I thought I would share my answers to a questionnaire that Bastrop County Animal Advocates (BCAA) has sent out to all of the candidates for sheriff.
1. First of all, do you have pets at home? If so, how many and what are they?
I have four dogs (three large outside, one small inside), four cats (two outside, two inside/outside). During severe heat or cold weather my outside dogs are brought inside. Even though they are kept outside in a large fenced-in yard, we take walks on our farm daily after work. All of my dogs and cats are "rescued" animals.
2. What are your feelings on companion animals and their place in a family?
My animals don't have a place in my family, they are part of my family. They give unconditional love, and should be loved unconditionally.
3. If elected sheriff, would you actively investigate and jail person(s) involved in animal cruelty cases in the county? Animal fighting cases?
I have no tolerance for people who abuse the helpless, be they animals or children. All either want is to be loved and provided for, and are helpless to do much for themselves. Anyone taking advantage of this situation will be investigated thoroughly and an iron-clad case put together to give to the District Attorney's Office. Persons found to be committing such offenses will be arrested and placed in jail. I have no compassion for persons who fight animals. I feel that even having implements for fighting should be illegal.
4. Would you educate your staff on the proper interaction with canine encounters?
I find proper training and education of officers to be severely lacking in many areas, and handling animal encounters appears to be one of the most neglected areas. I have a friend who lost her dog to an encounter gone wrong with an officer in San Antonio who could think of no other way to handle a dog who was protecting his property than to shoot and kill him. I find such cases sickening and promise that my officers will be instructed in ways to handle animal encounters in non-lethal ways.
5. Will you actively work with the animal control officers in the county in regard to animal welfare law enforcement?
I plan to have my department very active in areas of animal welfare law enforcement.
6. Will you work with the state/federal TBI/FBI in collecting animal cruelty data information and prosecute on the local level?
I will work with any agency or organization in collecting animal cruelty data information, all possible evidence, and building iron-clad cases for the District Attorney to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.
7. Animal abuse and cruelty is going on in Bastrop county, will you work to alleviate this?
I will do any and everything in my power to eliminate animal abuse and cruelty in Bastrop County, and anywhere else my assistance might be helpful. Any cruelty, from physical abuse, neglect, or fighting animals such as roosters and dogs will be immediately acted upon!
Cookie, Schei, and Lola. All are rescue dogs.