Skip to Content

Community Service Officers: A Day in the Life

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -In the Fargo Police Department, cases involving pets or sometimes wild animals are handled by Community Service Officers or CSOs. They’re the go-to’s in these situations and play an important role in our community.

Currently, CSOs are trying to catch a black german shepard who’s been on the run since this weekend. They worry, it could develop what they call, missing dog syndrome.

Officer Jordan Ramage says, “Missing dog syndrome is basically just the situation where they get out and they’re not used to their environment. They get more and more skittish and scared. It almost kind of reverts them to fight or flight. So they are more likely to run. A once friendly dog may turn skittish and almost be unrecognizable if it’s out for longer than a few days.”

Dogs on the loose without a human nearby is what CSOs call a “dog at large.” Those calls make up the majority of their day.

Officer Tay Sauvageau says, “Some of them we actually are familiar with. So we catch them and we already know where they belong, so we just bring them home.”

For dogs they find “at large” and haven’t been reported missing, the CSO will bring them to the Fargo pound and conduct follow ups until the owner is found.

Sauvageau made a phone call to the owners of a dog that was brought to the pound over the weekend. The owner told Sauvageau he was just on his way to pick up his boxer that had broken the line he was tied up on.

CSOs also conduct follow up investigations in cases of suspected animal abuse and animal bites, and sometimes, finding themselves on the receiving end.

Ramage says nonchalantly, “I’ve been bit before. It can happen. It’s kind of a job hazard, we call it. When dogs are stressed out and scared, some have been abandoned. They’re just hard to know exactly how they’re going to react to you.”

Sauvageau says, “I have not had an animal bite me, not for lack of trying sometimes, but I’ve been very fortunate.”

Despite the risks, Officers Sauvageau and Ramage use their love and knowledge of animals to help them every day. Whether it’s helping ducklings out of a storm drain or bringing a lost dog back home.

The officers say the best way to make sure your dog doesn’t get left at the pound is to make sure they have a microchip. And if you come across a dog “at large” it’s best to reach out to police and try to get a picture and post it to social media. They say chasing after a dog can often cause more harm than good.