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Farmville hires animal control officer

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Animal control officer Katie Tetterton has big plans for the Farmville, including finding a home for kitten Pepper Jack, who is available for adoption at the Farmville Police Department.

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By DONNA MARIE WILLIAMS

Staff Writer

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

FARMVILLE — Farmville’s animal control officer Katie Tetterton has been on the job for almost three weeks and already has big plans.

Tetterton joined the Farmville Police Department as a part-time animal control officer.

Her responsibilities include responding to calls regarding animals running at-large and assisting in setting traps for cats or dogs.

“I’m really excited. I have loved it here so far. I’ve been her for a week so it’s all so fresh. Everyone has been so kind. It’s a great town to work in and I look forward to continuing my career here for years to come,” Tetterton said.

Prior to joining the Farmville force, Tetterton worked with the Greenville Police Department as an animal protective officer. She has also worked, in conjunction with the Greenville Police Department’s athletic league, which serves as a community outreach program for youth.

Tetterton’s passion for animals has driven her throughout her career.

“It just comes from a love of animals. I’ve had cats and dogs all my life. I love seeing animals with people who are responsible pet owners. It’s not just for the love of animals. It is protecting the community, but it’s also protecting the animals and making sure they’re taken care of,” Tetterton said.

Tetterton is also responsible for caring for the animals at the Farmville Police Department’s animal shelter. The shelter has four basic runs for dogs and has five cat cages.

“I’m already actively searching for grants to improve the animal shelter … It’s an older facility and it needs general upkeep and maintenance. My goal for it would be to get it more closed in. If you get a determined enough cat, they’d be able to escape,” Tetterton said, adding feral cats and other wildlife can now squeeze into small openings at the shelter.

Tetterton also hopes to be able to make the shelter more climate controlled with air conditioning and heat options.

“Especially during this time of year, it would be nice to have something a little more air conditioned. It’d be able to be a little bit more climate controlled than it is,” Tetterton said.

Her vision also encompasses a play yard for dogs to utilize.

“I want to reach for a play yard so when cages are being cleaned the dogs have somewhere to go. They can also get out of the cage a little while,” Tetterton said.

The improvements at the shelter would help the animals held until adoption.

“The thing about a shelter environment for animals is when cats and dogs are kept in a shelter environment for so long, they kind of emotionally decompensate. They are essentially just harder to adopt out because they are un-socialized,” Tetterton said.

Tetterton also hopes to work with animal foster groups in order to find animals in the police department’s care a forever home and plans to post photos of the animals on the police department’s Facebook page.

Prior to Tetterton joining the force, all animal control efforts were conducted by the Farmville Police Department.

“We’ve been doing animal control for a while … having (Tetterton) onboard is outstanding for us. The bonus is she has previous experience working with the Greenville Police Department with animal control issues, writing reports and she will be able to handle just about anything that happens with us. We will be able to provide a better service. A service where she can spend more time getting animals adopted,” said Chief Donnie Greene of the Farmville Police Department.

The police department plans to host a rabies clinics in the near future.

“There are a lot of things I would like to start doing now that we have a dedicated animal control officer,” Greene said.

For Tetterton, her job is community-based.

“I’m looking forward to being part of the community. I want to maintain an approachable (nature). If anybody needs me, I definitely want to hear about it,” Tetterton said.

Tetterton, who lives in Winterville, has three dogs, Brody, Callie and Tobey, and three cats, Asparagus, Cornel and Oliver.

She holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Pitt Community College. She will graduate in spring 2020 from East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

“I’m a civilian. Hopefully, one day that will change. I hope to be a police officer within the next few years,” Tetterton said.

For animal control issues, call the police department at 252-753-4111.

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