After being without an official animal control officer for several weeks, the City of Ely has found their new man for the job in Sam Davis. A resident of Ely for the past 10 years, Davis said he has been around animals all his life and is very comfortable dealing with them on a daily basis. What he has found though, is the job requires more than just interacting with stray pets.

“I really like the job. I’ve been a lot busier than I would’ve thought at first. There has been a lot more dealing with people than I would’ve originally imagined,” Davis said.

One of the groups Davis has found himself interacting with regularly has been the Pet Posse, a local organization that helps find adoptive families for the lost animals. He said there have been several other individuals who have reached out to his office to provide foster homes for animals while he and the Pet Posse look for more permanent homes.

“We are just trying to generate some traffic and get people down here and adopt,” Davis said.

Animals can live in a foster home for up to 45 days, far exceeding the 10-day limit of the animal control center located next to the city dump. Davis said the city and himself are working hard to put down as few animals as necessary, but that he needs the help of the community.

“We are trying to get these animals into good homes. Something that will last,” he said.

One of the ways he plans on doing that is by trying to change the generally negative perception the community holds towards the animal control center. Namely, trying to getting people to stop referring to the kennels as “the pound.”

“I would like to change people’s thinking. Instead of thinking of it as the pound or the last place you would ever want to go, instead, if someone is thinking about getting a dog or a cat, we should be the first place they look. We are like a shelter,” Davis said.

Anonymous donations of pet food are one of the biggest ways people help, Davis said. It’s not uncommon for him to have people bring in bags premium of dog or cat food for the animals. Davis wanted to thank everyone that has donated recently and said that he is always accepting new donations, as there is always a need.

City Councilman Randy Lee has been very involved with trying to improve the facilities since he was elected. A dog lover himself, Lee recommended that people thinking about adopting should first make sure that is what they really want and to not act rashly. Davis agreed, calling the adoption process “a big step” for both the new owners as well as the animal.

“The dogs are constantly changing. Sometimes there will be big dogs, sometimes there’s small dogs. But I would encourage people to be patient and stop by animal control before going out of town to bring another dog or cat into the community,” Lee said.

For those who do find an animal they would like to add to their family, Davis said the adoption process itself is relatively simple. Once the animal is selected, the city charges a $25 adoption fee and requires the new owners to sign a contract agreeing to get the animal spayed or neutered as well as get it any shots it might need.

Davis added he spends enough time with each animal to learn their attitudes, so he can advise potential new owners if they might be a problem with young children.

“I learn the animals temperaments so I can let people know what kind of animal they are getting. I don’t want them to find out that an animal might not work for their situation and have them bring it right back to me,” Davis said.

Lee said he and Mayor Melody Van Camp said they chose Davis because they liked his maturity and energy for the position.

“We didn’t want somebody that would just hide behind the desk when the weather got bad. We wanted somebody that would get out there and help solve problems, even through the winter time,” Lee said.

For more information on Ely’s Animal Control office and what animals are currently up for adoption, call Davis at 775-296-0567.