County authorizes additional animal control officer

Published 6:41 pm Friday, February 8, 2019



In January, Isle of Wight County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to authorize the hiring of an animal control officer to address a staffing shortage reported last year. The board also OK’d the conversion of one kennel attendant position from part-time to full-time.

The additional ACO and converted attendant position is estimated to cost the county approximately $100,000, assuming that the ACO and kennel attendant both choose the county’s family health insurance plan. However, Sheriff James Clarke told the board that the two new full-time positions would eliminate the need for some of the overtime the department has been paying, resulting in a lower overall cost.

As of November, approximately five months into the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Isle of Wight County’s animal control office had already exceeded its annual budget for overtime pay by 60 percent due to needing to fill in for its chief ACO and one other full-time ACO, who had been on medical leave for the past several months. Both officers are now back on the job, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Tommy Potter.

Potter also mentioned in November that one part-time kennel attendant had given notice that she would be leaving her position with the county. That attendant has since left, and the Sheriff’s Office is interviewing for all vacant positions, Potter said.

When all positions are filled, the county will have a total of four ACOs plus a chief, two full-time attendants, one part-time attendant, unpaid volunteers and inmates from the Western Tidewater Regional Jail working at its animal shelter.