Animal Control Officer’s job not for the faint of heart
Connie Belchebski is our Animal Control Officer in Whitchurch-Stouffville.
She lives in this municipality and is very familiar with her community and many of the people who live here.
The day I talked with her recently, she had already had 12 calls by 2p.m. and in the hour and a half we talked, her phone rang constantly. Most of us don’t realize how busy she is. Her job has multiple segments; she protects dogs from careless owners; she protects sick wild animals; she protects us against dangerous dogs and other animals; and she protects farmers from running dogs.
While most of us treat our animals like family members, there are some pet owners who do not take care of these precious animals and they need someone to watch for their wellbeing. Dogs can be taken from owners who can’t be bothered to take adequate care, or who do not know the damage their pet is capable of creating. When I had sheep, we came home from an anniversary party for my in laws to find carnage in the barn. Sheep were alive but barely, suffering terribly. Our dog was in his kennel so could not protect them. When the owner of the dog who had done the damage was approached, he was very angry. Luckily a neighbour had witnessed what this dog was guilty of and the owner had to pay damages. He didn’t believe his dog would do that.
If dogs are running at large there is a fine. Every dog must have a tag, and it stays with the dog for life. This way a lost dog can be reunited with its owner, but also an offending dog can be controlled. I can’t imagine Connie approaching some homes wondering what the reaction will be. Who is behind that door?
She also told me of the time she was trying to catch a very small young fox who was suffering a terrible case of mange. It can be treated so Connie was trying to catch him in a trap to give him medication. While the fox was clever, other animals did get trapped so Connie had to release them and reset the trap. She was finally able to medicate the fox by putting the meds in chicken livers which the fox ingested, and hopefully the animal will live a healthy life.
While it is a shame we have to have laws to be decent, caring neighbours, we are lucky there are people like Connie who help protect us all.
Feel free to call her anytime at 1-855-898-8605 if you are having a problem with animals. Your calls will be answered 24 hours per day.