Every day humane officers put themselves in difficult situations to make sure animals are being taken care of. Jackie Roberts rode alongside local officers today to learn more about what that job entails.
It’s a typical Monday morning for Lisa Stiles; she’s the Chief Humane Officer with the Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania. She and her partner, Brian Carroll, investigate cases of neglect and physical abuse of domestic animals.
She tells us, “We respond to usually about 800 new calls a year so any day we could be out handling anywhere between about five and a dozen calls a day,” making up a list of more than 11,000 people with accusations against them.
Stiles says the ideal outcome is teaching people how to treat animals, but unfortunately, that’s not how every case ends.
Lisa says, “What keeps us going is getting the animals either out of the situations or seeing the owners become educated to what they’re doing wrong and improve the animal’s living conditions in the actual home environment.”
In order to hold those people accountable, officers spend several hours of the day out in the field checking up on the animals and the pet owners.
Brian says, “Without us, these animals would suffer. Without the public turning these issues into us, these animals you know they may suffer. So, it’s just good to know that you’re helping.”
Just in the time I shadowed the officers, they stopped at four locations where an allegation of abuse had been made against the owner. The officers say it’s a job with challenges, but their calling to help animals in need is their motivation each day.
Officers tell us above all else, the goal is always to educate first.