Glynn County Animal Control had its eight officers take oaths of office in magistrate court Tuesday to recognize their contributions to public safety.
Animal Control Manager Tiffani Hill said officials with the county set the whole thing up to hopefully bring attention to the work animal control officers do from day to day.
“The idea behind doing it is bringing recognition to animal control officers and the hard work they do,” Hill said. “Most people don’t see everything going on behind the scenes.”
Kathryn Downs, assistant county manager, said it’s important to take time to celebrate animal control officers and to promote professionalism within the animal control field.
“We have a hard-working team that diligently serves the community in this capacity, and Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week is the perfect time to highlight the accomplishments that Tiffani and her staff have achieved,” Downs said.
Of eight officers currently employed by the county, only two are field officers — the ones who go out and catch runaways and strays.
The others are classified as either veterinary technicians or kennel staff, either helping care for animals’ medical needs or maintaining their accommodations.
“We take it very seriously,” Hill said. “We are public servants and part of public safety.”
Animal Control Officer Gerald Rewis, one of the senior officers on staff, said he’s taken the oath before and that it’s mostly symbolic.
“I’ve been here for five and a half years, going on six, so I’m already sworn in,” Rewis said. “I took the oath with the city. It’s more of a ceremonial thing.”
“It’s like renewing your vows,” Mike Robinson, animal control officer in training, chimed in.
Despite that, Rewis said it was something he was glad to do. Animal control officers have a tough job, he said, and he was glad some of the newer members of their ranks were getting recognition for their work. It’s hard but rewarding, he added.
“To see how they transform, not just physically but mentally, it’s something to see,” Rewis said.
While new, Robinson said he was settling in nicely.
“It’s like having 80 guard dogs,” Robinson joked. “It’s just fun, and we have a great staff.”
It’s a tough job, Hill explained. The shelter does its best to help with pet retention and relocating pets to other shelters with room to spare, but in Glynn County, it’s often a difficult battle.
“I think the most we’ve brought in is 17 dogs in one day, and we don’t have 17 adoptions in one day,” Hill said.
Animal control is offering new volunteer training this weekend and plans to take its mobile adoption unit out into the community on Saturday and Sunday. The shelter also offers regular free microchip clinics.
For more information, call the shelter at 912-554-7500 or visit its Facebook page.