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Potsdam animal control officer retires

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POTSDAM — The Potsdam Humane Society will soon hire two new animal control officers to replace the current officer, David Sharpe, who announced his retirement earlier this month.

Mr. Sharpe has provided animal-control services to the town of Potsdam, including the villages of Potsdam and Norwood, for the last eight years.

The humane society decided to appoint two new officers to replace Mr. Sharpe. One will be the primary officer, while the other will provide backup. This choice was made because the schedule of an animal-control officer is not an easy one, according to Potsdam Humane Society Director Anne M. Smith. Calls come in seven days a week, at any time of the day or night.

“There’s no schedule to this. It’s animals. It’s not a 9-5 job,” she said.

This change will not cost the town any more money. Potsdam pays $57,300 to the humane society annually. Most of this money goes toward the society’s animal shelter, while $23,300 covers animal control.

Animal control officers ensure that pets meet licensing and compliance laws, giving warning and tickets if needed. They also are responsible for stray animals, although they are not authorized to work with wildlife.

Mr. Sharpe will continue working in the position until his replacements are trained and sworn in, which will likely happen within the next two to four weeks, Ms. Smith said.

“We’re in the process now, we’ve got two tentative candidates who are working through training right now,” she said.

Ms. Smith said she will not reveal the names of the two candidates until they have been fully trained and officially sworn in by the town.

While many local governments contract with the Potsdam Humane Society for the use of their shelter, the town of Potsdam is the only one that does so for animal control as well.

“We’ve been really pleased with the services we’ve received from the shelter,” Town Clerk Cindy Goliber said.

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