MARQUETTE, Mich – Spring has sprung in Marquette County, which means the Marquette Police Department will be receiving a new kind of report.

Reports about raccoons, groundhogs and skunks. Oh my!

Meet the man who answers the call: Officer Chris Cygan.

“In the springtime and summertime, I turn into the Animal Control Officer and support for the department,” said Officer Cygan.

“He’s a veteran officer here. He’s able to mentor, help and guide younger offices. He’s a wealth of knowledge in that respect,” said Mike Laurila, Patrol Captain of the Marquette Police Department. “As an animal control officer, I believe without him we would have several stray animals, several unwanted animals and so on and so forth that wouldn’t be controlled or taken care of.”

The morning starts with Officer Cygan loading up traps onto his crossover’s trailer.

There were four animal control requests from Marquette residences on the very first day animal control services began. All four calls dealt with the same animal, skunks!

“In the springtime, the skunks start to come out and the raccoons start to come out and cause problems in people’s yards. Digging through people’s yards and garbage’s,” said Officer Cygan.

To catch these pesky skunks, Officer Cygan places traps near holes that skunks dig out, usually under sheds or structures in backyards.

There’s an assortment of treats these critters like to snack on, but today the menu consists of sardines.

The tasty treat is placed into the trap and once the critter steps on the metal plate, the trap closes.

There was no luck the first few days, but later that week, we got one!

After arriving on scene to find the skunk in the trap, Officer Cygan prepares his tarp to put over the cage to prevent being sprayed. He then proceeds to tie up the tarp so it is snug and tight and loads up the skunk safely on the back of the crossover.

Next stop, the skunk’s new home.

Animals are taken to a secluded area away from homes in the county. Once we arrive, the cage is opened and these critters take off to start a new life in nature.

To contact Officer Cygan about his services, call the Marquette Police Department at 906-228-0400.

For ABC 10 and CW 5 news, I’m Jeremy Skiba.