Time to tame pet problem

Published 12:36 pm Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Many citizens in Calera have dealt with animals on the loose posing a danger to other pets and people.

Calera Police Chief Sean Lemley is doing his best to assuage their concerns by creating a position for a full-time animal control officer on the force — a solution we heartily applaud.

We know Shelby County has a huge problem with animals that aren’t spayed or neutered running free. This leads to huge numbers of homeless animals, some of which unfortunately turn violent.

Right now, police officers are handcuffed, so to speak, because they are unable to issue citations unless they actually witness the offense, know to whom the animal belongs and can catch the owner at home when the incident happens.

Police officers can’t even capture the animals — the Public Works department has to do so.

If the Calera City Council approves the budget for the new animal control officer, such inefficiency will be a thing of the past. The officer will be able to capture animals and transport them safely.

Lemley said animals on the loose are a problem in every Alabama community, but most cities don’t want to deal with the problem.

He’s right, but the fact Calera is taking steps to face the problem says volumes about the city and the care city officials are taking for citizens.