An animal control officer with a heart

Thursday, November 10, 2005

GREEN FOREST -- Verlin Griggs, the new animal control officer for Green Forest and Berryville, is trying to find homes for his furry friends.

"I love all animals," he said, "and they depend on us. If we don't take care of them, who will?"

Griggs said he is only required to wait three days to euthanize an animal in the city pound. "I'm trying to prolong their stay so I can get an adoption program started," he said. "I usually try to keep them a month."

Griggs hopes to take pictures of the animals and post them at the police department, run them in the newspaper, and maybe even announce them on the radio.

"There would be a small fee for adopting," said Griggs, "the most I would charge would be $25.

"Most people don't realize we have a city pound (in Green Forest)," said Griggs, "and they can contact me if they want a pet."

Griggs spends a large portion of his day traveling back and forth between the two pounds located in Green Forest and Berryville.

"The one in Green Forest is not designed for year-round weather," said Griggs.

The Green Forest pound is located next to the Waste Water Treatment Plant, and is a concrete building that can shelter animals from the rain, but not when the temperature falls below zero because the building is not fully enclosed, he said.

It is also not capable of housing cats, but has held a maximum of 13 dogs at one time. "The dogs, however, were not covered and many were just fenced in," Griggs said.

The Berryville pound is prepared for winter, and can house a maximum of eight dogs and eight cats.

"What I would like to see happen with the support of the county and city is to have a centralized animal control facility," said Griggs.

The facility would include a vet clinic with a veterinarian on call, an area where dogs can be inside and outside, more room for cats, a nursery for baby animals, a quarantined area to keep animals that bite away from humans and other animals.

It would have animal control investigators that would research complaints, and provide an educational class for residents on how to help with local issues.

"I know it's going to take time, and I know it's going to take funding, but there must be grants out there," said Griggs.

For more information on how to adopt an animal from the city pound or to help with opening a county-wide facility, contact Griggs at the Green Forest Police Department at (870) 438-5517.

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