There’s a new animal control officer in Town.
Amber Butler joined the Town of Clayton on Sept. 12, and she comes with an exceptional level of professional experience, personal compassion and love for animals.
In her introduction to the Clayton Town Council on Monday, Butler said she felt blessed to have the opportunity to serve our Town.
“I am not from here, but I do consider Clayton my home. I’ve only been here five years, but I’ve never felt so welcomed in a Town in my life,” she said. “I’m really excited about what the future holds, and what I can provide for the Town of Clayton and all the animals here.”
When you meet Butler, it doesn’t take long to recognize her lifelong passion for pets, livestock and life in general. Raised on a dairy farm in South Carolina, Butler learned from an early age the tremendous responsibility that accompanies the joys of owning animals.
“They’re always depending on you,” she said. “It was brought up in me that, to have good work ethic was being able to wake up, no matter how old I was, and go take care of whatever pet or animal I had.”
It’s usually when owners have neglected those responsibilities that the animal control officer gets a call, but Butler doesn’t intend to wait around for issues to get out of hand. In addition to responding to complaints and emergencies, Butler plans to use her position to educate the public about the resources available from the government and nonprofit groups in the area – and to educate people on what it takes to keep an animal healthy, happy and out of harm’s way.
“A lot of times, when someone isn’t the best pet owner out there, it’s not because they don’t want to be – it’s just a lack of education,” she said.
When an animal is caught in Clayton, it goes to the Johnston County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center in Smithfield. Butler should have no trouble finder her way around that facility – she managed it from July 2012 to March 2014. Since then, Bulter worked as an equine manager at the N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine. That job saw her managing a herd of 10 horses, teaching equine labs to vet students and assisting in the breeding of broodmares and handling of foals.
Butler lives just outside of Clayton Town limits with her Labrador Avery, Roy the Shih Tzu and two black domestic cats, Geechee and Mingo. Outside the house, Butler has two spoiled-rotten quarter horses – Pineapple and Missy – that she barrel races in rodeos and competitions across the region on the weekends. Butler said she usually competes in barrel races that pay cash prizes to the winners, but this year she’s got her sights set on taking home a belt buckle.
Rounding out Butler’s personal menagerie is Deedee, the best-behaved goat you’ll ever meet, who is trained as a pack goat to carry supplies on hikes.
Archer Lodge contracts with the Town of Clayton to handle its animal control calls, and Butler has already taken the oath to serve in that Town as well as Clayton.
To report an animal control issue, call 9-1-1.
To contact Butler with a non-emergency matter, email her at email@example.com or call 919-553-4611.