A local veterinarian to help with animal control

NEW CANAAN – The board of directors on Tuesday approved a lease with the New Canaan Veterinary Hospital to house animals in case of need after they were picked up by animal control or the police department.

When speaking with Selectman’s board of directors on Tuesday, Police Chief Leon Krolikowski described the use of the animal hospital as a “plan B” for the New Canaan animal shelter in the enclosure of the transfer station. The city is said to be responsible for a payment of $ 50 when an animal has to stay overnight at 7 Vitti St.

“It’s a nice addition to our ability to care for the animals of New Canaan,” said the chef.

He called the current shelter “adequate”, but if the current building was “sufficiently dilapidated” or in extremely cold weather, the city could use the animal hospital. “It would have been useful to have this in place a few months ago when a water pipe broke,” and there was no access to the water in the shelter, Krolikowski said .

In recent years, questions have been raised about the suitability of the shelter which is located in a former incinerator at 139 Lakeview Avenue.

The 800-square-foot animal shelter dates from the 1950s and was remodeled in 2008, according to the 2017 Building Assessment Report.

Over a three-year period, there were an average of 47 animals per year brought to the facility. During that time, 96 percent of the animals stayed at the facility for 24 hours or less, the chief said.

The city will be unloading its own kennel at the New Canaan Veterinary Hospital specifically for use by Animal Control. The police department and hospital are always developing the best procedures and access to the city for bringing animals in after hours.

The deal will be “pretty much a cost neutral solution” as the city collects a fee from the owner of the animal when it is collected, the chief said.

Earlier this year, the city had considered other locations for the animal shelter, including the White House at Kiwanis Park.

Selectman Kathleen Corbet asked if the chef would view this arrangement as a replacement for the current facility.

If the current shelter fell into “serious disrepair, perhaps” it could become a “semi-permanent solution,” the chief said.

Current Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm “believes our current shelter is adequate given the current conditions,” said the chief.

Earlier this year, Halm told the Police Commission that the building was “adequate”. She also told Hearst Connecticut Media that it “can be better, and I think that’s what the public wants.”

Selectman Nick Williams called the shelter a “dump in a dump” in October 2019.

A spotlight was shone on the shelter over the past winter when 12 dogs were seized on Greenwich resident Catherine “Cassie” Palmer, who was arrested for animal cruelty after running an illegal pet store.

Following the seizure, five puppies were kept at the animal shelter until the courts allow them to be released to new homes.

The dogs were cared for by Animal Control and volunteers, including members of the Community Emergency Response Team, who took turns from early morning until late at night.

The selectmen unanimously approved the lease, but it may need to be approved by city council, senior selectman Kevin Moynihan said.

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