April 23, 2014 — Carter County’s animal control officer paid a visit to the Journal-Times last week.
Sherman Sparks, who has served in the job for nine years, said he was responding to rumors of cruel animal executions, failure to work, and failing health.
Sparks, who appeared to be the picture of health last week, said he was on his way to the Boyd County Animal Shelter.
Until the Fiscal Court comes to a long-term agreement with either Boyd or Rowan counties for housing stray animals, Sparks is taking animals to Boyd if space is available.
He told the Journal-Times that Greenup's shelter stopped accepting Carter dogs on March 11, two months before the contract expired.
“If we don't have a place to take the animal, I don't go pick it up,” Sparks said. “But to insinuate that I am picking up animals and killing them is total bull. It burns me up.”
Sparks said only three times in his career has he been forced to shoot an animal.
“Two times they had been hit by cars and were suffering before dying,” he said. “The third time there was a vicious dog that had a woman trapped in her house. It had to be put down.”
Sparks also provided a copy of the state law that allows him to execute animals (KRS 285.505).
“Sometimes when we get to the pound there are rescue organizations there and I will give litters of puppies over to them,” Sparks said. “But the majority of the time the card is filled out at the pound when I take them in. You can check with the pound and see it.”
Sparks, 72, said he had considered retiring in the fall.
“I am in good health, but this is a full-time job,” he stated. “Not only do I transport animals to the shelter, but I also investigate every abuse allegation, and dog bites.”