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Rancho Murieta Security is suspending the practice of handling stray dogs and wandering rattlesnakes while it explores its role in animal control and what it would take to train its staff properly.

For some months, while the Community Services District assesses the issue, Murietans are told to call county animal control about issues that Security has addressed for decades – loose dogs, rattlesnakes or deer problems.

“We received an anonymous Cal-OSHA complaint about our Security officers handling animal control type activities,” CSD General Manager Mark Martin said Thursday afternoon. “This is not the barking-dog call sort of activity; it’s the actual corralling a dog, not knowing whether or not it’s hostile or not, and all the other wild-animal-control type of activities.”

Martin said this hasn’t been discussed at CSD committee or board meetings, or shared publicly until now, because CSD only recently received the Cal-OSHA violation and got a clear idea of what was required.

The CSD was cited by Cal-OSHA, which investigated and issued a $550 fine, Martin said. If CSD isn’t responsive to the problem, future fines would be greater, he said.

“But what that really begs is the CSD’s role as an animal-control force,” Martin said, adding that wildlife is in the purview of Sacramento County animal control. “What we’re doing right now is evaluating that function, that role, by the CSD.”

The minimum would be to understand what exact training and procedures are needed to meet the Cal-OSHA requirements, he said. After that would come addressing concerns like “proper equipment, housing of animals, vehicles to transport, etc.”

Martin estimated exploring these answers will take months. The number of Animal Control is (916) 368-7387.

RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27724
Post rating: 1387

Tip on animal issue

Thanks to neighbor Beth Buderus for sharing this as a tip in the Forums.

Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Post rating: 706

Thank you for contacting CSD

I sure appreciate your finding out the reason for CSD putting a halt to the various animal issues in RM.  I hope a solution can be found quickly.  

As you stated, this not only affects the dogs that escape their yards/homes but also the "relocation" of rattlesnakes and let's not forget the poor young deer that are often trapped in wrought iron fences.  We cannot wait for Animal Control or Fish & Game to handle these types of situations.

I realize some people do not care about animals...whether they are pets or wild...but just really saddens me.

Lisa Wise's picture
Joined: 04/05/2011
Posts: 93
Post rating: 29

Helping with our animals is important to many

I agree with Beth. If we need to organize a volunteer group, so be it. We can't just wait around for hours. 

Janet Bach's picture
Joined: 02/27/2013
Posts: 35
Post rating: 31

Animal control

I agree with Beth and Lisa. A volunteer group at least for the wild animals stuck or hurt. Ridiculous for a policy of hands off after being available all these years to help out. The word needs to get out that CSD will no longer be available! I understand Cal OSHA became involved, but so many residents seem to misplace their animals on a regular basis as well.

Jan Bach

Janet Nicholson's picture
Joined: 10/28/2007
Posts: 235
Post rating: 380

Providing the animals with the opportunity for a good outcome

I totally agree with Beth.  I'm happy to be part of any volunteer group to handle this temporarily, though I'm not sure I feel qualified for the rattlesnake wrangling part.  We certainly should have a way to contain animals - particularly the escapee dogs that are known to Security and that we know belong to someone in the community -  until the owners can get home to claim them.  I hope CSD is communicating with Sac Animal Control to advise them of this change in policy as I'm sure we are not first on their priority list, maybe in part because of our location, but also because they know we have people to intervene until they get here.  I don't want to see dogs running loose and scared and maybe getting out onto Jackson Hwy where they will inevitably get hit/killed.  True the dogs shouldn't be loose, but accidents happen, and being killed on the highway because Security can't touch them doesn't sound like a positive solution.   And just wait until the first homeowner gets bitten trying to get a rattlesnake out of their garage because Security can no longer help them.  And who wants to watch deer thrashing in a fence for hours until Animal Control shows up?  I don't.

I agree, Beth, this not only deeply saddens me at the thought of animals suffering as a result of this change, it makes me angry.  

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