Webinar presenters Madisen Taylor and Alicia Dease answered a number of your questions after their presentation, Tools, Tips and Tricks from the ACO: Lessons from the Field. Here are just a few of their responses.
Audience Question: Dallas said he had a gun pulled on him the other day. The person was trying to pull that gun on him while also reaching inside of the cab of his truck. His question is, do you have any suggestions of safety equipment for the field for dealing with some of those humans that we have to deal with?
Madisen Taylor: Our best suggestion is, if you don’t wear a ballistic vest, is to work your way to get one of those on your person. And anytime that you get out of the truck and approach these folks, make sure you’re wearing that vest. That’s going to be your lifesaver. That’s going to be your way to go home to your family.
Alicia Dease: Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. And I don’t know if you have a pretty solid relationship with your law enforcement. I know we do here in Volusia County, we’re all on the same radio channel. So, if we need help, it’s as easy as you know. Getting out of the area and calling for dispatch, and with the incident we had the gun pulled on us. They had deputies on scene within seconds, it feels like.
Audience Question: Allison said that liquid smoke is also a great attractant for getting dogs to traps and didn’t know if either you had experience with using liquid smoke or not.
Alicia Dease: I have not, that’s an interesting thought. It does think, I’m not a huge fan of it but my husband uses it, so I bet.
Audience Question: Referring to rubbing towels with dogs in heat. How long does that last on the towel?
Madisen Taylor: I’m definitely not a biologist, but I can tell you that I’ve actually rubbed in it. You know, I had to leave some residue on the towel in it lasted for well over 48 hours for me and all I had in there was and a dirty towel. Food was not attracting and this boy for nothing in the world, He wanted nothing to do with food. He wanted the female that was inside of a house. So, I rubbed the towel and we put it in there and just step the way and let him do his thing.
Audience Question: Does your department issue body-worn cameras? And if they don’t, do you see a reason to requisition?
Madisen Taylor: In case you’re wondering, we actually just got approved for it, and we are in the process of getting body worn cameras. And, while it’s going to be an interesting task for us, because we’re going to have to have some SOPs in place. The intent is to keep our officers safe and to support us in times where we are looking at cruelty situations or cases that are being said that things didn’t happen when they did. They will inevitably be a great tool for us, but you have to remember the most important piece, and we’ve talked about it extensively with the sheriff’s department, with our beach, patrol guys, and corrections. We’ve all kind of been in the process of trying to sign up to get some of these, because the sheriff’s departments, all that has it right now with us. And we’ve all come to the consensus that it doesn’t matter if it’s a cat in a trap or it’s a cruelty investigation, that BWC needs to be live. Because anything can happen, cat people are crazy, and it’s going to save you and it’s going to save your job.
Alicia Dease: You just got to remember to turn it off while you’re driving on the roads.
Host: If we find ourselves losing patience with the dog that is not cooperating, what do you recommend for de-escalating ourselves?
Madisen Taylor: That’s a good one. So, a lot of stress management. Is there something that you like to do at home? You know, you have to step back. The patience, it’s not going to happen day one. Getting your truck drive away, you know, think about how you can regroup and approach the situation in a better manner. You know, go home, sleep on it. Don’t stress yourself out, dogs can read that. They know that you’re stressed about it. If you have the opportunity for chemical capture as your last resort. There’s always that opportunity as well. But you know, you have to step back and regroup. Find a different route.
Audience Question: What type of bite gloves do you recommend that go all the way up your arms? Are welding gloves good to use?
Madisen Taylor: Well, we’re not in the practice of recommending specific agencies or places to purchase things from, we do purchase all of our stuff from ACEs. And they have on bike gloves that go up to your elbows, they have just duty gloves that you see as wearing in many of our photographs throughout, that are similar to a welding gloves, they’re leather. The important thing to remember is, it doesn’t matter what glove you’re wearing, if it’s going to bite and it’s going to be a bad bite, it’s going to go through that glove. I’m not certain that I feel comfortable wearing the gloves that go up to your elbow. For example, the welding gloves. I’m more of a wrist girl unless I’m handling a very angry falcon, or a cat that is just completely crazy. And we’re having to hold it for some reason. The most important thing is, is if you can avoid handling an animal that’s going to be dangerous to you. That’s probably your best choice.
Host: Here’s a comment from Greg, who said that in California government run agencies can wear body cams, but private organizations like not for profits are not allowed to wear body worn cameras. Thought that was just kind of something interesting, and thank you, Greg, for sharing that.
Audience Question: Is the trap somehow remotely monitored or how often do you check the trap?
Alicia Dease: We typically check them every morning, if it’s an animal that frequents the trap in the afternoons, we have an officer that works till 8 PM, and we try and get in the habit of checking them morning and afternoon before we go home.
Madisen Taylor: And we also, when we issue a trap, unless it’s a remote location that is not on an individual specifically, that lives somewhere, that’s complaining, we’ll man those ourselves. But if we have a citizen that’s complaining, the little lady has got some problems with the dogs running around and chasing her cats, she wants it gone just as much as we want to catch them and help her with our problem. So, we will provide some education on how to watch, and where to watch, and what to do, and who to call. Our officers actually have county issued cell phones, and so they will give the person that they’re loaning a trap to their card and the folks will individually watch themselves and call us so our officers can continue on down the road with their day working. And when the animal goes in the trap, the little old lady, for example, is going to be given our officer a call and they’ll respond back to pick the animal up.
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