County takes on animal control
Published: Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
Beginning Jan. 1, the Custer County Sheriff’s Department will assume the animal control duties in the county. For those with stray dogs, that change could end up being much more expensive if their dogs are not properly licensed with the city.
For years, Geney Ziolkowski has been the animal control officer for both the county and the City of Custer. However, her impending retirement, official the last day of December, has left both the city and county scrambling with alternatives for dealing with stray animal calls. Because it is the county’s responsibility to deal with animal control by law, the county has put in extra work to find a solution.
Custer County Sheriff Rick Wheeler and deputy Slade Heeb have been at the forefront of the work and said beginning Jan. 1, at least for the short term, any stray dog picked up will be hauled to the Humane Society of the Black Hills in Rapid City if its owner cannot be contacted within 24 hours. The city has agreed to pay the county on a per-call basis for its animal control.
Heeb said the county does not have the facility to keep dogs long term, which will necessitate them taking the dogs to Rapid City. Because of that, he said it’s important for pet owners to have their animals properly licensed.
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