Tribal Officials See Need for Animal Control Officer
Dogs at LCO pound, from LCO PD's Facebook page
An LCO Tribal Governing Board member says the council recognizes the need for an Animal Control Officer, a position that was eliminated two years ago due to budget issues.
Joel Valentin, tribal council liaison to law enforcement, said the council knows this is an issue and there is a need.
“People are having a hard time walking around their neighborhood with all the dogs out there,” Valentin said. “We are getting a lot of complaints of dogs chasing people.”
Valentin said the LCO Police Dept. handles all dog complaints on a case by case basis right now and LCO Conservation will also handle some cases.
Currently, there is a leash law on the reservation. Valentin said for a first offense, normally the officer will talk with the dog owner about the leash law and give them a warning.
“A citation is issued after a second call. For repeat offenders, the nuisance dogs that are always running around, tribal court can order the dog be taken,” Valentin said.
Valentin said whenever there is a dog bite complaint, the dog is quarantined for 10 days. The dog owner has to pay all the fees for the quarantine before they can get the dog back, he said. For a second bite, the officer lets the court know and the court can take the dog from the owner. It’s a case by case basis, Valentin said.
“All members of the council are in support of bringing back the animal control officer position,” Valentin said. “We’ve talked about it, but haven’t taken action yet. But we need to get it posted, then train the right person for the job.”
Valentin said there is no specific time frame for when they will hire a new Animal Control Officer.