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Thread: Dog lives matter

  1. #1
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    Dog lives matter

    The Lancaster Town Board passed a resolution Monday evening that will reduce the holding period of seized dogs from seven days to three days provided the dog is identified as the owner’s and proof provided that the dog is unlicensed; except where the dog is unlicensed and a notice is given to the owner by mail to get the dog licensed and then the holding period is extended to seven days.

    A public hearing was held on the matter on November 5th and the holding time then was suggested to be reduced from seven to five days. At the work session It was made known that resolution sponsor Council member Matt Walter was going to pull the resolution because of the language discrepancy but Dog Control Officer (DCO) Jean Karn requested its submittal.

    At the regular meeting, during the public comment session on the pre-file resolutions, resident Debbie Lemaster questioned the board on the new language. Lemaster asked what precipitated the change to three days when in fact at the public hearing the targeted holding time was five days. Councilman Walter replied that it was to bring into conformance with the ordinance other municipalities have in place.

    Lemaster then questioned whether the condition of the shed-like facility influenced the decision to shorten the holding period. “I understand the dogs are chewing the floors and walls to the point where they had to be repaired / replaced. Tarps had to be put up to prevent some dogs from being stressed by more aggressive dogs. When Councilman Walter replied that was a different matter, Lemaster disagreed pressed on and declared that she believed the shed facility would be temporary and asked, “When are we going to get a brick and mortar building?”

    Walter answered with, “That’s a good question.” Lemaster responded that the other departments seem to get whatever they need to do the job and that DCO Karn should also get the tools to do her job efficiently. She then asked about the availability of a grant that could also offset the cost for improvements.

    Walter responded that unfortunately there was a grant available, that he reached out to the town board on the matter, they had questions, he reached out to DCO Karn on the pursuit of the grant and the application time ran out. Funds are not available in the town’s budget for DCO operation improvement and they will pursue the grant next year.

    Lemaster closed by stating that as a fiscal conservative she should not be saying it, but that the town has a healthy fund balance, a public hearing should be held and that we should get this operation in order.

    At the public comment session DCO Karn that the current facility does not provide enough kennels to house the dogs. So far this year 143 dogs have been retrieved. There was overflow in 12 days. When kennels are in disrepair and or being repaired, she loses kennel availability.

    Supervisor Coleman declared the town is in negotiation with the Town of Clarence to provide backup service for the Town of Lancaster when overflow conditions exit.

    Karn also stated that she went above and beyond what was required to fill out the application grant appropriately and to get the town board apprised appropriately in pursuit of the grant money. Walter responded that he did not receive an email in time.

    Comments

    Thank you, Mrs. Lemaster, for bring this matter before the town board.

    After the four-kennel shed was constructed you and I visited the site to observe the operation – the heating and cooling system, general shed construction and program set in place to feed, monitor and waste disposal / sanitation process. We voiced concerns then that the interior floors were made of wood and not suitable for sanitation and damage control. We were led to believe this was a temporary setup and a brick and mortar facility would be provided in the future. We have been informed that the wooden floors of two kennels were chewed and damaged to the point of needing replacement and some wallboard damage has also occurred. Why the damaged floors were replaced with wood and not with tile or concrete is both puzzling and troubling.

    Considering the increase in housed dogs, the kennel damage taking place, the unsanitary wooden floors, poor sight lines, the town should consider moving the operation into a brick and mortar building; and if so is to seriously pursue the grant money available to offset the cost of doing so.

    Does anyone wonder whether the individuals who retrieve unlicensed dogs after licensing them get a court appearance ticket and pay a fine?

  2. #2
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Chowaniec View Post
    The Lancaster Town Board passed a resolution Monday evening that will reduce the holding period of seized dogs from seven days to three days provided the dog is identified as the owner’s and proof provided that the dog is unlicensed; except where the dog is unlicensed and a notice is given to the owner by mail to get the dog licensed and then the holding period is extended to seven days.

    A public hearing was held on the matter on November 5th and the holding time then was suggested to be reduced from seven to five days. At the work session It was made known that resolution sponsor Council member Matt Walter was going to pull the resolution because of the language discrepancy but Dog Control Officer (DCO) Jean Karn requested its submittal.

    At the regular meeting, during the public comment session on the pre-file resolutions, resident Debbie Lemaster questioned the board on the new language. Lemaster asked what precipitated the change to three days when in fact at the public hearing the targeted holding time was five days. Councilman Walter replied that it was to bring into conformance with the ordinance other municipalities have in place.

    Lemaster then questioned whether the condition of the shed-like facility influenced the decision to shorten the holding period. “I understand the dogs are chewing the floors and walls to the point where they had to be repaired / replaced. Tarps had to be put up to prevent some dogs from being stressed by more aggressive dogs. When Councilman Walter replied that was a different matter, Lemaster disagreed pressed on and declared that she believed the shed facility would be temporary and asked, “When are we going to get a brick and mortar building?”

    Walter answered with, “That’s a good question.” Lemaster responded that the other departments seem to get whatever they need to do the job and that DCO Karn should also get the tools to do her job efficiently. She then asked about the availability of a grant that could also offset the cost for improvements.

    Walter responded that unfortunately there was a grant available, that he reached out to the town board on the matter, they had questions, he reached out to DCO Karn on the pursuit of the grant and the application time ran out. Funds are not available in the town’s budget for DCO operation improvement and they will pursue the grant next year.

    Lemaster closed by stating that as a fiscal conservative she should not be saying it, but that the town has a healthy fund balance, a public hearing should be held and that we should get this operation in order.

    At the public comment session DCO Karn that the current facility does not provide enough kennels to house the dogs. So far this year 143 dogs have been retrieved. There was overflow in 12 days. When kennels are in disrepair and or being repaired, she loses kennel availability.

    Supervisor Coleman declared the town is in negotiation with the Town of Clarence to provide backup service for the Town of Lancaster when overflow conditions exit.

    Karn also stated that she went above and beyond what was required to fill out the application grant appropriately and to get the town board apprised appropriately in pursuit of the grant money. Walter responded that he did not receive an email in time.

    Comments

    Thank you, Mrs. Lemaster, for bring this matter before the town board.

    After the four-kennel shed was constructed you and I visited the site to observe the operation – the heating and cooling system, general shed construction and program set in place to feed, monitor and waste disposal / sanitation process. We voiced concerns then that the interior floors were made of wood and not suitable for sanitation and damage control. We were led to believe this was a temporary setup and a brick and mortar facility would be provided in the future. We have been informed that the wooden floors of two kennels were chewed and damaged to the point of needing replacement and some wallboard damage has also occurred. Why the damaged floors were replaced with wood and not with tile or concrete is both puzzling and troubling.

    Considering the increase in housed dogs, the kennel damage taking place, the unsanitary wooden floors, poor sight lines, the town should consider moving the operation into a brick and mortar building; and if so is to seriously pursue the grant money available to offset the cost of doing so.

    Does anyone wonder whether the individuals who retrieve unlicensed dogs after licensing them get a court appearance ticket and pay a fine?
    Was reading this article from the May 23, 2012 edition of the Clarence Bee regarding their animal control facility expansion. Most of the work was done by town employees.

    Expanded Animal Control facility is ‘state-of-the-art’


    by ANDREA KIMBRIEL
    Editor

    The town’s animal shelter on Goodrich Road has added about 2,500 square feet and 10 new dog runs, according to Animal Control Officer Jerome Schuler.

    “Our state inspector said this is state-of-the-art now,” he said. “Citizens in this town should be proud of what we have.”

    The shelter includes 16 kennels, and the new ones could be split in half if necessary, he said.

    “Everything’s easier to clean than it’s ever been,” he said.

    A ventilation system constantly filters air so dampness doesn’t build up, making the development of kennel cough unlikely, according to veterinarians who came for the open house held on May 16, said Schuler.

    A new heating system was also installed, and the facility is now handicapped-accessible, according to information from the town.

    Close to 100 people attended the event, said Schuler, who thanked Clarence Pizza Company for providing food.
    Ninety-nine dogs have been through the shelter so far this year. The Town of Clarence Animal Control Office handles dogs for Clarence, as well as for the Town of Tonawanda and the Town of Amherst. It also deals with 200 or more cats from Clarence per year, according to Schuler.

    The majority of the animals are reunited with their owners, he said. There have also been about 30 dog adoptions, this year, he said. Animals are available for adoption after six days at the shelter. The cost is $25 for dogs and free for cats if they are already spayed or neutered, he said.

    Schuler, who has been an animal control officer for 14 years, said June, July and August are the busiest months.
    “We’ve had anything you can imagine come through here,” he said.

    Ferrets were adopted out last week, and he’s dealt with peacocks, cockatoos, even llamas, although they had to be accommodated elsewhere.

    The Animal Control Office has also been involved in caring for animals seized in cruelty cases, including 23 animals from one home, and animals that people kept as pets illegally, including a wolf hybrid, said Schuler.

    His office will be involved in a training simulation for two trailers purchased through a grant by Niagara County for use in four counties in the area. The trailers will contain cages and supplies for use in large animal seizure situations, said Schuler.

    Most of the work for the updates to the shelter were completed by town employees, he said, noting that the Highway, Parks, Engineering and Building departments were involved with the project.

    Schuler said he’s grateful for the help of the staff in his department, which includes three other employees.
    He said his department also has a good relationship with the Town Clerk’s Office, which processes animal licenses but allows him to sell licenses at the shelter, making the process easier for those adopting animals. The Animal Control Office also works with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police and the state Department of Environmental Conservation, he said.

    People can learn about the dogs and cats available for adoption by calling Animal Control at 407-8912. The shelter is located at 6185 Goodrich Road.







  3. #3
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    Why would a town go in the business of holding and adopting out dogs and cats? There’s a brand new SPCA serving Erie County that has the resources and staff that are properly trained and equipped to handle that task

  4. #4
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Always wondered why but I suppose a political supporter needs a position

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roman View Post
    Why would a town go in the business of holding and adopting out dogs and cats? There’s a brand new SPCA serving Erie County that has the resources and staff that are properly trained and equipped to handle that task

    Are you referring to post #1 or post #2 (the Clarence operation)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident View Post
    Always wondered why but I suppose a political supporter needs a position
    Are you implying that Dog Control Departments are primarily established by all communities to create political positions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Chowaniec View Post
    Are you referring to post #1 or post #2 (the Clarence operation)?
    Both towns

  8. #8
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Chowaniec View Post
    Are you implying that Dog Control Departments are primarily established by all communities to create political positions?
    I could see a "friends and family" member filling a position like that. One can easily form that opinion after watching how local/small governments are ran.

    If I wasn't as busy as I am I wouldn't mind being paid 60k+healthy pension and real good health insurance to run a small animal holding center.

    I wonder how many calls per day are handled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roman View Post
    Both towns

    Lancaster does not have an adoption program. After the prescribed holding period the town has a contract with the ASPCA to send the dogs there for adoption.


    And unlike your assumption the ASPCA is not equipped to take all dogs in on immediate request.

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    WNYresident;1841213]I could see a "friends and family" member filling a position like that. One can easily form that opinion after watching how local/small governments are ran.
    Really, have you really researched Lancaster’s program when making your generalization?

    If I wasn't as busy as I am I wouldn't mind being paid 60k+healthy pension and real good health insurance to run a small animal holding center.
    According to the 2019 Lancaster budget the Dog Control Officer in Lancaster earns $48,756. Between the several part time Assistants on staff their total salaries are $42,558 (and no benefits), and $4,800 was allotted for overtime. The entire DCO budget is $166,588. What $60+ jobs are you referring to.

    I wonder how many calls per day are handled.
    The amount of calls is listed by month and can be found in the monthly report and type. A far larger number than in the past since Mrs. Karn took over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Chowaniec View Post
    Lancaster does not have an adoption program. After the prescribed holding period the town has a contract with the ASPCA to send the dogs there for adoption.


    And unlike your assumption the ASPCA is not equipped to take all dogs in on immediate request.

    It’s the SPCA Lee, not the ASPCA, different organization, unlike your assumption.

    So the town can make an agreement with them, that’s what it takes. Or the towns can each have a dog warden , a shelter, an adoption program, and then everyone can bitch and moan about their town taxes, which is what everyone seems to do anyways, “I want my taxes cut, but I don’t want any cut in services and I want the town to wipe my butt”,

  12. #12
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Really, have you really researched Lancaster’s program when making your generalization?
    Just general opinion after following local "politics and operations" over the years and what has been witnessed throughout Erie County.

  13. #13
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roman View Post
    It’s the SPCA Lee, not the ASPCA, different organization, unlike your assumption.

    So the town can make an agreement with them, that’s what it takes. Or the towns can each have a dog warden , a shelter, an adoption program, and then everyone can bitch and moan about their town taxes, which is what everyone seems to do anyways, “I want my taxes cut, but I don’t want any cut in services and I want the town to wipe my butt”,
    Or we just cut the cost of labor. NOT cut the amount of people working for us which is means we end up paying more for less in the long run.

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    Unfortunately if Councilmember Matt Walters didn't drop the ball there was a State grant available that the Town could have had for a better dog shelter. Then he tried to pass the blame on someone else. If there we're unanswered questions he allegedly needed all he had to do was communicate with the Grant Writer hired by the Town ( Sue Maxwell Barnes) at many thousands of dollars. SO SAD MATT WALTERS TRIED TO BLAME SOMEONE ELSE FOR HIS SHORTCOMINGS. SAD, SO SAD!

  15. #15
    Member mark blazejewski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breezi View Post
    Unfortunately if Councilmember Matt Walters didn't drop the ball there was a State grant available that the Town could have had for a better dog shelter. Then he tried to pass the blame on someone else. If there we're unanswered questions he allegedly needed all he had to do was communicate with the Grant Writer hired by the Town ( Sue Maxwell Barnes) at many thousands of dollars. SO SAD MATT WALTERS TRIED TO BLAME SOMEONE ELSE FOR HIS SHORTCOMINGS. SAD, SO SAD!


    "Breezy," or "Bobby," I do not like you, but I am always willing to read what you post. So, there is no need to have a self-created, imaginary opponent on Speak Up.


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    Last edited by mark blazejewski; November 22nd, 2018 at 04:19 PM.

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