FLORENCE — Dwayne Oliver admits his job as the Lauderdale County Animal Control officer has been challenging.
“I stay busy,” Oliver said. “I go from one end of the county to the other sometimes, and I never know what kind of call I’ll get.”
Oliver has been on the job for about a month. He has had his share of calls about dogs and cats, but he said he has also had to catch a pet wolf, try to trap a red fox, find a run-away donkey and check on neglected horses.
“There hasn’t been any dull moments so far. I guess there is always going to be something going on,” Oliver said.
County Administrator Brenda Bryant said the calls go through the Sheriff’s Department and then are transferred to Oliver.
“Dwayne has animals, and he knows how to handle them, so that’s been a plus,” she said.
In September, Lauderdale County commissioners approved hiring a full-time animal control officer to help improve service in rural areas. Before the new position, the county’s animal control officer was a part-time position, which was served by a sheriff’s deputy. Oliver reports to the commission.
Terri Whelen, president of the local chapter of Pets Are Worth Saving, said having Oliver on the job is a positive move for the county.
“I’ve met with him a couple of times, and I believe he is going to be good for the county,” she said. “He is coming with a perspective of someone able to help animals and someone who cares about their outcome.”
She said PAWS representatives plan to meet with Oliver to discuss how the group can support him.
“Everyone has been very nice and understanding with what I’m trying to do,” Oliver said. “My job is to help the community and help the residents be more responsible pet owners.”
He said he needs someone to house neglected or abused large animals such as horses.
County officials said the Singing River Equine Rescue has been helping when possible.
“But we need someone who is willing to house horses for us when needed,” Oliver said. “We’d love to have one place in each end of the county where we could place horses until we can find a permanent place for them.”
Anyone interested should call the County Commission at 256-760-5750.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.