ADAMS -- Adams has a new gumshoe for fur-bearing scofflaws.
Kim Witek, who already wears a number of hats, has been named animal control officer for Adams, a job she said fits right in with her background.
"I grew up on a farm in Windsor with cows, chickens, pigs and rabbits," she said. "Right now, I take care of two dogs, five cats, 28 rabbits, 30 pigs, and 40 cows. I'm not afraid."
She lives and works on a farm in North Adams. On top of all that, she has three kids and a granddaughter.
The job has been open since October. A friend told Witek about the opening and suggested she apply.
According to Jonathan Butler, town administrator for Adams, the animal control officer is the point person for dealing with any concerns about both domestic animals and wildlife. Animal control officers receive specialized training for handling animal issues and in standards for compliance.
Adams has two part-time animal control officers. Carrie Loholdt, the former animal control officer, left in October to take a full time animal control officer position in North Adams.
Butler said Witek works 18 hours each week at an hourly rate of $14.49 per hour.
So far, Witek said, it's been fairly quiet. In three weeks, she's had to deal with barking dogs, running dogs, missing dogs, dead squirrels, and a nuisance fisher cat.
"They're telling me, ‘It's quiet now, but get ready, the bears are coming out,'" Witek said. "But those are easy. You just have to be careful and make sure nobody gets near them. I'm not looking forward to the skunks, though -- they really stink when they get hit."
Witek said she is learning on the job, and will take advantage of any training opportunities that come along.
"The more we learn, the better off we are," she said.
And Witek has felt plenty of support from the Police Department. Chief Richard Tarsa and the other officers have made it clear: "They have told me that if I need them, if I feel uncomfortable in any way, to call them. They've been really great."
And most days, after she's done with her animal control duties, she puts on her other hat -- that of owner of Kim's Kuts, a beauty salon on Eagle Street in North Adams.
To reach the animal control officer, call the Police Department at (413) 743-1212.
To reach Scott Stafford:
or (413) 663-3741, ext. 227.
On Twitter: @BE_SStafford