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Changes in Escambia County Animal Control

ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --  Escambia County - We've been following the changes being made at the Escambia County Animal Shelter after complaints about dogs being put down.
  
Many animals end up at the shelter when a separate division, animal control picks them up.

Animal control has 11 officers right now.
They investigate animal bites, strays, cruelty complaints, and more.
  
This month, they're responded to more than 1400 calls.
Every day Escambia Animal Control Officers go on calls like this one, but their number one concern is always safety.
   
"We don't only have to deal with the animals we pick up, we have to deal with diseases they carry that are transmittable to humans and we also have to deal with human beings, the owners," said Sgt. Kevin Monfreda.
   
Sergeant Kevin Monfreda's first call Thursday was an "Animal Bite" claim.
Rebecca Katona says her neighbors dog was chasing small children at the bus stop...
   
Knowing who the dog belong to Rebecca and her daughter decided to leash the dog and take him home.
   
Rebecca says out of nowhere, the dog jumped up and bit her thigh.
She and her daughter returned to their yard and the dog followed.

  "It came back over in the yard and I went and got my gun because I was prepared to shoot it and I called the sheriff's department and said if ya'll don't  come over here I'm going  to shoot this dog and I would've because I don't play," said Rebecca Katona.

"Owner responsibility is a big issue. Just letting your dogs out to roam is illegal in the county you have to have direct control," said Sgt. Kevin Monfreda.   
   
Monfreda  went to the owner's home and discovered the dog didn't have up to date shots leaving it vulnerable to rabies

"I'm very concerned, but I just called my physician and I've had a tetanus shot so I don't know how that's going to play out," said Katona.
   
The dog will be quarantined for 10 days .
The owner was issued a nearly $300 citation and will have to pay $15 a day for boarding and other fees before the dog will be released.
   
She will also be assigned a court date.
 "Basically you're paying the bail,"said Sgt. Monfreda.
"I hate that the dog is going to be taken away because he's been their dog for a long time and he's not a vicious dog, but you know it happens," said Katona.
   
They also respond to animal neglect calls
This pit bull was abandoned and tied to a post with no food or water.
   
Once the owner is located he could face criminal charges.
"We don't want  to take peoples animals we want them to keep their animals we just want them to be responsible pet owners," said Sgt. Monfreda.

Owners are always given the option to surrender their dogs, but they do have to fill out the appropriate paper work.