The City of Ely recently hired a new animal control officer, Craig Sanford, who has taken a very proactive effort in keeping people apprised of the animals that are available for adoption. Although the city did the hiring this position covers the entire county.
For some people they think of this position as the “dog catcher,” but that’s not all an animal control officer does. Calls about chickens, goats, horses, cats, dogs and the occasional raccoon is what Sanford is responsible for taking care of.
Sanford decided to move to Ely two years ago from Henderson. After visiting friends several times in Ely, he relocated here. When asked why he wanted to take the job as an animal control office, Sanford said “I want to be out in the community and this position requires that and even though I’ve only been in Ely two years, I really love this community”.
Sanford has a Military background. He served from 1998-2006, was deployed to Kosavo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and stationed in Germany for five years while serving in the Army.
Although he has no previous experience in being an animal control officer, he said he has had pets of his own, and he’s making every effort to get what animals are deeemd adoptable adopted.
He began utilizing social media to post the animals available for adoption and he’s already adopted out two dogs in one week.
He has had a lot of people interested in pets. People don’t realize there are pure breds at the shelter. Sanford said “There is a pure bred Chocolate Lab out here, best dog, well trained, plays fetch and all he needs is that right home.”
Dog adoptions are $25 and $5 per cat.
Sanford said people surrender animals almost daily. Sometimes he’ll go a day without taking one in, other times it’s two animals in one day.
Cats seem to be the most surrendered. Although Nevada Department of Wildlife handles calls about deer, mountain lions and coyotes, Sanford said calls about skunks keep him just as busy.
Patrolling the horse corrals is another part of his job to ensure the animals there are properly cared for and look healthy.
When asked what his wildest call has been so far? “A raccoon in McGill, on the main street, it had several puncture wounds that looked like animal bites to his body, so it had to be euthanized”.
Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and they are always in need of donations, blankets big or small, dog food, cat litter, cat food and hay for the dog houses located outside. For more information contact Sanford at 775-296-0567.