Animal services

Del Norte Sheriff’s Office Recommended as Potential New Home for Animal Services | Wild Rivers Outpost

Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Monday, August 22 at 3:17 p.m.

Del Norte Sheriff’s Office recommended as potential new home for animal services


• Del Norte County is looking to restructure its animal services department


Del Norte County staff are pitching the sheriff’s office as a potential new home for the county’s animal services division.

County Administrative Officer Neal Lopez will present a report to supervisors on Tuesday that recommends Animal Control and Animal Shelter Services be a new operational branch similar to others within the DNSO.

Staff also considered restructuring animal services under the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Community Development, according to Lopez’s staff report.

“Based on conversations with these three potential departments, it seems pretty obvious that the best fit for animal services would be the DNSO,” Lopez wrote. “Additionally, research conducted indicates that these services are normally provided by an agency of the Sheriff’s Department in rural counties, so it makes sense from that perspective as well.”

On July 12, county supervisors asked staff to do more research on the restructuring of its animal services division, which currently reports to the Del Norte Agricultural Commission. Director of Animal Services Justin Riggs is also the Commissioner of Agriculture and Sealer of Weights and Measures.

According to Lopez, Del Norte is one of only three counties in California to have this configuration. In addition to Riggs, an animal services supervisor and two animal control officers are on the division staff. The Department of Agriculture’s administrative secretary and a part-time office technician provide fiscal and administrative support.

Volunteers also do a lot of the work, including caring for the animals, facilitating transfers to rescue shelters, and making sure they’re ready for adoption. Volunteers from the Humane Society of Del Norte County also spayed and neutered the animals, longtime volunteer Laureen Yamakido.

“So far this year, 189 dogs have entered the county, three horses, four goats, two pigs and one rabbit,” Yamakido told supervisors on July 12. “Volunteers are exhausted. Staff are exhausted.

The Del Norte County Board of Supervisors meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Flynn Center, 910 H Street in Crescent City. Meetings are also streamed via Zoom.