Kent County Animal Shelter staff heads to the stable for some horse sense

When you think of the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS) you may think of dogs and cats but Animal Control Officers (ACOs) often respond to calls regarding horses. Successful outcomes in these incidents are not possible without proper training.

Animal professionals may be working to ascertain the health of multiple animals or they may need to help round up, corral and transport horses that have managed to escape their enclosures. In all cases, the safety of the public, the animal and first responders may hinge on proper training.

On Thursday February 16, 2017, KCAS staff got the opportunity to expand their skills by working with live horses. Staff learned more about capturing and securing horses and how to make better judgements regarding a horse’s health based on its physical appearance.

Members of the executive committee working to form an Equine Response Team (ERT) also participated in the training. The ERT will be a group of volunteers who are equine professionals in Kent County. The ERT will act as a liaison between KCAS staff and individuals or groups who, for example, may have access to care, boarding facilities or trailers to move horses. KCAS staff can contact the ERT as situations warrant.

“Once the ERT is finalized, it will allow our staff to concentrate on securing a scene,” says Carly Luttmann, Program Supervisor at the Kent County Animal Shelter. “Animal Control Supervisors and Officers will have the peace of mind that a volunteer is contacting and securing the necessary resources while they take care of more immediate concerns.”

The Kent County Animal Shelter continues to work to finalize the formation of the Equine Response Team and hopes to have all volunteers, resources and procedures established by mid-summer of 2017.