Lyon County approves creation of animal services division

YERINGTON - Lyon County commissioners have approved the creation of an Animal Services Division, changing responsibility for stray and abandoned animals from the jurisdiction of the Sheriff's Department to the office of county manager.

County Manager Stephen Snyder said he would re-advertise the position of division supervisor.

"The position is currently being advertised; however, I was not sure of the direction on that and have asked Comptroller Rita Evasovic to evaluate the job description and salary range and re-advertise."

It is currently being advertised at a salary of $23,649 to $25,875.

When the commissioners decided in May to change management of the division, they determined the supervisor would fill a vacant animal control position, with the difference in salary being paid out of this year's contingency fund.

Sheriff Sid Smith said removing the division from under his authority left some questions regarding the authority of animal control personnel to write citations.

Assistant District Attorney Steve Rye, however, said the definition within the ordinance of an animal services officer does give them authority to issue citations.

"Their authority is limited to violations related to this ordinance. If they have additional problems or violations they can call the Sheriff's Department," he told the board.

At the time of their decision in May, commissioners were divided in their opinions on the need to change authority over animal control. On Thursday, however, the ordinance was unanimously approved.


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