Calling Animal Control Officer Kris Anthony... Help!
In this day and age of instant communication with your local community, when a pet goes missing, one of the very first steps people do is to post to their local online Facebook groups to get their community to help search. We know this because we manage several groups, including Hello Ridgefield & Fairfield County. Do you know how many missing pet posts we get.. daily? Neither do we but we know it's A LOT! Which is how we met Ridgefield's Animal Control Officer, Kris Anthony. He's our new Neighborhood Spotlight Story!
Meet ACO Anthony:
"Um... excuse me, do you have a rat on your shoulder?"
Managing the local Facebook group - Hello Ridgefield and Fairfield County, we get tons of lost and missing pet posts, and of course we like to tag @RPD Animal Control, so Officer Anthony sees it and knows. This is a completely new way to engage with your local community. Imagine your pet runs away... you post a picture of your pet on Facebook, and seconds later, thousands of people instantly see it and respond. Welcome to the power of local community groups like Hello Ridgefield & Fairfield County! I don't know that there has ever been a better way to communicate, build a business, or meet the people who help run your community, other than Facebook. If used properly and used for the right reasons, you can truly help your community and make a difference in someone's day. Facebook has changed how animal control officers, like Kris, do their job. Not only do they need to monitor their phone and messages, but they also need to monitor their social media channels. He gets notifications from Facebook that someone local, lost a pet, spotted a roaming coyote, or saw a random chicken running down the road. And he responds.
His daily job intrigues us. So the "Hello Team" decided to interview ACO Anthony and find out more about him and the job he does. Read our Q&A with him.
NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT: ACO Anthony & his furry, and non-furry, family members.
So what's with the rat and pigs?
"Rats make amazing pets. They are smart, trainable, and extremely affectionate. They make a great beginner pet for young children, as they aren’t as fragile as a hamster or a guinea pig, and they are simple to care for. I have younger children, so this gives them the perfect opportunity to learn to care for a live animal."
What about the rumors that when animal control finds an animal you put them down:
"All animal control officers have to make their top priority to be the health and well-being of the animals and the residents in their area of work. With that being said, It is our job to use our professional opinion in every scenario. If an animal is sick or injured beyond repair, in the opinion of the animal control officer and a veterinarian, it is not humane to let them suffer because of a belief that we should save them all."
What is your typical day like:
"Picking up stray dogs is about 10% of what my job actually is. Animal Control involves a combination of animal investigations, care, and education. While we may be picking up that dog running down the street, we also handle all dog bite incidents, rabies exposure incidents, wild animal calls, dog licensing compliance, cruelty and neglect cases, as well as animal related hoarding cases. We also handle barking complaints, and assist in police matters that involve an animal."
"In my line of work; every day brings a different task and a different challenge. No work day is the same. I am not able to categorize anything as the “craziest”. There are positives and negatives just like any other job. Unfortunately we do have to handle cases that include cruelty, hoarding, neglect, and injury. But we also get to meet amazing people, and interact with some very special pets here in the Town of Ridgefield!"
Proof that ACO Anthony is an animal lover: Check out him with his pet pigs: