On January 5, 2021 Animal Control Officer Susan “Sue” Webb completed her last shift as the Town of Wellesley’s Animal Control Officer. She leaves enormous shoes to fill, as she served as the town’s sole Animal Control Officer for over 44 years. She first began her career with the Wellesley Police Department in 1976. She left for a couple of years in the early 1980’s when she moved out of state, but soon returned to Wellesley and was re-hired as the Town’s Animal Control Officer.
Many might think there wouldn’t be much for an Animal Control Officer to do, but Sue’s days were filled with many animal related calls for service; ranging from the ordinary barking dog complaint or lost cat to trapping bats in houses or skunks in basements or even rescuing beavers in distress in the Charles River. Sue was also responsible for enforcing the town’s Bylaws for dog/cat licensing, dog conduct, nuisance or dangerous dog hearings and the associated penalties and fines for violations. After doing the work for so many years she knew many of these pets by name and where they lived.
Another big part of Sue’s job was education for the public. Sue has spent the past 40 plus years educating residents about their household pets and the wildlife they may have contact with in their backyards or while walking the various trails around town. She is a walking encyclopedia of animal related information and loved sharing her knowledge with others. Sue most enjoyed when she got to interact with the youth in town to educate them about her job and animals. You would always see Sue with a table set up at community events such as the Police Department’s Annual Open House and July Jubilation in the Square.
Over the years Sue has reunited countless dogs and cats with their owners. She has estimated that between microchips and the use of social media she is able to reunite 95% of pets back to their owners in less than 24 hours.
Sue loves her work and volunteered countless hours of her personal time working with the Safe People Safe Pets Program, being an advocate for Domestic Violence and Sheltering Animals, Stray Pets in Need and many other organizations.
Sue has a passion for search and rescue and has owned several search and rescue dogs over the years. After the 9/11 attacks Sue responded to New York City to assist in the search and rescue efforts for victims trapped in the rubble. She plans to continue her search and rescue work in her retirement.
We thank Sue for her dedicated and unwavering service to the Police Department and Town of Wellesley and wish her well in her retirement.
This article was written by Wellesley Police Lieutenant Marie Cleary.