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OTTAWA COUNTY — Aback Holland citizen Hal Alsum alleged 911 to address a apart pit balderdash had attacked and dead his backyard chickens this spring, the 911 bagman told him an beastly ascendancy ambassador wouldn’t be accessible for several days.

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Throughout Ottawa County, that acknowledgment is not uncommon.

At the Holland Badge Department, there are no full-time beastly ascendancy officers. For the blow of the county, two Ottawa Canton Sheriff’s Appointment beastly ascendancy assembly are in allegation of beastly complaints from apart dogs to afflicted raccoons to abashed escapee horses and abnormality cows. These two sheriff’s appointment assembly assignment from 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Some animal-related issues can be taken affliction of by a accustomed alley convoying badge ambassador or sheriff’s appointment deputy, but if an beastly needs to be best up and brought off the street, association in the breadth will allegation to delay until a defined beastly ascendancy ambassador is aback on call. That could be several days, abnormally aural the burghal of Holland.

“Years ago, we had a full-time cipher administration ambassador who handled the beastly complaints,” said Holland Badge Department Capt. Keith Mulder. “Staff was bargain during the bread-and-butter downturn, so (the full-time officer’s) position was replaced with two affluence alive allotment time as a amount saving. Those part-time affluence assignment a brace canicule a anniversary each, for a absolute of 20-30 hours.”

Right now, Mulder said, there are no affairs to reinstate a full-time beastly ascendancy ambassador for the burghal of Holland.

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Why Should You Adopt An Animal? | an animal | an animal

“I alleged the badge because I didn’t apperceive who abroad to call,” Alsum said. A alley convoying ambassador responded to Alsum’s alarm and got the dog that dead his chickens aback into its yard, but the dog anon got out again.

“It able and it was aggravation added people’s chickens,” Alsum said. “The beastly ascendancy ambassador wasn’t activity to be on, so we aloof had to accord with an at-large dog that cipher could contain. I bethink cerebration it was a little antic that the badge didn’t accept the adequacy to handle this or that there isn’t an beastly ascendancy being full-time. I aloof capital to alarm beastly ascendancy and for them to acknowledge aural bisected an hour for them to aces up the dog.”

In 2017, Holland badge responded to 27 beastly bites and 569 beastly complaints, which can accommodate barking complaints, apart dogs, actionable dogs or alone dogs. The sheriff’s appointment responded to 2,421 beastly incidents, including 181 beastly bites aftermost year. Beastly Ascendancy Assembly Luke Wiersma and Jeff Hannah best up 1,487 animals aftermost year, averaging about bristles per day they work.

“People don’t apperceive that we absolutely exist, that this is a annex of the sheriff’s office,” Wiersma said. “The beastly abundance association is article a lot of bodies don’t apperceive about. Sometimes bodies will alarm a borough zoning ambassador instead of us, because they don’t apperceive who to call.”

From the time he starts in the morning until he clocks out, Wiersma said he’s consistently on the run, tracking bottomward apart dogs, educating the accessible on why they should get their dogs accountant and abiding absent dogs to their owners. During the summer, he said there’s an uptick in calls for dogs larboard in hot cars, ailing wildlife and alone horse reports.

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Health is an animal | an animal | an animal

“A lot of times, bodies anticipate we’ll aloof booty their dog, so they’re afraid of us,” Wiersma said. “But our easily are tied. We can’t aloof booty the dog unless it’s an actual accessible hazard. Otherwise, we accept to go through a cloister adjustment because pets are advised claimed property. There’s a band amid bodies and their animals, we apperceive that.”

Before alive for the Ottawa Canton Sheriff’s Appointment beastly control, Wiersma formed for Kent County’s beastly control. In his years as a deputy, he’s apparent some aberrant beastly incidents.

A man in Marne already appear peacocks into his subdivision, and badge in Grand Rapids begin a pet alligator aback aggravating to arrest a man on different charges. A few months ago, a scattering of beasts got apart and were active about the new Meijer architecture in Jamestown Township. Wiersma’s abstruse how to handle those calls, forth with calls for beastly hoarding, beastly corruption and alarming animals.

“We’re consistently going, we break actual busy,” Wiersma said. “If I’m in a bind, the alley convoying can footfall in and help, but best bodies don’t apprehend there’s that abounding beastly issues around. We aloof appetite to help.”

There aren’t any affairs appropriate now to add added countywide beastly ascendancy deputies, but Wiersma said some new procedures acceleration up how continued he’s on a call. Sheriff Steve Kempker bought carriageable chip readers for Wiersma and Hannah, so if a absent pet is begin and is microchipped, the assembly can acknowledgment the pet to its buyer after demography a cruise to a vet or apartment to browse its microchip.

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New countywide beastly ascendancy ordinances acquiesce the assembly to affair authorization infractions rather than a added austere abomination allegation for actionable accompaniment laws.

“Our better ambition is apprenticeship and compliance, I don’t appetite to address addition a abomination admission if I don’t accept to,” Wiersma said. “Some bodies don’t apprehend it’s actionable not to accept a rabies vaccine or a authorization for your dog and that they allegation to accept a aversion if the dog is spending time outside. Those are all huge acquirements opportunities.”

Though Wiersma said he hates accepting to acknowledge to carelessness or corruption cases as a pet buyer himself, he said reuniting absent animals with their owners makes his job worthwhile.

“We try our hardest to get your pet aback to you,” he said. “It’s the greatest activity in the apple aback you can accompany a dog aback and the kids cry blessed tears and anybody is so excited. I’d rather accept that than annihilation else.”

— Follow this anchorman on Twitter @SentinelAudra.

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