While some recently criticized animal control for holding a black cat adoption event near Halloween, the chief praised the event and Officer Watson for her efforts.
“She thought outside the box and she came up with a gamplan to work with another community, that being the red church in town,” Chief LaCross said.
“I think that’s a tribute to her and her initiative to help not only these animals find happiness, but a family to enjoy a household pet … Both the animals and family are winners.”
Officer Watson has been Barrington’s ACO for about four months. Chief LaCross said she is adapting to her new role very well. Both Officer Watson and previous ACO John Duffy reportedly trained with East Providence ACO William Muggle, who holds a national certification.
Officer Evan Barlow, also an animal control officer in East Providence, said both Officer Watson and Officer Duffy spent 80 hours training with Officer Muggle. Officer Barlow said there is a national two-week seminar focused on animal control though the first-hand training given to both the current and former Barrington ACOs provides an idea of what animal control is like locally.
Chief LaCross said the system is similar to field training provided for new police officers. He also said Barrington works with East Providence because of an on-going relationship with that community and the experience of its animal control officers.
In a previous interview, Officer Watson said three of four cats adopted out during the drive went to Barrington families, two of which were previously known to the police department. The fourth, Officer Watson said, was a personal friend. Officer Watson said she later checked in with all of the animals and their new families.
She also said all applicants completed an application as they would for an adoption at anytime of year detailing information such as whether they own or rent their property, whether they own any other animals and, if they do, the vaccination status of these other pets.
Police Chief John LaCross previously said in his entire tenure with the police department there has been no evidence or proof of any ritualistic animal torture in Barrington and Officer Watson has discretion in determining if a cat should or should not be adopted to an applicant.