You don’t know what you got...
Published: Thursday, July 24th, 2014
There is a ballad by the metal band Cinderella released in 1988 that goes something like, “You Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone).” I would say that pretty much sums up the situation with the retirement of long-time city-county animal control officer Geney Ziolkowski the first of this year.
For some 20 years Geney took care of all kinds of stray animals on her North 8th Street property near the Mickelson Trail. She lived right there on the premises with her husband, Mark, and the dogs and cats and other critters that were brought to her for safekeeping until their owners claimed them.
City and county officials became aware of her upcoming retirement about mid-November or before, but were unable to come up with any kind of temporary or permanent replacement for Geney and her facilities. She turned down a request by the county commission to use her cages to house loose animals. I can’t say we can blame her for that at all.
Apparently everyone took for granted the great service Geney was providing the community and thought it would never end. Sometimes you really don’t know what you have until you lose it. This certainly is the case with the current animal control situation, or lack of it, in the city and county.
Since the city contracts with the county for law enforcement, the unwanted duties of animal control have fallen in the laps of Custer County Sheriff Rick Wheeler and his deputies. They have enough to do without worrying about catching and transporting dogs to the Battle Mountain facility just north of Hot Springs.
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