Hernando County, FL-- After the wrong dog was euthanized at Hernando County Animal Services earlier this month, the Sheriff's Office has announced some changes to their standard operating procedures.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis and members of his command staff worked closely with county commissioners and key administrators to "consolidate resources, reduce costs and provide more efficient and effective animal services to the community."
Their efforts resulted in "Animal Service Officers" or "ASOs", who will assume responsibility for the field operations and enforcement elements of the county's Animal Services division as of October 1, reports say.
Another change lies within the implementation of an identification collar that will be attached to each animal that is picked up by an ASO and dropped off at the Shelter.
An identification mix-up played a major role in the incident earlier this month- the incident report noted that the habit of frequently moving dogs caused confusion, and resulted in a lack of timely updating to all three required animal identification documents.
The new collar will reportedly include the date the animal was dropped off, the report case number and the Animal Service Officer's ID number, and in turn, ensure that all identification information about the animal is clear, and with the animal.
Additionally, reports say the ASOs will respond to and investigate complaints involving animals that are abused, dangerous, or are a nuisance to citizens of Hernando County. They will have the authority to remove these animals and/or issue citations for violations of the county's Animal Services ordinances.
All other animal related services will reportedly remain with the Hernando County Animal Services Division. They will continue to operate the Animal Shelter at 19450 Oliver St. in Brooksville, where they handle pet adoptions, promotion of the need to spay and neuter pets, and disposal of unadoptable, impounded animals in a humane manner.