What Does An Animal Control Officer Do?

Oct 12, 2019 | 2019 Articles, Lorie Lewis Ham, Pets, Public Protectors, Reedley News

by Lorie Lewis Ham

We have been doing a series of articles this year taking a look at some of the people who serve Reedley in various ways. This week we sat down to have a chat with Reedley Animal Control Officer John Urbano about what he does.

KRL: Are you from Reedley?

Officer Urbano: Yes, I have lived in Reedley for the past 34 years.

KRL: How long have you been an animal control officer?

Officer Urbano: 33 years for Reedley PD.

KRL: Is it something that you knew for a long time you wanted to do?

Reedley Animal Control Officer John Urbano

Officer Urbano: No, no idea initially when I was hired, but I grew to enjoy the position and serving the community.

KRL: Did you have to go through special training for this position?

Officer Urbano: PC 832 Reserve Class to certify for dart guns, Animal Control workshops & conferences, vaccination training with local Veterinarians.

KRL: What specifically does an animal control officer do?

Officer Urbano: Responds to all public calls regarding animals within the City, lost / stolen / sick / injured / deceased. And also assist Patrol Officers with traffic control on traffic collisions and major critical incidents. I also handle VIN verifications for different types of vendors within the City limits.

KRL: Do you just work in the City limits, or out in the country surrounding Reedley as well?

Officer Urbano: Yes, primary responsibility is Reedley City limits.

KRL: What is a typical work day like for you?

Officer Urbano: Log on at 7 a.m., briefing with the Police Officers. And then begin handling calls for service. Check the Animal Shelter, clean, feed, water for animals currently at the shelter. Work with Animal Compassion Team (ACT) to adopt dogs from our shelter that do not have owners.

KRL: What happens to the animals that you pick up?

Officer Urbano: Most are returned to owners in Reedley, turned over to ACT or other local rescue groups for adoption. We are a 96% no kill shelter. Only animals that are deemed dangerously vicious, too sick or injured to survive care are euthanized.

KRL: What do you like best about your job?

Officer Urbano: Good co-workers / good friends / rewarding feeling to return lost animals to owners. Working with Rescue groups that are determined to save animals. Working with a great community for the past 33 years.

KRL: What is the hardest?

Officer Urbano: Increase locally of stray animals, limited space at our current animal shelter, educating pet owners on proper care and housing. Spay / neuter / micro-chip ID education for the public to have a healthier and safer animal population.

KRL: What should someone do if they see a stray in town or if they lose a pet?

Officer Urbano: Contact the Police Department. Ask surrounding neighbors if anyone is missing a pet. Post pictures on social media / Nextdoor asking for public’s help.

KRL: How can someone find out the rules regarding animals in Reedley?

Officer Urbano: All City Ordinances pertaining to animals within the City limits are located on the City of Reedley website under the heading “Reedley Municipal Code.”

KRL: Is there anything residents can do to make your job easier?

Officer Urbano: Spay / neuter their pets. Check home and yard for loose fence boards / gates latched. ID tag or micro chip their pets so if they are lost or stolen they can easily be identified and reunited with their owners. Be aware during summer months when heat can be extreme that pets are not left outside in direct sunlight, and they have plenty of cool water to help keep body temperatures down. Never leave a pet locked in an unattended vehicle when temperatures rise.

Thanks so much for chatting with us Officer Urbano, I know I learned a lot!

You can find many more Reedley articles in our Reedley News category, including two more in this week’s issue!

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.


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