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Confessions From an Off Duty Animal Control Officer

Confessions of an Off Duty Animal Control Officer. Ever want to sit down with an Animal Control Officer & find out what makes them tick? Here's your opportunity!

My Name is Stacy Rawlings and I'm an Animal Junkie. There, I said it.

All my life, I have loved animals, large and small, friend or foe to us human counterparts. They fascinated me and I spent my childhood in Kansas observing their daily lives, their relationships with their own kind as well as their relationship to us. I was born into an animal loving family, we always had animals of every kind. I was somewhat of a shy child, feeling like an outsider in peer social circles, but somehow I always felt at ease and free to be myself in the company of animals.

No surprise that I grew up to work in the horse industry for years and finally taking a position with Animal Control. I am truly in my element. As a respected mentor of mine once said, "If you take a job you love, you'll never 'work' a day in your life."  My work days are filled with excitement, wonder, joy and saddness, but my days are rarely "work" to me. No day is the same as the one before it and I am sure, as many other ACO's will attest.... "the stories I could tell!"

When I saw the call to blog on the Patch, I wondered if folks would enjoy reading the ramblings of someone who literally lives and breathes animals 24/7, and equally enjoys writing about it.  The only way to know the answer to that, is to give it a go.  So here I am, attempting to reach out to other lovers of all things animal.

Through this blog I'd like to offer my readers interesting stories about my past experiences as an Animal Control Officer, my opinions and ideas on animal related issues, perhaps answer questions that reader might have burning their brains regarding pets and animals in general, and what goes on at my own farm, Whispering Pines, lovingly referred to as the "final destination" for several rescues that have found their way into my heart. I will add a new blog weekly, on Wednesday's if at all possible. If you like what you read, let me know. If you have ideas on subjects you would like me to talk about, please shoot me a comment or email and I'll do my best to acommodate you.

What I won't do is blog about current open cases, state names on any past cases, take complaints through this forum, or give legal advise regarding pet related issues. I intend on keeping my discourse light and always with kind regards to fellow citizens, whether we agree or not on topics I discuss.

So, who wants to make some new friends and talk animals?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Susan Barnhouse May 12, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Sounds like a great blog Stacy! Can't wait to read more!
Mary Lou Vaskus May 12, 2011 at 10:31 PM
Sounds like a fascinating job! I love animals and certainly am looking forward to hearing your stories.
Tracy Morgan May 12, 2011 at 11:12 PM
How does someone go about getting a job like yours? I've always been an animal lover also. I have been home with kids forever and now that they are almost grown, I'm looking for a new career. I've done office work off and on, but would love to do something rewarding like you do.
Stacy Rawlings May 13, 2011 at 12:53 AM
Thanks Susan & Mary Lou & Welcome! I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts, ideas, antics and adventures. I would enjoy hearing your views on all things animal as well! Tracy, I would start by volunteering for an organization like the Humane Society, or one of the local animal rescues. Get yourself neck deep in the industry of animal welfare, help, watch & learn everything you can. This is a tough business, it can be extremely stressful & takes a particular type of personality to endure the weight that it can create emotionally. People often say to us, "I could never do your job, I love animals too much"... Wow, do they think we don't love animals too? What I think they are referring to, in an off beat way, is what we have to see. It's an extremely harsh dose of reality. You have to set aside emotions altogether to experience any level of success. It also requires an excellent understanding of animal behavior & how to manage out of control dogs specifically. I would volunteer or work in a shelter or rescue environment, intern with a dog trainer or something similar to dip your toes in a bit and see what you can tolerate emotionally before you look for a position in Animal Control. If, after experiencing a few years in such a setting, you feel that you could endure, then look for openings in local County agencies. They are few & far between, but it's a very fulfilling profession. A background in the animal industry is almost always a given as a prerequisite however.
Tracy Morgan May 13, 2011 at 10:18 AM
Thanks for the info Stacy!
Dennis May 13, 2011 at 04:01 PM
Nicely done Stacy! Signed, Danielle's Dad.
Stacy Rawlings May 13, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Thanks Dennis, I hope all is well with you and yours? I Appreciate the compliment :)
Denise Martin May 17, 2011 at 02:51 AM
Stacy, I lost your e-mail address in my computer somewhere. I need to talk to you about 4 abandoned kittens I am fostering. It's too much for me and I need some help. Please contact me at usasunflower39@yahoo.com. You were at my house earlier this year because of a bogus complaint made by my ex boyfriend. Denise M in Cardiff

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