Main, I'll go look for the dog. I need good directions. If someone says Main Street, I need north, south or by the school. Or I'll just drive the street and if I don't see it ...
“If we get busy, it might take an hour before I call them back.”
Read the entire article in the Jacksboro Gazette News April 1