Clark County Animal Control's increasing load in wake of chimp escape
Clark County, NV (KTNV)- CJ and Buddy's chimp escape has prompted several government agencies to look into stricter regulation of exotic animal owners. Clark County most recently approved a motion to hold owners more accountable. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Clark County, NV (KTNV) -- CJ and Buddy's chimp escape has prompted several government agencies to look into stricter regulation of exotic animal owners. Clark County most recently approved a motion to hold owners more accountable.
That would be done through the work of animal control, but a good point has surfaced since last week's decision. This small team of officers already does so much with so little. Can they handle even more?
"We're going on a stray dog call. Somebody found a stray dog and tied it up in their front yard. I think it's 106 today. I don't want to leave it tied up out there too long," says Darryl Duncan, animal control officer for Clark County.
Having done this for 31 years, he admits some calls are easy although some animals take a bit more work.
And while on the job, animal control officers answer all types of calls.
"Dogs locked in vehicles, dogs with no water," says Officer Duncan. "We have a lot of reptiles out here. A lot of people out here with large snakes and iguanas."
Thirteen officers for all of Clark County.
"We cover all the way from Searchlight, all the way to Indian Springs, to Moapa, and (the) state line," says Duncan.
Most recently, officers answered the call to capture two chimps loose on the northwest side of town.
"It did surprise me. Anything like that, they are very dangerous animals," says Duncan.
Since then Clark County Commissioners approved a motion to better regulate who owns exotic and sometimes dangerous animals. The county wants to inspect owners and their facilities annually. Some commissioners say that could be difficult since animal control already has a lot on their plate.
"We do what we can. We try to handle our priority calls first, and then whatever else we can handle. On most days we can't complete all the calls that we have," says Officer Duncan.
And while the work load may grow, these officers say they'll hope for a way to get the job done.
"I would always love to have another officer, but we'll make do with what we have. We always do," he says.
The specific details of this proposed ordinance will come back for a vote by county commissioners possibly as soon as Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.