The Marion Police Department’s Animal Control Officer says that this summer has so far been uneventful when it comes to animal welfare issues in the Tri-Town, which is just the way she likes it. Still, with the heat of August – and hurricane season – ahead, Susan Connor recently offered residents some advice on pet care that could come in handy during an emergency.
For Connor, ensuring the well-being of area animals is more than a job; it’s a passion. Her family owns nine horses, seven dogs, a cat, and other pets. During a conversation at her ranch last week, she emphasized preparation.
“It’s a good idea to have a plan for a sudden emergency,” Connor said. “It’s one of those things on the back burner, and before you know it, you’re behind the 8-ball.”
Connor said that in case of a hurricane, for instance, Marion residents should go to the Sippican School, the town’s emergency shelter, where pets are welcome.
“Space has never been an issue,” she said. “We have an area for walking. We try to make it as comfortable as we can, and as least stressful as possible.”
Connor said that pet owners must accompany their pets for the duration of the stay, and encouraged them to bring their own crate, a copy of vaccinations, food and water bowls, litter boxes, and enough provisions for three days.
“Tape the copy of your animals vaccinations to the crate, slide bowls and litter boxes in there, and put it away and have it ready to so,” she said. “Depending on where you live, you might want to call ahead.”
The contact number for Marion Animal Control is 508-748-1212; Mattapoisett, 508-400-8910; and Rochester, 508-763-5112.
Switching gears to animal health during everyday life, Connor said that it is “common sense” for people to pick up after their pets.
“If you don’t, you’re spreading countless diseases and parasites,” she said. “If you’re an animal lover, you certainly would not want to subject your pet – let alone humans – to sickness.”
In addition, Connor said that residents should call their local animal control officers if they see an animal being mistreated.
“In the heat or cold, all animals are entitled to having their basic needs met,” she said. “If you see a dog in a hot car or tied out with no shelter, call.”
By Shawn Badgley