- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27—PRINCETON — Since he started working as an animal control officer in the beginning of July, Drew Hodges already feels like he is making a difference.

He has already assisted with several rescues in the county and knows if it were not for his efforts and those of fellow animal control officer Elizabeth Morehead, the animals would not have survived without help.

Hodges’ desire to help in the community stems from a car accident in July of 2003. After the accident he was in a coma for three months and had to learn how to walk and talk again.

“I had to go through occupational and speech therapy for two to three years,” he said.

Because of the care he received during his recovery, Hodges has a desire to help. Prior to being hired as Mercer County’s newest animal control officer, he worked at ResCare for about two years.

“The reason why I want to help people is because people helped me,” he said.

Though animal rescues may not immediately help people in the community, Hodges said he knows it will eventually help somebody.

Part of his duties as an animal control officer include responding to calls, writing citations, handling animal attacks and rescuing animals. He also has spent a lot of time reviewing the county’s animal laws.

“It’s a lot more than I thought,” he said. “I like being able to get out in the public.”

If he is able, Hodges will also help out at the Mercer County Animal Shelter, where his office is located.

Something he enjoys most about his job is making a difference and saving an animal’s life.

“I like being able to help a dog or cat. I don’t think I will eve be able to help as much as I want, but I’m going to try,” he said.

Hodges has also spent time in the Army National Guard and has studied pre-med and business administration. He is currently taking classes at American National University to finish his business administration degree and looks to complete a degree in pre-med in the future.

Hodges and his family live in Mercer County and recently adopted a 3-month-old Labrador/pit mix puppy from the shelter. He said the pit bull breed is often misunderstood and he trusts the family’s new puppy with his young daughter.

Hodges and Morehead serve residents in Mercer County. Hodges said there are other animal control officers who work for the cities of Bluefield and Princeton. The only time county officers would enter city limits is in the case of a 911 call.

To contact the county’s animal control officers, call the shelter at 304-425-2838.

— Contact Jackie Puglisi at [email protected]

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(c)2015 the Princeton Times (Princeton, W.Va.)

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