Q: I have cats coming into my garage at night. Can I call the Animal Control Officer to come take care of the problem?
A: The City of Robinson does not have a policy of handling cats. Beginning October 1, 2011, the City will no longer absorb the $75.00 cost of pets being surrendered to the Humane Society of Central Texas (HSCT) except when it is surrendered by the Robinson Police Department. The cost for a resident to surrender a cat to the HSCT will be $75.00 each, with each kitten and puppy in a litter being consider an individual cat or dog. The resident is responsible for paying the $75.00 fee and the fee is regulated by the HSCT, not the Robinson Police Department.
The Robinson Police Department's animal control personnel will continue to address sick and injured cats and dogs on public property and may, on a case-by-case basis, handle cats or dogs on private property. It would be very unusual for the police department to handle a cat on private property. Dogs often fall under the City's leash law and are handled differently than cats.
The roles and duties of animal control personnel vary widely. In Robinson, the animal control officer (ACO) is a member of the police department. They are trained and equipped to handle animal-related calls. In other communities the ACO may belong to an entirely separate municipal department, such as the health division.
Animals that are a health issue take priority over all other ACO calls for service. An example of a health issue involving cats could be a cat that is injured, sickly, or perhaps even infected with rabies. Always call the ACO if you suspect a stray animal is sick.
Generally speaking, if someone has a stray cat on their property, the property owner should take a couple of simple steps to try and alleviate the problem. Feeding a stray animal just keeps the animal coming back for more. We ask property owners to not feed any animal that does not belong to them.
Many calls we receive regarding skunks occur because the skunk has found a ready supply of food outside the residence. While the food is intended for the family’s pet, skunks love feeding on this food too.
Property owners can also prevent stray animals from becoming a problem by keeping windows and doors closed. Blocking or plugging holes that would allow stray animals into areas where they are not wanted, such as under a residence or into a building, can also prevent strays from becoming a problem. We often receive calls about cats nesting in garages and find a simple solution to this problem is simply lowering the garage door.
If these steps have been followed and a stray animal is still a problem, then contact the ACO by calling the Robinson Police Department at 662-0525. The ACO will contact the property owner and explore the best solution to the problem. The best solution may require the resident or business owner to take all the steps necessary to alleviate their stray animal problem with the ACO being the last resort for helping with the problem. This article cannot address every stray animal problem so calling the ACO to discuss your individual stray animal problem is encouraged.
die hard, but the image of the typical animal control
officer has changed remarkably. Long lampooned by
cartoons as net-carrying villains, animal control
officers are now considered on the frontline of
protecting a community's pets and wild animals. With
that being said, the animal control officer can only
protect those areas they have authority to control and
that is normally public property only unless there is a
violation of a city or state ordinance.
It's a far cry from simply being the city's "dog
catcher." Police and city officials call on ACOs day and
night to answer calls from the routine to the bizarre.
In Robinson the ACO does not work nights and, unless the
call for service involves a dangerous situation, the
call may have to wait until the ACO is available the
next day or even after the weekend. Because they are not
trained in animal control, police officers often cannot
and should not handle animal control problems unless the
problem involves an immediate danger to someone.