Animal Control Officers Deserve An Apology

by Bill (Animal Control Officer)

I think it is great to say that we want to save all the cats even the feral ones. But reality is the economy is terrible and the money to spend on the TNR (trap – neuter – return) programs generally speaking just don’t exist.

Additionally, I think it is unfair to randomly and arbitrarily blame the local ACO “#2-contacting animal control to trap and kill feral cats.”

The fact of the matter is that irresponsible people are to blame for the plight of most feral cat populations. I think an apology is owed and deserved to myself and others who have what can only be described as a thankless job.


Hi Bill…Well, firstly thanks for coming by. It is a first to hear from an ACO and I love different viewpoints and arguments as we all learn from it.

Please come back with some stories, even if we might find them harrowing or uncomfortable. Reality must be faced.

I tend to agree with your point of view too. Ultimately the responsibility is the cat keeper (owner) to care for their cat properly.

All feral cat problems ultimately go back to us, people, the human race and ACOs are part of the clean up process in response to irresponsible behavior.

It would be far better if a pro-active process was in place as it would save an awful lot of suffering for cats.

Note: I hope you don’t mind that I changed the title to make it more understandable to visitors from other parts of the world, where “ACO” is less well known.

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Animal Control Officers Deserve and Apology to Feral Cats

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Animal Control Officers Deserve An Apology

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Jan 13, 2010 I agree
by: Ruth Y.

I agree with you totally. When there were baby kittens discovered under my porch last summer animal control officers came by to trap them. Some of my neighbors thought that was just horrible. But now it’s really cold out– sometimes getting well below zero at night. Two kittens from that litter were not caught. Are they better off than the ones who at least had a chance of finding a home with a loving family? There’s this idea that cats can just take care of themselves outside, but because they are really domesticated animals they aren’t necessarily equipped to survive, especially in really cold weather. I adopted one kitten from that litter with help from domestic animal control. People don’t realize how much help they can get from animal control, with initial veterinary care, spaying/neutering, microchipping, information on caring for a feral kitten, etc… The animal control vet techs were better at teaching me how to care for my new friend than any vet I’ve found since. Thanks goodness for all I learned from them.
In my area, however, TNR programs are illegal. The animal control officers have to uphold the law, as stupid as it is. This is not the fault of the officers, but rather of the politicians who aren’t using their heads.

Dec 27, 2009 You Guys Get a Bum Rap for an Impossible Job!
by: Lisa James

Hi Bill!

I’m the president of a 501c3 cat rescue & work with my local Animal Control facility. I was just there yesterday, because my daughter wanted to get in some more volunteer hours. I was sitting in the Director’s office discussing this very subject with her & the Rescue/Adoption/Foster/Volunteer Coordinator. I said the same thing. If we could somehow cut down on the irresponsible pet owners who let their cats outside, there would be much less of a feral problem. Where do ferals come from? Cats who are allowed to free roam, get knocked up, have kittens that the irresponsible owners don’t want & can’t “get rid of”, so they are set free somewhere.

TNR is a tough job, because the people in mostly rural areas won’t accept the cats back once they’ve been trapped & sterilized, so there has to be an existing colony that someone is caring for in order to release them away from where they come from, because around here, they won’t call a second time,they’ll either shoot them or poison them.

Our Animal Control has gotten it’s euthanasia rate down to a low 44% by instituting a half price cat/kitten adoption fee, using a new, high volume low cost spay/neuter clinic, turning a caged cat/kitten adoption room into a free roaming, bright, cheery adoption area with chairs, cat furniture, hideaway cabinets, & one small transitional cage bank for new cats going into the room to acclimate. They have also turned the quarantine room into a Hold for Adoption processing room, & are going to be turning a feed storage room into a Kitten Adoption room, because right now,the kittens are in the grooming/treatment room, still in cages, but they’re doing the best they can. They started up a foster program, which is doing very well, & doing no cost releases to 501c3 rescues.

We have all GOT to work together, or we can’t do any good!

Dec 27, 2009 Acknowledged
by: Jan Plant

Dear Bill,
Yes, you do sir.And I apologize.I apologize for all the stupid ,uninformed ignorant people who do not understand that you are only doing your job; and a heart breaking rough one it is; I apologize for all the irresponsible pet owners,who in turn give you grief for then cleaning up their mess.I apologize for those who have the misconception that you enjoy impounding unwanted and discarded animals.I apologize for those who view you as unfeeling and heartless.I apologize for all the stupid irresponsible pet owners every where,who due to their own actions,have created such a horrific job as yours.I apologize that you sir,unfortunately,needed.And I apologize sir,that you must deal with so much heartache every day.We are all working on putting an end to it.Hopefully,in the near future,your job will be a thing of the past,and you can move on to a more pleasurable form of employment.

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