Mercer County Sheriff

PRINCETON — Mercer County residents who are having problems with dogs, cats, or other animals and need the help of an animal control officer can now direct their inquires to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department or Mercer County 911.

Chief Deputy Capt. Joe Parks of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department said the new arrangement has not changed the animal control officers’ duties, but they now work directly with his department.

People with animal control problems can call the sheriff’s department at 304-487-8459 during business hours. After hours, the public can call Mercer County 911, Parks said.

Parks said the new arrangement, which began in May, “seems to be going very well.” The animal control officers’ vehicles can be maintained by the same section that handles maintenance for the sheriff’s department’s cruisers.

And when the animal control officers work on a complaint and discover that there are criminal issues involved, they can go to the deputies for assistance, Parks said.

The changes with the animal control officers was the among the new activities at the Mercer County Animal Shelter. On July 17, volunteers from as far away as Bland,Va. came to the shelter so dogs that otherwise had to sit around all day in their kennels. Director Stacey Harman said the shelter needs more volunteers to walk dogs and help with other tasks.

“We’d like volunteers to come up and walk them and get them outside and get some energy out of them,” Harman said. “They just love being outside.”

One of the July 17 event’s other goals was to encourage more people to adopt the dogs and cats that keep arriving at the shelter. The shelter was at full capacity despite the fact that an adoption event had placed about 20 animals in new homes. Another adoption event that waived fees last Saturday resulted in another 22 adoptions.

“So it opened up a little bit of room,” Harman said. “We still have animals coming in.”

As of Tuesday, the county shelter had 50 cats and about 40 dogs, she stated. Another adoption event is scheduled to take place in August.

“The next will be on National Clear The Shelter Day on Aug. 17, and we hope to waive all adoption fees,” Harman said.

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com