For the Animals… Sheriff’s Office announces new training for deputies at Adoption Day

Ashley Hunter, ECB Publishing, Inc.

On Saturday, August 25, Jefferson County Humane Society's Wolf Creek Pet Adoption Center, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Rainbows Edge, Inc. joined hands and held an Adoption Day at the Monticello Tractor Supply store, located in Monticello on S. Jefferson St.
The event had three purposes: it provided an adoption opportunity for a select few of the adoption center's cats and dogs, served as a fundraiser for the non-profit Rainbows Edge, and was a platform for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office to announce an upcoming training opportunity for their deputies.
The event began at 10 a.m. and lasted until approximately 2 p.m.
From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Jefferson County
4-H's Working Soldiers sold a pizza lunch, with each slice costing two dollars; all proceeds went to Rainbows Edge in order to help the volunteer-dependent organization care for and rescue abused or neglected horses.
Throughout the day, participants purchased raffle tickets in the hopes of winning meals to local restaurants, services from local businesses or special family outings.
In all, $890 was raised throughout the day for Rainbows Edge.
Of the four dogs brought to the Adoption Day event by Wolf Creek, one – a loving black lab named Hoyt – found a forever home and left with his new family.
At noon, Sheriff Mac McNeill addressed the crowd who had gathered to support the event, and announced new training that the deputies at JCSO will be acquiring in order to better help the men and women at JCSO handle animal-related (especially abuse centered) emergency calls.
“It's been brought to my attention through the investigations we do regarding animal cruelty and animal abuse that we are lacking in that area,” said Sheriff McNeill. “We get so stuck on the human element that we sometime forget about the animals in our job.”
Organizing the first part of the class will be Kate MacFall, the Florida Director of the Humane Society of the U.S. and the training will focus of teaching the deputies how to handle cruelty and neglect related cases.
The second part of the class will be instructed by Rainbows Edge's director, Roxanne Spear and will instruct deputies on how to retrieve and remove horses from harmful homes and environments.
“It teaches them how to investigate animal neglect and cruelty, and actually win cases,” said Spear. “If there's real abuse, they need to know how to investigate that. But that's not in their classes to become a deputy.”
In addition to Jefferson County, Sheriff McNeill advised that both Taylor and Madison's sheriff's offices will be sending deputies to the training classes as well.
“We're really excited about this, I think it will give our deputies another tool to put in their toolbox in order to do a proper investigation that is due to the animals,” said Sheriff McNeill.
While this training will help deputies be better equipped to handle these calls, it is also a way to ensure that deputies know how to safely interact with an abused or neglected animal and prevent injury to themselves or the distressed animal.
Both Sheriff McNeill and Roxanne Spear thanked everyone for coming out and attending the event, with Spear especially voicing her gratitude to the local people and business owners of Monticello for their support in donating raffle goods.
“95 percent of the donations for the raffle came from Monticello people,” said Spear. “Tons of people have come down and shown their support, they really have.”
Rainbows Edge is a 501c3 organization that provides rescue horses with a safe place to reside as well as serving as an adoption agency for rehabilitated horses. Rainbows Edge has been involved in a variety of projects to assist equine owners who are under financial stress, such as a recent undertaking to provide feed to the displaced horses and owners who were victims of the Franklin County fire this year.
Learn more about Rainbows Edge by visiting their Facebook page here.