Waco, TX (FOX 44) – As the weather starts to heat up, and pets get loose, its a perfect time to recognize National Animal Control Officer and Animal Shelter Appreciation Week.

Animal control officers don’t simply take your missing dog and send it to the pound.

Animal control representatives for Temple and Woodway say its the last thing they want to do.

City of Temple public information specialist Allison O’Connor says its a common practice for Temple animal control services to find a pet’s home.

“They’ll call the shelter, and if they’re not able to go pick them up, they’ll call the shelter and our animal service officers will go out, pick them up, bring them back to the shelter,” said O’Connor.

In a situation where the original pet’s owner doesn’t come pick them up within three days, O’Connor says the pet will stay at the shelter until someone adopts them.

If the pet stays for a long time, Temple animal services will send them to a rescue.

“We’ll actually start reaching out to rescues within the state or even with other states to try to find them, get them out of the shelter, and get them somewhere where they’re going to have a higher chance of being adopted,” said O’Connor.

At both Temple and Woodway Public Safety Department, their officers take calls for all situations.

“We deal with rattlesnakes on porches, animals that are abused, animals that are dumped. We deal with animal bites, of course, rabies,” said Woodway public safety director Bret Crook.

Crook says as temperatures increases, it can be more common to see cases of rabies.

“Spring of animals breeding, so you have lots of extra animals that they show up and unfortunately, some people don’t take care of those and end up dumping them somewhere, so we deal with that as well,” said Crook. “I do think there’s an increase in the spring, [and] in the summertime.”

The best thing O’Connor recommends is to leave the animal alone and call animal control services.

“Take the proactive measures. Don’t touch any wildlife. Leave them as they are because you don’t know what they have or what they don’t have. Just be proactive and just keep your hands to yourself,” said O’Connor.