By Karen Chaney
On Sept. 2nd Murphy Police Chief Cox, Lieutenant Adana Barber, Officer Aaron McCarty and (ACO) Animal Control Officer Tammy Drake took an educational tour of In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue & Educational Center. Under the direction of Chief Cox, the police department is undergoing extensive research in preparation for any future wildlife trappings in Murphy.
While on the tour, guided by In-Sync Exotics volunteer Ricki Hart, the important role of the Wylie wildlife rescue facility was explained. Hart discussed the heartbreaking stories of abuse that hide behind each set of gorgeous eyes gazing back at visitors. She also described known active animal abuse cases that they can do nothing about at the moment.
Animal Control Officer Tammy Drake asked about the amount of animals that have come to In-Sync Exotics via calls from the area, and Hart replied there have been about five or six. Chief Cox inquired as to what happens to the animals that are brought to In-Sync Exotics from the community. Hart replied that the founder/president/owner, Vicky Keahey, may choose to put the animal through rehabilitation and then relocate it, or of the rehab does not work, the animal may stay at In-Sync or be sent to a different safe place. The sentiment imparted from Hart in reference to future wildlife trappings in Murphy was, “Call us and we’ll come get them.”
Chief Cox’s current stance on his relationship with In-Sync Exotics is as follows: “Whether we notify them (In-Sync Exotics) will depend upon the type of animal trapped and the experience level of the ACO. I believe that ACO Drake can handle most common wildlife that we may encounter; however, we will not hesitate to ask for help if we need it.”
Taking into consideration the Plano Animal Control policy of not setting traps for wildlife but “relying on professional trappers to bait and trap wildlife” as an option for Murphy, Chief Cox stated that, “We have utilized trappers I understand in the past, and I am sure, given the right set of circumstances, we would do so again.”
The touring group from the Murphy P.D. also visited the Plano Living Materials Center. Chief Cox summarized this tour by saying “They (Plano Living Materials Center) do not come into the field to help people. That is good to know. They gave great advice and offered whatever assistance they could if we needed them.” Chief Cox also reports that the Murphy Police Department representatives were given “… a good tip about calming a trapped bobcat: put a blanket over the cage, if possible – if a cat thinks it is in the dark and can’t be seen, it will calm down. Nice to know.”
A temporary policy has been put in place by Chief Cox: “Until I can finalize the procedures that we will follow in future situations, we will not utilize a firearm to euthanize a caged animal unless there are serious, obvious, justifications for it and then only after at least one member of the command staff has been consulted. The only exception to this temporary policy is that the ACO may euthanize a high risk animal, such as a bat or skunk, on scene, utilizing the most humane method of euthanasia. Any other means of putting an animal down, will require command staff input.”
Pictured left to right: In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue & Educational Center volunteer Ricki Hart, ACO Tammy Drake, Officer Aaron McCarty, Lieutenant Adana Barber and Police Chief G.M. Cox.