Anna Paris has been serving as the Powell Police Department’s community service officer since 1990. In that position, she helps with parking, gives safety talks and supports patrol officers. …
Anna Paris has been serving as the Powell Police Department’s community service officer since 1990. In that position, she helps with parking, gives safety talks and supports patrol officers. She also is Powell’s animal control officer.
For the most part, people take care of their animals and are responsible pet owners. Most problems Paris encounters don’t result from neglect or cruelty.
“We have really good pet owners in Powell,” the officer said. “I’m impressed.”
Every day, Paris does deal with complaints of loud dogs, dogs on the loose and aggressive dogs.
“Those are the main issues,” she said.
The city has a leash ordinance, which requires all dogs to be on a leash whenever they’re off their owner’s property. She said most people keep their dogs leashed when taking them for a walk. Violations of the law occur most often when a gate isn’t latched properly or a dog jumps a fence.
If an owner discovers their dog is missing, Paris said to contact the police as soon as possible. That way, if police spot the animal, they can contact the owner.
Dogs picked up in town are taken to the City of Powell/Moyer Animal Shelter, which is operated by the non-profit Caring For Powell Animals.
Elfriede Milburn, president of the non-profit, said people with missing cats should call the shelter as well.
“For some reason, people never think to do that,” Milburn said.
She said the shelter handles a lot of cats and is always in need of donations of litter and cat food. They can also use cash donations as well to help with the spaying and neutering of pets. Milburn added that the shelter receives a lot of support for its mission.
“People are very generous,” she said.
Even when dogs stay in their yards, barking can become a problem. City ordinance defines a nuisance pet as one that makes noise in a continuous and habitual matter; it doesn’t matter what time of day it is.
Paris said barking dogs is a tough issue.
“Owners are often unaware their dog is creating a nuisance in the neighborhood until we contact them,” she said.
While police will respond to these complaints, Paris said a resident who has a problem with a neighbor’s dog can often resolve the issue simply by talking to their neighbors.
Dog owners with pets that continue to disturb the neighborhood can look into bark collars. The collars detect vibrations of the dog’s vocal chords. If the barking goes on too much, the collar will either spray the dog with citronella or give it a shock.
“I don’t recommend removal of vocal chords,” Paris said.
City ordinances also require pet owners to register their pets annually for all dogs over 5 months old. A certificate from a veterinarian is required to show the pet has received its vaccinations. The cost is $2 or $10 for a dog that isn’t spayed or neutered, as shown on the veterinarian certificate.
Paris said spaying and neutering a dog can also cut down on their barking and inclination to run off. The vaccinations are for everyone’s health, and failing to properly vaccinate your pet can have serious consequences.
“Rabies is a deadly disease to all mammals — including humans,” Paris said.
Cats are also required to have a collar with a tag. Paris said a lot of times people leave the collars off their cats because they fear the collar will get hung up on something and choke their pet.
“If they put it on correctly, that won’t happen,” she said.
Paris said she often deals with abandoned pets, and she encourages people to be sure they can care for a pet before taking on the responsibility.
“If you can’t have it in your schedule to properly care for a pet, postpone getting one until it’s a better time,” she advised.
Lastly, should circumstances change in an owner’s life that make it difficult for him or her to care for their pets, Paris said they can call her at the Powell Police Department. She will let them know what options are available.
“I’m available to assist in any way possible,” Paris said. “Please, don’t abandon your pets.”