Have you met Portsmouth's new animal control officer (ACO)?
Ariel Fisher, a Warren native, began serving as the town's full-time ACO on July 30. Fisher is filling the position that was left vacant after the .
Before being hired by the town of Portsmouth, Fisher previously worked for the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for two years. She was also an employee at a Vermont animal shelter where she attended school.
She is nationally certified as an animal cruelty investigator.
Fisher, a fourth-generation Warren resident, can be reached at the Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. However, the hours, Fisher said, will be changing in order for residents to reach her in the evenings.
The ACO may be reached at the Portsmouth police station or at (401) 643-0136.
Residents may contact Fisher to report dogs running loose, wild animals seen near domestic animals and to report any animal bites. Coyote sightings should be reported to the Department of Environmental Management (DEM).
Fisher also wants to remind residents to vaccinate their pets.
"Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate," Fisher says. "I really want to stress how important it is. If your animal is exposed to any wild animal that could have rabies, it's a six month quarantine and that's at the owner's expense."
Wild animals, which could carry the rabies virus, include skunks, raccoons, woodchucks and bats.
A town rabies clinic is being planned, according to the ACO.