I worked for a shelter in West Tennessee for about four years. I became an Animal Control Officer because I was at a point in my life 39 years old where I needed to make a difference in something.
I have always brought home the local stray or fostered local wildlife that needed help. I was part of a great shelter that did a great job for the city I worked. I was also one of the officers that participated in putting animals down.
Shortly before I was laid off because of economic reasons from the city I had a break down in the clinic. We put down 9 dogs and 3 cats. One of the cats was a bite case. The protocol for a bite from a feral cat is to remove the head to be sent to the state for lab to test for rabies.
The staff in the clinic thought that was the reason for me breaking down. I tried to explain to my director that it was the fact that I felt we put a lot of animals down just for space. She was not very understanding.
I have had problems sleeping, eating, interacting with others and working at a job that I left to become an ACO! Habits that I picked up like drinking have increased and not going to work and random crying is a problem.
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) — I don’t know. I’m just glad not to have to kill pets.