Some folks are considered “People People” and some are “Animal People” so what do you call those who are both? Here in Mesquite they call them Animal Control Officers or ACOs and they have committed to serve and protect canine, feline, equine and “hum-ine,” well, you get the point. These men and women are the true “Animal Police.” They have one of the most difficult and rewarding jobs imaginable.

Difficult in part because they have taken on the task of providing the best care for several breeds of creatures that can’t fully communicate their needs. Each species, including the human ones, has different characteristics and the ACO’s must be familiar with them all plus the laws that govern both man and beast.

It’s mind-boggling enough when you consider that each type of animal has different needs when healthy which alone requires quite a lot of knowledge. Now imagine the additional knowledge they must also have to recognize and care for those who may be ill or injured; acquiring it couldn’t have been easy.

Rewarding because they have the pleasure of uniting both man and beast in what is hopefully a lifetime love affair; each time that union occurs, it results in a life-saving accomplishment.

You’ll find some of the most dedicated ACO’s at the City of Mesquite Animal Shelter where many happy unions take place and the Mesquite shelter has a wonderfully high success rate.   Their names are Officers Joe Macias, Officer Walter Dalton and Officer Bailee Sleppy.

Sometimes the shelter’s transient residents are brought in under less than desirable circumstances and other times you just can’t keep a good Fido down. You adopt a family member who, you’re sure, must have studied under Houdini in a former life and just keeps escaping the confines of home or yard. In all cases the ACO’s are busy tending to the daily and special needs of those already inside before hitting the streets of Mesquite protecting some creatures from both elemental and human harm and other creatures from harming humans.

Mesquite Animal Control Officer Joe Macias holds the position of shelter manager and although he may jokingly refer to the Shelter as “Belonging to the volunteers,” there’s no doubt that with the team of both volunteers and ACO’s Mesquite has one of the finest and cleanest shelters you’ll find, but most of the hard work is done by the ACO’s. The volunteers are indispensable to the ACO’s and give tons of support to the animals and staff, but they only arrive twice a day to give provide their aid.

The ACO’s days begin at the crack of dawn, feeding, watering and cleaning up after their temporary guests; their days are further filled with obtaining them and or taxiing them back and forth for various veterinary visits.

Many calls come into the shelter daily, for any reason one can imagine, and the ACO’s respond to nearly all of them; nearly because an average of 15 of those calls per week come from the Arizona Strip area and the ACO’s, being police officers, are unable to respond outside of their jurisdiction; but being unable to respond doesn’t necessarily mean unable to help.

Macias said, “I’m always happy to help but when I get calls from those outside of Mesquite I have to direct them to the correct Animal Control Officer who does have jurisdiction over their area.”

He explains it like this, “Me or any of the ACO’s responding to a call in Arizona or even Bunkerville, would be like a Mesquite Police Officer giving you a ticket in Beaver Dam, that just can’t happen. Even though we’re called animal control officers and have limited jurisdiction, we are law enforcement officers and must abide by the same laws as the ‘People Police.’”

Both Mohave County Animal Control and Mesquite Animal Control Officers want to do everything they can to help those on the Arizona Strip solve the animal issues, but they can’t do that unless the issues are brought to the ACOs in the correct jurisdictions. ACOs in both areas urge residents of Arizona to call Mohave County Animal Control and report animal issues, they may be unable to respond immediately but they have an ongoing relationship with Mesquite Animal Control Officers who are happy to house the animal, provided there is room in the shelter and it can be brought in, until Mohave County can come pick them up. Mesquite ACOs still cannot come into Arizona to pick up a stray animal.

According to Mohave County Animal Control Officers, they do visit the Arizona Strip every other week. They will make the extra trip to Mesquite if there are animals housed there.

Both departments agree that whether there is an animal control issue or not, if it’s not a reported issue, it doesn’t exist. The only way to fix the problem is to make those who have committed to fixing it aware of it.

If you have an issue with man or beast or man that involves a beast, please report the issue to those who have dedicated their lives to serving both, the ACOs, but remember to get in touch with the right ones.

For those with animal control issues in Mesquite, call Mesquite Animal Control at 702-346-5268. For areas, still in Nevada but outside of Mesquite, call Clark County Animal Control at702-455-7710. Arizona Strip residents can reach Mohave County Animal Control at 928-753-2141.