The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 9, 2003


Board of Health seeks to define animal inspector role

Carlisle's animal inspector Sally Lakness described how she performs barn inspections and other duties at the Board of Health's April 29 meeting. The board is trying to determine how to compensate Lakness, who is currently working without pay. Currently she spends a minimum of one-half hour per barn inspection.

"What I'm doing is adequate; most animals [in Carlisle] live better than people," she said. If she were required to measure lot lines and setbacks her job would take much longer. Lakness said she didn't know where the property lines are and that most of the barns were not on the census form.

Lakness illustrated her duties by explaining her visit to a barn last week and finding a horse with no food or water. She stayed with the horse until it was able to get the proper treatment. This is a very rare instance in Carlisle, Lakness stressed. Normally people take good care of their barns and horses.

She has visited some barns with a horse dentist. "If people have a horse dentist, they are good guys," Lakness explained. For barns that she has visited previously and found clean, she often does what she calls a drive-by inspection. She stressed that she prefers to do minimum intervention in barn inspections. Lakness is starting up a database for the 80 or so barns in Carlisle.

Lakness said that she spends one-third of her time on barns, one-third on rabies issues with wild animals, and one-third on other matters. Board agent Linda Fantasia suggested the board of health look at some other towns for salary levels where the town has a separate control officer and inspector for animals.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito