On patrol with the officers of the San Diego Humane Society
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Work for the Humane Society of San Diego has not slowed down during the pandemic.
ABC 10News recently rode with officers on their morning shift. Officer Tracy Hahn and Sgt. Melanie Hutchinson is based at the Oceanside Campus of the San Diego Humane Society, but she covers calls from Del Mar to Vista.
“It was a dream job, and that’s exactly where I want to be,” Constable Tracy Hahn said.
Officer Hahn joined the team just six months ago.
“I think this is the most direct way to help a community,” Constable Hahn said.
This help is needed for both large and small creatures. For example, the Humane Society’s wildlife center looks after ducklings recently rescued from the freeway after the mother duck was hit by a car. Another unusual call involved a peacock.
The peacock was seen calling from a rooftop in Carlsbad. Officers found feathers on the road and believed she had been hit by a car. Officers used recordings of peacocks on their cell phones to lure the bird in and take it to an emergency vet.
Officers say most of the calls they receive relate to dog bites, welfare checks, injured wildlife and loose animals.
The morning ABC 10News spent following the officers, a call from a hospital sent the couple to a mobile home park. A woman who lives in the park had been bitten by her cat.
“Every time there is a bite, the cat is observed at home for ten days,” Constable Hahn told the woman.
On a busy day, agents say they answer up to twenty calls. Not all of them involve furry friends. Recently, neighbors in El Cajon spotted a wandering iguana walking on the sidewalk. An officer safely captured him and reunited him with his owner.
A more dramatic scene was captured a few weeks ago in Escondido. Two horses were stuck in a trailer that had detached from the truck and overturned. It was a delicate rescue, but the team were able to safely load the horses into a new trailer without significant injuries.
“A lot of people are calling for the first time and they are surprised that we come out for an injured seagull, owl or snake,” Officer Hahn said.
As the weather warms, officers will receive more calls about snakes. They are trained to move a rattlesnake within thirty minutes of intercourse.
“Don’t be afraid to call us and ask for help,” Officer Hahn said.
The Humane Society of San Diego has one of the largest teams of humanitarian workers in California. They provided life-saving care to more than 45,000 domestic and wild animals last year. Almost 30,000 animals have been placed in new homes.
Officers say they are seeing an increase in dog bites, likely due to under-socialization during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Dogs that were adopted during quarantine are now taken to parks and / or homes where gatherings are more frequent. Dogs can be nervous around strangers and protect their owners they know well,” which results in bites, ”said SDHS spokeswoman Nina Thompson.
Aid workers say they are also seeing a large number of violations of leash laws across the county.
“When it comes to humanitarian law enforcement, the biggest issue for aid workers at the San Diego Humane Society is complying with leash laws. Off-leash dogs often lead to dog-on-dog attacks, which turn into bites to humans when dog owners attempt to do so. to separate the fighting dogs, ”Thompson said.
The Humane Society offers the following additional information and safety tips:
Safety on a leash: Don’t take the risk, it only takes a dog seconds to attack another dog or person, and you won’t be able to stop it in time if your dog is off leash.
Keeping your dog on a leash prevents biting and fighting. It keeps dogs safe and clean and reduces stress for everyone.
Report off-leash dogs by calling 619-299-7012, press 1. Violators can be cited.
On rattlesnakes: With the warmer weather, we see more rattlesnakes on the trails and in the backyards. Rattlesnakes are most active from April to September, enjoying basking on warm roads and sidewalks near dusk.
If you spot one, don’t try to move the snake on your own. Our humane law enforcement officers are trained and ready to move rattlesnakes within 30 minutes of a report! Call 619-299-7012, option 1, for help with snakes.
Whether you are out for a walk or just in the yard, stay alert to protect yourself and your pets from snakes. Find out more tips for avoiding harmful dating on sdhumane.org/rattlesnakes.
On cruelty: If you suspect animal cruelty or neglect in your neighborhood, please report it to the San Diego Humane Society by calling 619-299-7012 (press 1 to report animal abuse).
Humanitarian Law Enforcement: The San Diego Humane Society has one of the largest teams of humanitarian workers in California. These officers are in the field seven days a week educating the public as they investigate cruelty and neglect of animals, enforce state animal welfare laws, educate the public about animal care appropriate and save animals from emergency situations.
1. Always give your pet plenty of fresh, clean water. When you are not at home, take a thermos with cold water.
2. Leave as many pets at home as possible. While you might think they’ll be on their own, they’ll be a lot more comfortable in your cool home than riding in a hot car.
3. If you must take your pet with you, do not leave them alone in a parked vehicle. Even with the windows open, a parked car can quickly become a furnace. If the outside temperature is 80 degrees, the temperature inside your car can quickly rise to 120 degrees. If you see an animal in a car, call the San Diego Humane Society at 619-299-7012 or your local law enforcement agency for assistance.
4. In extremely hot weather, don’t leave your dog standing in the street or walk minimally. Your canine companion is much closer to hot asphalt, and their body can heat up quickly. Its paws can also burn on hot asphalt or concrete. If you are going to be on a hot sidewalk, consider bringing a towel or blanket for your dog to rest on, which will allow his pads to rest from the sweltering heat of the sidewalk. Make sure to plan plenty of breaks and find shady spots to cool off.
5. Do not force your pet to exercise in hot, humid weather. Exercise your pet in the cool of the morning or evening. Never run your dog next to a bicycle in the heat. In addition to hot air, hot pavement increases the risk of heat stroke.
6. Dogs can get sunburned too – remember to protect hairless, fair-skinned dogs with sunscreen.
7. Always provide plenty of shade for an animal that stays outside the house. Bring your pet indoors during the heat of the day and let them rest in a cool area of your home. If you take your dog to the beach or the park, make sure you have a shaded place to rest.
8. A clean coat can help prevent skin problems in the summer, so keep your pet well groomed.
9. Take your pet to the vet for a summer checkup. Ask the doctor to recommend a safe and effective flea and tick control program.
10. Watch for signs of heat stress: heavy panting, glassy eyes, rapid pulse, unsteadiness, staggering gait, vomiting, or a dark red tongue. If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion, contact your vet immediately – it could save their life.