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Stray dogs and cats may be roaming around more Springfield neighborhoods this summer due to the Greene County Health Department cutting back on its animal control division. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.
Health Department officials say Springfield residents will have to set up their own traps to catch late night pests roaming in their backyards.
Clay Goddard is the assistant director for the Springfield Greene County Health Department.
He says since the city cut back the health department’s budget, an animal control position has been eliminated.“This position worked Monday through Friday, eight to five and its primary role was to be an interface with the general public. If you have lost your dog and believed that perhaps it had been impounded by one of our officers. This individual would help you regain custody of your animal,” Goddard said.Goddard says in the past year, animal control officers received over 13,000 calls to pick up strays, find lost pets or trap unwanted animals.
He says now residents will have to trap and get rid of skunks, opossums or raccoons they find in their yards.
“We would go out and set a live trap and if we were successful in trapping the animal, we would come and get it and we would release the wildlife in an area that doesn’t have a lot of housing. We’re no longer going to be able to perform that service, so they’re going to have to buy a trap themselves and do the trapping or they’re going to have to call, for lack of a better term, a critter control company. And they will have to pay for that service,” Goddard said.Goddard says the health department can help people over the phone set traps to catch unwanted animals.
He says animal control will still pick up animals after they have been trapped.
Goddard added that he hopes the health department can afford to bring this position back because he says the animal control division is already short staffed.
For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.