North Tonawanda Gets a Dog Control Officer

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

Many of you remember the outcry from residents across North Tonawanda  in June after an Ankita mix dog broke through a woman’s screen door, grabbed a small dog by the neck and ultimately killed it.

Although nothing can be done to bring that dog back, the City of North Tonawanda did make a move this month to ensure it doesn’t happen again. That is where Eric Salisbury comes in.

Salisbury, who was hired as the role of ‘dog control officer’ for the City of North Tonawanda, has six years’ experience in other cities. Despite being new to the city, Salisbury believes his experience will allow him to hit the ground running.

“When I heard North Tonawanda was looking for someone to fill a part-time dog control position I knew that it would be something right up my alley,” said Salisbury.

Despite starting only one week ago, Salisbury already has a case load of more than one-hundred, which he says has to do with the position being vacant for so long.

“The need for this position was overwhelming, to say the least,” said Salisbury. “I am only able to do ten hours per week under the contract, so I am working two hours per day in the community knocking on doors.”

Salisbury told the Niagara Reporter that his main focus is registering unlicensed dogs.

“Unlicensed animals, especially dogs, hurt everyone in the community,” said Salisbury. “There are currently around one-hundred and twenty people with overdue licenses. It’s not a lot of money and we will be writing tickets for those that do not follow the law. Registering dogs allows the city to ensure they are up-to-date on rabies shots. After all, out main goal is to keep everyone safe.”

When asked if he had heard of the gruesome attack that left a small dog dead in June, Salisbury said he was unfamiliar with the specific incident but says it will not happen again on his watch.

“I was not around then,” said Salisbury, “and just know what I read in the papers. What I do know though is that reports made about dangerous animals menacing a community will not be tolerated while I am working in this city. Absolutely not.”

Being a life-long dog owner himself, Salisbury understands the important place animals have in the hearts of families across North Tonawanda.

“I got a call earlier today where a lady lost her dog and I basically just went around and looked for it,” he said. “We ultimately found the dog. It’s moments like those that make the job worth it.”

If you would like to reach Mr. Salisbury, you can reach him at (716) 909-3091.

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