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Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week

This week is Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week.  Like police officers and firefighters, animal control officers are dedicated professionals who often put themselves at risk, work irregular shifts, and care deeply about their mission.

Richard Taylor, Cedar Rapids Animal Control OfficerDuring the recent Police Department Awards Ceremony, we recognized the work of one of the City's Animal Control Officers.  Richard Taylor has been an Animal Control Officer for about 4 years.  During his tenure, he has always been someone you can count on to assist on a case, help with overtime, come in early, or even assist with kennel maintenance.  Taylor puts in 100 percent effort into all of his calls and is very passionate about keeping animals and the public safe.  Taylor has had a part in many important cases where he was able to provide much needed care to animals that were malnourished and not being cared for properly. He has assisted with animals that were either placed into rescue, foster care, or adoption. He has also been able to issue charges in cases that resulted in guilty verdicts as a result of his quality work and attention to detail.  Taylor has done an excellent job of starting investigative work on his cases and following them through to the finish with quality results. Richard Taylor is to be commended for his strong work ethic and proactive service he provides to the Cedar Rapids community.   He is an example of the type of Animal Control Officers that work for you at Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control.

Here are details of the cases that earned Officer Taylor the Employee of the Quarter Award:         

The first case occurred February 6, 2016. Officer Taylor was dispatched to the Hy-Vee Gas on 32nd Street to pick up a Pit Bull that was at their store. When he loaded up the dog, he scanned for a chip and the dog came back with a microchip that was in Animal Care & Control's system. Officer Taylor took the dog home. When he got there, Officer Taylor noticed four other loose dogs on the property. He knocked on the door and no one was home. He then called the dog owner and she stated that she had left the dogs out and she wouldn’t be coming home that evening. She told Officer Taylor that she didn’t want them anymore. He asked her if she would meet with him and sign the dogs over. She agreed. Officer Taylor loaded the four remaining dogs onto his truck. One of the dogs were malnourished, one was severely matted which made it difficult for it to walk, and another one wasn’t able to put any weight on its back left leg. He then impounded them at the shelter.

The following day Officer Taylor and another animal control officer went back to meet up with the owner. She explained to the officers that she let the dogs out so they wouldn’t destroy her home. Officer Taylor and the other officer wrote her for 5 counts of Animal Abuse, 3 running at Large citations, and 3 No Rabies Vaccinations. When the case went to court, the judge found the owner guilty on all citations. All of the dogs found homes.

The second case occurred on March 18, 2016.  Animal Care & Control received a barking call complaint. Officer Taylor and a police officer arrived and knocked at the residence. There was no answer, but heard dogs barking inside and the officers could smell a strong odor. When they looked into the garage, they saw five dogs in kennels barking. Officer Taylor noticed that two of the dogs looked emaciated and all of the dogs were not living in healthy conditions. Based on his findings, Officer Taylor came back to the shelter and wrote up a warrant to go into the property. The warrant was signed off by a judge.  On March 21, 2016 Officer Taylor and two other animal control officers went to the address to execute the warrant. All of the doors were locked, so the police officer called for a ram. Officer Taylor contacted the dog owner’s ex-girlfriend and she said she didn’t know how to get in contact with the owner. The dog owner arrived a short while later, asking what we were doing there. Officer Taylor showed him the warrant and explained why and what was happening. Officer Taylor found four dogs inside surrounded by a lot of feces. He also viewed the garage and saw two skinny dogs living in worse conditions. None of the dogs had access to food or water. The two in the garage were in kennels that that couldn’t move freely without being in feces. Due to the living conditions, Officer Taylor removed all six dogs and had Housing Service respond to the scene and placard the house. The owner refused to tell Officer Taylor where the rest of the dogs he saw were. The following day, Officer Taylor met up with the dog owner. The owner received citations for: Unhealthy/unsanitary Conditions, No Rabies Vaccinations, and Restraint and Confinement of Animals. Officer Taylor got all six dog surrendered over to Animal Care & Control. Four of the dogs were sent to rescue, one was put for adoption, one dog was fostered by a police officer.

Animal Control Mission StatementThese two cases vividly demonstrate the Animal Care & Control mission "to serve and protect with compassion."  

This is a week to be thankful for the year-round work of our dedicated animal control officers.

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