Like most of us who enter the field of Animal Control, we “thought” we knew what it was all about. Officer Gonzalez quickly learned there is so much more than simply picking up stray animals on country roads.
The job of animal control in our county goes beyond stray animals and barking complaints. Our officers are charged with enforcing not only the county ordinance but the state anticruelty laws as they apply to animals. In his 19 years Valentin has seen it all. Dogfighting, hoarding, abject cruelty and neglect. But he has also been a part of the change. “We would see the same people every year. We would seize their pets due to failure to provide proper care, or they would surrender them to the shelter, and then they would just get more. When we started looking at educating our community instead of punishing them for what they did not know, the animals and people both benefited.” shares Valentin.
Indeed Valentin has been a part of the shift in attitude and improvement in treatment of the animals within our community. In his first years we had 3 officers that were continuously out investigating acts of cruelty and neglect. We were seeing almost 2,000 animals annually enter our care. Now, we see very few true cruelty cases in our county, and the number of animals entering our care has dropped by half.
Officer Gonzalez is a huge part of the success of Talbot County Animal Control and Talbot Humane. If you see him on the road, please thank him for his commitment. He is the Cat’s Pajamas!