NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. — In North Tonawanda, there’s one person the entire community trusts with their dogs. Dog control officer Eric 'Rick' Salisbury puts in countless hours.
“My main goal is to get the dog to its owner," said Salisbury
Dog control officer is Salisbury’s title, but he’s much more than that. This local hero needs a bit of help to continue doing his job and the community stepped right up.
"This is definitely more than just a job for Rick, he just loves these animals with his whole heart, he will do anything to help a dog in need," said Kimberly LaRussa with Sweet Buffalo.
Since 2018 he’s done everything from rescuing abused or abandoned dogs to bringing lost dogs back to home, when people call, he answers.
“I’ve had dogs missing for weeks and days and people would just come out and help me look for them," said Salisbury.
You can tell by his face, it’s what he loves to do, but it’s a job that comes with many difficulties.
"It’s a pretty hefty task, I didn’t realize it was going to be as busy as it has. We get a lot of dogs get out and running around, we’re averaging about 40-50 calls a month for dogs," said Salisbury
Salisbury needs the right tools to find these dogs, like treats to lure dogs in, but there's no money for that right now.
"Every city has a certain budget and with COVID and everything going on nowadays, budgets are really tight," said Salisbury.
So Sweet Buffalo and Diamonds in the Rough Animal Rescue started an online fundraiser.
They raised nearly $3,000 in less than two weeks.
"We rallied to do that for him because we trust Rick to do the right thing for dogs," said LaRussa.
And the support is already helping, people can find Officer Salisbury much easier now that his truck got a makeover and he can fit more dogs with some new kennels.
"It's amazing and I wouldn’t have any of this without the community support, so I can’t thank them enough for what they do to help me in my job," said Salisbury.
Rick still gets so many calls every day and the fundraiser is still going, so if you want to help Rick out, click here.
"In the community, we have to support each other when it comes to helping animals and that’s what’s being done here," said LaRussa.