SPRNG CREEK – Spring Creek area animal control calls are down from a year ago, according to a report from the Elko County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Doug Fisher provided the numbers for the first six months of the year to the Spring Creek Association board on July 27.

“We received 569 animal control calls for service through dispatch,” Fisher reported. This is 70 fewer calls than in 2021.

Until June 30, animal control services were contracted and paid for by the Spring Creek Association. It covered the cost of an animal control officer to oversee the Spring Creek area.

Currently, Elko County is covering animal control costs after the Spring Creek agreement was not renewed by the board.

SCA President and CEO Jessie Bahr said animal control services are generally provided by the counties, but an additional officer has been added by the association to provide animal call coverage. specifically in the Spring Creek area.

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However, last fall, in anticipation of high inflation, the SCA implemented budget cuts. Inflation forecasts prompted the council to scrap animal control expenses and ask the county to cover them through the general fund, she said.

The contract was initiated in 2017 for the last six months of the year. Since then, the SCA has paid $195,892.85 for animal control services.

Elko County’s budget for animal control services in fiscal year 2022 was $41,500.

Bahr said the board will review the budget this fall to see how the two entities can work together to pay for animal control services.

According to a survey of Spring Creek residents conducted by the University of Nevada, Reno, which was released on July 27, homeowners expressed their views on law enforcement issues, including the control of animals.

One resident said the area needed ‘better animal control’, while another said: ‘I haven’t had to use it yet. Animal control was good.

Another owner described hearing mixed messages about which entity has authority over animal control matters: the SCA, the Elko County Sheriff’s Office, or the Elko County District Attorney’s Office. The resident said: “It’s getting out of hand, it’s pretty much considered a joke.”

“It’s a problem that needs to be fixed now,” continued the same resident. “Not only do dogs run free, they also damage other people’s property [such as] urinating, biting or chewing their property outside, knocking over other members’ trash cans, and dragging trash around their yard or even on the streets.

Fisher reported that Animal Control Officer Connie Manley covers field calls with sheriff’s deputies answering when she’s off duty.