Houlton animal control officer retires

After five years of collecting strays for the town of Houlton, David Raidon hangs up his traps alive.

HOULTON, Maine — After five years of collecting strays for the town of Houlton, David Raidon hangs up his traps alive.

On Monday, Rairdon announced he was leaving his job as animal control officer for Houlton.

“It was a good race,” he said. “I couldn’t have done this job without the help of the police department.”

Raidon joined the HPD in December 2016. When he joined the department, Raidon already had 15 years of experience as an animal control officer for other communities. His last day with the Houlton Police Department is Tuesday, April 5.

“David has a very good temperament for this job,” Houlton Police Chief Tim DeLuca said. “He has a genuine love for animals and will be sorely missed.”

While the department searches for a replacement, its patrollers pick up any stray animals that are reported. The department regularly gets good luck reuniting strays with their owners simply by posting pictures of the animals on its Facebook page, the chief said.

“I would say about 90 percent of the time we’re able to find the owner before we go to the shelter,” DeLuca said. “Animals will always be cared for.”

Anyone interested in this position is encouraged to contact the Houlton Police Department. We are open to training the right person for the job.

Rairdon’s passion for animals was evident when he volunteered to serve as the Northern Regional Director of the Maine Animal Control Officer.

“I enjoyed working for Houlton, but I’ll be sure to wonder if today is the day I get bitten again,” he joked.

Raidon said he will miss working with HPD officers, as well as those who care for animals – Houlton Humane Society and Ark Animal Sanctuary.

“You will always be in my thoughts,” he said. “It’s sometimes a thankless job, but it’s also very rewarding. Especially when you bring people together with their pets.

One of the more interesting instances, he said, was the time he had to drive to the Irving Big Stop to retrieve a lizard that had escaped from a person traveling on the bus.

Raidon is not retiring completely, as he will still be handling part-time ACO duties for Ludlow and New Limerick.

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