West Plains Animal Control has suspended its response to low-priority and non-emergency animal calls, announces Animal Control Officer Brad Vannada.
The scale-backs include responses to owner surrenders, public delivery of dogs to the animal control office, non-aggressive loose dog pickups and barking dog complaints.
Officers will continue to respond to dog bite reports, aggressive dogs running loose and complaints of animal cruelty or injured dogs.
The measures are being taken in an effort to limit contact between officers and the public in non-emergency situations and possibly help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It is also intended to help limit the exposure of citizens wishing to visit the animal control office to adopt a dog or claim their own dog if it has been impounded.
The public may still come to the animal control office by appointment only from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and dogs may be viewed in the open air kennels on the south side of the building at 1724 Old Airport Road. Officials noted this policy can change dependent on bad weather and whether staff is on duty.
No one besides authorized personnel will be allowed beyond the main lobby for any reason, Vannada emphasized. The policy is to limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus through human-to-human contact, and there is no concern about dogs contracting the virus from people or people contracting the virus from dogs, he said.
Photos of adoptable dogs may also be viewed on the animal control office’s Facebook page, and anyone whose dog has gone missing is encouraged to view photos of impounded dogs there.
Questions may be answered by calling Vannada from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 255-1860 or sending him a message through the animal control department’s Facebook page.