Sunday, May 29, 2011

Back atcha, Smita, & ACO shooter status

First, thanks to Smita Joshi, of India, who sent a comment on the last blog post, "With friends like this, who needs. . . " Can we hear from you again, Smita? Where are you and what are you doing for animals in India? How did you find AnimalBeat? Tell us about you and your life with animals, please!

Second, the situation of the Princeton animal control officer who shot two beavers on May 13 continues to be unresolved. The Princeton Packet stories printed since then have attracted numerous reader comments, mostly all negative toward the animal control officer. More recently they’ve also grown more critical of the town officials who seem strangely reluctant to take a stand.

The Friday, May 27 story on the issue was comparatively small and ostensibly about another animal issue in town: a fox that reportedly bit a dog. That incident has raised questions about whether the fox is rabid . . . and who should deal with the problem.

The answer: Mark Johnson, the trigger-happy ACO.

Officials indicated he’s been “cleared” to deal with the fox situation. They also said they’ll put together a list of guidelines for correct behavior in various situations involving animals – a “bible” Johnson can refer to.

HUH? Does this mean that till now, after nearly 20 years on the job, Johnson has not known what to do (which the beaver shooting would suggest, although that act seemed more like an ‘I can do what I want’ act than one resulting from ignorance).

And is that the only reaction his superiors will have to Johnson’s behavior?

Hoping there’s more news, and some backbone, in this Tuesday’s Packet.

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