or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Expert Forums › Previous Expert Forums (closed) › Ask Animal Control › What is the right thing to say when . . . .
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is the right thing to say when . . . .

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Someone in a neighboring jurisdiction called my organization, fishin' for info on no kill shelters. She had had a visit from animal control last week. What should she have said?

Okay, as I talked with her, it became clear that she was really looking for low cost speuter help. Turns out, that between her own cats and her own life issues, she has been working for the past two years to get a small urban colony under good management. She knows of several other people in the local area who are feeding and semi-adopting several of the cats. There's one female cat who is a "red hot mama" however, and that cat had kittens. So someone reported to animal control that there were stray cats around; animal control looked to see where the cats were congregating, and visited our caller.

I asked if she told the officer that she was working to deal with the problem on her own. She said it didn't seem to matter to him. I urged her to get back in touch with Alley Cat Allies, and to see if she can move more quickly to get things under control (i.e., get at least 70 percent of the known cats speutered).

But, is there something that she could have said, that might have made things end on a more positive note in her visit from animal control? We get this kind of call often; it's an example of how our current laws tend to put the onus on the *more* responsible individuals, and it ticks me off!
post #2 of 3
That depends on the officer she dealt with. In many cases, the officers are looking to correct the complaint and should be willing to listen to suggestions from the complainant. Some things not to say or do:
1. Do NOT be confrontational. Proving you are smarter or louder or "know your rights" makes most officers shift to enforce instead of educate mode.
2. Do NOT lie. If the officer knows whats going on, trying to fudge doesn't help your credibility.
3. DO acknowledge the complaint. Then ask what the officer would like you to do to correct the situation.
4. DO offer suggestions. Sometimes making it seem like the officers idea makes it more acceptable.
5. DO offer to talk to the complainant. Let the officer know you are interested in working things out through compromise. By finding out what their problem is, you may be able to take steps to correct or change the environment and solve the problem.
6. If the officer is helpful or understanding, DO call his/her boss and tell them "Officer Smith came to my house today. I just wanted to let you know that he/she was polite and did a good job."
7. If the officer is NOT helpful or understanding, DO call him/her later and ask to go over the situation again. Sometimes tempers can cloud the situation and a little breather makes it easier to work through.
8. DO have your facts straight on the laws and abide by them.

Just a few suggestions.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi Mark, and All,

Thanks Mark. All excellent suggestions, thank you very much! I guess, this caller did the best she could, and she seems like she doesn't "blow up" easily. I'll keep these in mind for future situations -- I know how powerful your #4 is by the way. When we get a caller upset about so many stray cats, one of the things that can absolutely turn that call around, is to quietly say, "I can tell that it upsets you to see so many cats roaming." or something that lets them know that we are upset, too.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ask Animal Control
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Expert Forums › Previous Expert Forums (closed) › Ask Animal Control › What is the right thing to say when . . . .