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Thread: Dog lives matter

  1. #46
    Member Frank Broughton's Avatar
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    Eh phooey on your dog licenses.... more government waste and abuse. 8-)
    The above is opinion & commentary, I am exercising my 1st Amendment rights as a US citizen. Posts are NOT made with any malicious intent.

  2. #47
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Lee Chowaniec:
    And if there are twice as many dogs unlicensed as there are licensed, why has the town not pursued the dog census project it promised a few years ago? It is not only unfair to compliant dog owners who do license their dogs, but unfair to the community as a whole knowing there is an unlicensed dog with the possibility the dog may not seen a vet to have its rabbi shots and/or immunization shots to stop the spread of other communicable ailments to other dogs.
    This sounds like an alternative process in doing a dog census. Dog control only having to go the homes that did not respond to the census or
    those homes who don't currently have a licensed dog. I wonder who the non-profit organization is?

    From the Orchard Park Bee-
    Police Department, Animal Control researching potential dog census
    May 29, 2019

    by CHRIS GRAHAM
    Editor

    The Orchard Park Police Department and Animal Control are looking into conducting a dog census throughout the town to see how many dogs are properly licensed.

    Acting Police Chief Joe Wehrfritz said during the May 22 Town Board work session that there is a nonprofit organization that would handle the dog numeration and would only charge for the mailings and materials.

    “This would be sending something out to all the parcels in town and making sure that everybody’s licensed their dog,” Wehrfritz said.

    Dog licenses are distributed by the Town Clerk’s office. Councilman Eugene Majchrzak asked if residents have ignored coming in to get a license, why would they fill out a census.

    “The nonprofit gets pretty good turnout,” Wehrfritz said. “The people who send it back, they’ll come get their licenses. The ones that don’t Kevin [Dog Control Officer Kevin Masterson] will go to those parcels individually.”

    Wehrfritz said Masterson will cross check the dog licenses issued by the Town Clerk’s office before going to any parcel, as there may be individuals who have their dogs licensed but choose not to be a part of the census.

    Town Clerk Remy Orffeo also suggested a type of amnesty for residents who fill out the census and come to get a license. Orffeo said this could be giving a resident 15 days to come in and get a license, causing the penalty for not having one to be waived.

    Wehrfritz, Masterson and Orffeo will continue to research the dog census.


    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

  3. #48
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorja View Post
    Communications #763 -





    Hopefully, this will be done in a more timely basis this time.
    There's a webinar explaining the whole process.


    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

  4. #49
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    Resolution #18 – December 2, 2019

    WHEREAS, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets offers New York State Companion Animal Capital Project Funds grants,

    WHEREAS, the Town of Lancaster, which provides animal shelter services to the Town, Village of Lancaster and Village of Depew, is eligible to apply for a minimum grant of not less than $100,000 and not more than $500,000, not to exceed 75% of the total project cost.

    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Supervisor be and hereby is authorized and directed to execute all documents pertaining to the application and acquisition of said funding to the New York State Agriculture and Markets Department.


    11-22-2019 Communication #879

    Honorable Town Board Members
    21 Central Avenue
    Lancaster, NY 14086

    Subject: 2019/20 NYS GRANT Application Companion Animals


    Dear Town Board Members,

    I am writing to respectfully request support from town board members regarding grant funding availability for our Dog Control Facility.

    As you are aware, there are numerous issues with our current facility. Below is a partial list. I am willing to bet there are many more concerns and problems I myself am unaware of.

    - Dogs are housed in a “shed” with no insulation.
    - Outside kennels are open to the weather.
    - No running water within kennel(s).
    - Windows should NOT be present in a kennel. Dogs could very easily jump out of a window.
    - Dogs should NOT be housed across from one another in close quarters.
    - We do not have a kennel to properly house a large breed dog. Example: Great Dane.
    - There should be no wood in the kennel. Dogs can chew/eat the wood.
    - There is no proper place to walk or exercise dogs.
    - The public has access to dogs. Visitors can feed the dogs, stick fingers through the fencing of the kennel etc. I myself have been at the site a few times. A visitor could end up being bitten.

    In closing, Dog Control is a necessary Department same as all others in our town. Our current facility is an embarrassment and needs to be addressed. More importantly, this is an issue that concerns safety for our employees, the public and all bordered dogs.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Deborah Lemaster
    720 Schwartz Road
    Lancaster, NY 14086

  5. #50
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    Resolution #18 – December 2, 2019

    WHEREAS, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets offers New York State Companion Animal Capital Project Funds grants,

    WHEREAS, the Town of Lancaster, which provides animal shelter services to the Town, Village of Lancaster and Village of Depew, is eligible to apply for a minimum grant of not less than $100,000 and not more than $500,000, not to exceed 75% of the total project cost.

    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Supervisor be and hereby is authorized and directed to execute all documents pertaining to the application and acquisition of said funding to the New York State Agriculture and Markets Department.



    11-22-2019 Communication #880

    November 25, 2019
    Lancaster Town Board
    RE: 2019-20 NYS COMPANION ANIMAL CAPITAL PROJECTS Grant


    The 2019-2020 NEW YORK STATE COMPANION ANIMAL CAPITAL PROJECTS FUND is looking for Requests for Proposals (RFP) from municipalities and incorporated Not-for-Profit Pounds, Shelters and Humane Societies that are eligible for competitive grants.

    Per the RFP, only capital projects necessary for the secure containment, health, and adequate care of sheltered dogs and cats are eligible for funding. Eligible expenses include direct costs related to the construction, renovation, rehabilitation, installation, acquisition, or expansion of buildings, equipment, or facilities.

    A few years ago, the Town of Lancaster applied for same grant consideration, was in serious consideration to receive a grant award but dropped the ball; for myriad reasons.

    The current four-kennel shelter (shed) housing the dogs is inadequate for multiple reasons. The most glaring of two years ago appear to still exist:

    • Current kennel shelter (shed) does not contain the Dog Control administrative office – no hands-on operation.

    • Poor drainage when kennels are being sanitized.

    • No running water within kennel.

    • Present shelter (shed) inadequate for use in separating aggressive dogs from others.

    • Dogs biting through poorly insulated walls.

    A town that has two Villages incorporated within it, a population of 45,000 and a rapidly growing town is poorly served with the present 4-kennel facility and operation in general.

    I strongly support and encourage the town to apply for this grant and build a new brick-and-mortar building that is befitting to the dogs and town’s best interest.

    Other

    In my opinion, the Dog Control department is one of the most self-sufficient departments in town – regarding revenue receipts vs. operational costs. It could be better had the town performed a dog census as promised a few years ago, and which never came to fruition. There are 5,600 licensed dogs and an estimated 10,000+ unlicensed dogs in town. That’s a lot of lost revenue.

    Examining the DCO activity report for this year:

    Complaints or Calls Received: 1,966

    Call Responded to/Follow-ups: 655

    Compliance Notices: 757

    Final Notices: 249

    Appearance Tickets Issued: 92 Fines Collected: $560.00

    Bite Reports Filed: 35

    Dogs Redeemed: 91

    Rescue Transfers: 8

    SPCA Transfers: 3

    Dogs Euthanized: 1

    Dogs Deceased: 5

    Miles Patrolled with Van: 16,286

    An active year, yet only $560 in fines taken in. What is that all about.

    Lee Chowaniec
    93 Northwood Drive
    Lancaster, NY

  6. #51
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    By unanimous vote, the Town of Lancaster authorized and directed the Supervisor to execute all documents pertaining to the application and acquisition to the New York State Agriculture and Markets Department Companion Animal Capital Project Funds grants.

    The Town of Lancaster which provides animal shelter services to the Town, Village of Lancaster and Village of Depew, is eligible to apply for a minimum grant of not less than $100,000 and not more than $500,000, not to exceed 75% of the total project cost.

    At the work session which precedes the regular meeting, resolution sponsor Adam Dickman spoke on the condition of the facility and the need for improvements; more likely the need of a new build.

    The current 4-kennel shed facility is inappropriate for housing dogs, especially considering when dogs face each other. Dangerous dogs cannot be housed at the current facility and must be housed in crates within the DCO office which is a State violation.

    This award will match 75% of the cost of a new facility. It is estimated that the new build will cost $170,000. The cost to the town would be under $50,000.

    Comment

    Considering there were 35 dog bites filed through October 2019, the shed construction is not suitable / acceptable for a dog control operation.

  7. #52
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    Hope they have their ducks in a row this time. As Matt, in his emails to the DCO the last time kept asking for more details of the project and the project need.
    In the video webinar, the grant reviewer stated at the end of the video the more detail the better. The more they know about the project and its impact,
    the better the chances of receiving it. At least, that's how I understand it.


    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

  8. #53
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    December 10, 2019/

    Honorable Town Board

    RE: Dog licensing and code enforcement


    I was pleased when hearing that the town approved a resolution authorizing and directing the Supervisor to execute all documents pertaining to the application and acquisition to the New York State Agriculture and Markets Department Companion Animal Capital Project Funds grants. The current Lancaster facility (shed) is totally inadequate for meeting dog control state standards.

    In my recent correspondence to the Town Board and Town Attorney supporting such action, I added comments addressing the dog control operation regarding dog licensing, lost revenue opportunities and assuring code violators are prosecuted and penalized. In speaking with certain individuals involved in the operation there appear to be indications of poor management and/or confusion as to enforcement.

    Revenue

    As stated in the recently submitted correspondence, it is my opinion that the Dog Control department is one of the most self-sufficient departments in town – regarding revenue receipts vs. operational costs. It could be better had the town performed a dog census as promised a few years ago, and which never came to fruition. There are 5,600 licensed dogs and an estimated 10,000+ unlicensed dogs in town. That’s a lot of lost revenue. Why has the census not occurred as was promised by this very board two years ago? It is my understanding the last census took place 10 years ago.

    As of November 2019, there were 757 compliance notices reported, 249 notices and 92 court appearance tickets issued and yet the revenue taken in for the court appearances only totaled $560. Why?

    There appears to be some confusion regarding enforcement and/or policy. If the Dog Control Office issues three notices to the owner of an unlicensed dog and gets no response, it is my understanding that a court appearance ticket is issued, and the owner is obligated to appear at court and a fine is most likely imposed. Too often, the owner does not appear, no bench warranted is issued and that owner suffers no consequence. Why? Other municipalities issue bench warrants; Depew, within our town. What is stopping the town from enacting same procedure?

    It is my understanding that the Dog Control Officer (DCO) has no authority to visit the home of a resident to seize the dog without a court order or pursue legal recourse except to hand the matter over to legal. Does state law ordain such procedure, or do other municipalities have a polices / ordinance in place to address this enforcement issue that Lancaster does not have in place?

    Public Safety

    In a recent town board resolution on another matter, the board unanimously approved a resolution stating as a primary reason that the number one task of the town is protect public safety. And yet that concern appears of minimum concern here as not only the safety / wellbeing of the pet’s owner can be in jeopardy, but the pet as well.

    Unlicensed dogs offer no assurance to the public that the animal has at minimum been vaccinated for rabies. There has been a significant increase in the number of dog bites recorded this year. No individual should have concern that an aggressive dog could bite them and suffer the resulting consequences.

    If anyone questions what the big deal is here, let them talk to pet owners who follow the licensing ordinance, spend high maintenance fees on their dogs to keep them healthy and then have concerns that their and their pets safety and wellbeing may be adversely impacted by pet owners defying the law.

    The town is to be commended for its realization that our dog control facility is inadequate and applied for a restructuring grant. To go along with this improvement, it is now time the town addresses its policies and procedures in place to assure dog licensing and code compliance takes place, and where violators are penalized with an enforcement process in place that guarantees compliance and consistency.

    Lee Chowaniec

  9. #54
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Lee Chowaniec:
    There appears to be some confusion regarding enforcement and/or policy. If the Dog Control Office issues three notices to the owner of an unlicensed dog and gets no response, it is my understanding that a court appearance ticket is issued, and the owner is obligated to appear at court and a fine is most likely imposed. Too often, the owner does not appear, no bench warranted is issued and that owner suffers no consequence. Why? Other municipalities issue bench warrants; Depew, within our town. What is stopping the town from enacting same procedure?

    Are you saying that at the present time in Lancaster -
    If you don't license your dog + you don't show up in court = you don't have to license your dog or pay a fine?


    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorja View Post

    Are you saying that at the present time in Lancaster -
    If you don't license your dog + you don't show up in court = you don't have to license your dog or pay a fine?
    That is my understanding from what other town officials associated with the dog control operation are telling me. I am looking for clarification as I am an advocate for having dogs licensed so that it assures me stray dogs are vaccinated for rabies – at minimum.

    New York State requires all dogs four months of age to be licensed. To obtain this license, owners must provide proof of current rabies vaccination.

    As a dog owner near my entire life, I have licensed my dogs and ensured they received the required vaccinations to keep them healthy. It is my opinion that when you take an animal into your home it becomes a family member and is deserving of care and not to be abused.

  11. #56
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Chowaniec View Post
    That is my understanding from what other town officials associated with the dog control operation are telling me. I am looking for clarification as I am an advocate for having dogs licensed so that it assures me stray dogs are vaccinated for rabies – at minimum.

    New York State requires all dogs four months of age to be licensed. To obtain this license, owners must provide proof of current rabies vaccination.

    As a dog owner near my entire life, I have licensed my dogs and ensured they received the required vaccinations to keep them healthy. It is my opinion that when you take an animal into your home it becomes a family member and is deserving of care and not to be abused.
    You also stated earlier that in Depew, this is not the case. Our Dog control officer is their dog control officer, isn't it?
    Is it the legal system in Depew that's different?


    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorja View Post
    You also stated earlier that in Depew, this is not the case. Our Dog control officer is their dog control officer, isn't it?
    Is it the legal system in Depew that's different?
    Isn't that what I have been inferring?

  13. #58
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    I do hope J. O'Connell and Associates submitted a proposal for grantwriting.
    Last year, their services helped secure 2 NYS Companion Animal grants

    TOWN OF ORCHARD PARK AWARDED $100K
    JULY 24, 2018 by HEATHER MILONE in GRANTS AWARDED, LATEST NEWS
    July 24, 2018

    J. O’Connell & Associates, Inc. is pleased to announce that through our services the Town of Orchard Park was awarded $100,575 for renovations to the Town/Village animal shelter to provide a safer, healthier environment for stray dogs.

    This funding was secured through the New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund.

    BEVERLY ANIMAL SHELTER AWARDED $165K
    JULY 12, 2018 by HEATHER MILONE in GRANTS AWARDED, LATEST NEWS
    July 12, 2018

    J. O’Connell & Associates, Inc. is pleased to announce that through our services the Beverly Animal Shelter was awarded $165,750 to build a new dog kennel with ten indoor/outdoor dog runs.

    This funding was secured through the New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund.

    They've done well for the village

    January 4, 2019

    J. O’Connell & Associates, Inc. is pleased to announce that through our services the Village of Lancaster was awarded $201,215 for transportation improvements to Central Avenue, including upgrading bus stops, installing new bicycle lanes and decorative street lamps.

    This funding was secured through the Erie County Community Development Block Grant – Smart Growth Fund.

    December 18, 2018

    The Village of Lancaster was awarded $1,248,150 to address needed repairs to a portion of their sanitary sewer system. These repairs will restore the water quality of Cayuga and Plum Bottom Creeks by eliminating wastewater overflows which occur as a result of wet weather events, which in turn improves the water quality in the Niagara River/ Lake Erie watershed.

    VILLAGE OF LANCASTER AWARDED $2.5 MILLION
    OCTOBER 12, 2018 by HEATHER MILONE in GRANTS AWARDED, LATEST NEWS
    October 12, 2018

    J. O’Connell & Associates, Inc. is pleased to announce that with our assistance the Village of Lancaster was one of four WNY communities selected to receive a $2.5 Million DRI/WNY Smart Growth Community Grant. These grants support projects that utilize existing infrastructure to encourage and promote walkable communities and sustainable development.

    This funding was secured through the Regional Economic Development Council – WNY Downtown Revitalization Initiative and Smart Growth Community Fund.


    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

  14. #59
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    At last night’s town board work session, Dog Control Officer Jean Karn addressed the members on the application process required to ascertain that the town would get an application for the 2019-2020 NEW YORK STATE COMPANION ANIMAL CAPITAL PROJECTS grant in time for consideration.

    Jean Karn: Are we moving along with a grant writer because I don’t know who to talk to anymore.

    Supervisor Coleman: Did Sue Barnes send you a list of what to ask for?

    Karn: She sent it to Adam.

    Coleman: All that information needs to be gathered and sent to the grant writer whoever that is.

    Karn: Who puts it together when applying for the grant? Who puts that information together?

    Coleman: You have to gather all that information regardless who writes the grant.

    Karn: How am I going to gather when I don’t know half of what’s required?

    Councilman Ronald Ruffino: Sue Barnes is on the table until the end of the year. I don’t understand why Barnes cannot help with this.

    Coleman: She is not on the table until the end of the year.

    Ruffino: She is under contact until the end of the year and I don’t understand why she cannot help. The grant application is due in January.

    Coleman: Right, the grant application is due in January. It is the department head that gathers all the information for a grant. So, what Sue (Barnes) says you need to get, you have to get. She provided a list.

    Karn: I have that list.

    Councilman Adam Dickman: What I need to know is who is going to write the grant? We have an option that would cost about $2,500 to hire an individual to do it.
    The discussion then centered about not missing the grant deadline as happened the last time it was offered.

    Ruffino: We have to get someone on board before we miss out again. RFP’S have been put out looking for a new grant writer. Why should we spend $2,500 when we can get a new grant writer in place by the first of the year and give that individual an opportunity to put this together.

    Coleman: So, you (Karn) need to get all the information together that is needed. Obviously, the engineering department can get you the building design. What else do you need?

    Karn: A list of the construction materials, detailed floor plan, letter of support from municipal government, justified equipment purchases… I am not qualified to do any of this.

    Coleman: Well, you need to get letters…

    Karn: When I try to do this, people point me in all kind of directions.

    Council member Dawn Gaczewski: I will get you supporting letters.

    Coleman: Sue (Barnes) provided you with a list of everything you need to do.

    Karn: Absolutely.

    Coleman: And I will be happy enough to tell you who to go to. You may be able to go to some dog groups that may be able to give you a letter of support. You should be able to get letters of support from the Villages of Lancaster and Depew. You are going to need an agreement from whatever grant writer the town intends to hire – you need an agreement before you can technically hire them. It doesn’t mean you can’t start talking to them and gather all the information you need.

    Comment


    Unlike a year ago when the town dropped the ball and missed getting the grant application in on time, it appears there is a supporting cast that is willing to help Karn get the information she needs.

    However, if the current grant writer is ‘off the table’ hiring a new grant writer will not provide for service until the first of the year – leaving but a few weeks to put the application together for approval.

    It is my understanding Karn has the $2,500 in the budget that would ensure the individual mentioned as an option to write the grant should be considered. The individual is experienced in the process and assures all boxes will be filled correctly for grant approval.

    To blow this grant again would be unconscionable. To ensure application success, especially when the $2,500 outside grant writer retainer fee is in the budget, why they don’t consider that option is enigmatic.

    Missing an opportunity to build a new dog control facility that provides for eight kennels, an attached office, running water, garage, etc. for $178,000 and where it will cost the town but $45,000, is asinine.

  15. #60
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    At the public comment session of Monday evening’s town board meeting resident Georgia Schlager addressed the board on the following:

    Georgia Schlager

    I’m just doing a follow-up on Communication #920 which was a correspondence from Lancaster resident Lee Chowaniec regarding dog control enforcement.
    In that letter, Mr. Chowaniec stated that he has been hearing that there are Lancaster dog owners with unlicensed dogs that have received their 3 appearance tickets and then are no shows in court.

    Then the ball seems to be dropped because no further action is taken. He also stated that this is not the case in the Village of Depew.

    As this is a public safety issue as the irresponsible owners who don’t obtain dog licenses may also have not vaccinated their dogs against rabies.

    Is the ball being dropped at the town court level?

    Is there anything this board or the future board can do to assure all dog owners are in compliance with the dog ordinance?

    Supervisor Johanna Coleman’s response

    I honestly don’t know when it goes from the dog control officer enforcement to the court. I have never followed it through to the court. I don’t mean to put Judge Colby on the spot. Judge Cervi is here now. I’m not sure.

    It is certainly a question, a valid question, to ask the court…if they could give you a report of how many dog cases come in and where the dog owner doesn’t appear in court.

    Comment

    Seriously; that's it? An answer given to a resident that she should pursue the matter – to FOIL for the records, investigate the outcomes? And then do what with the information.

    No board member spoke on the matter despite their knowing that several correspondences have been sent to Judge Colby from the Town Attorney on the matter – and where they have been well informed of the issue from the Dog Control Officer and residents as well.

    92 court appearance tickets issued in 10 months of 2019 and only $560 of fines collected and there’s no policy / procedure problem here?

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