Towns enter into new animal shelter agreement
By Evan Pajer - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Tue., Dec. 4, 2012
The town of East Hartford has entered into an agreement with the towns of Manchester and South Windsor to share a new animal shelter, after a unanimous vote by the Town Council on Nov. 27. The shelter, which is located in South Windsor, is currently equipped to handle dogs and cats.
The shelter can accommodate as many as 35 dogs, with special covered kennels for larger dogs and stainless steel ones for pit bulls. Although much of the facility is still being finished, South Windsor Animal Control Officer Robin Bond has already brought in a Rottweiler, which is housed in one of the covered kennels.
"On a regular basis we'll have 10 to 15 dogs," Bond said. The new shelter is a big change for South Windsor, which previously housed its animals in Vernon. A walled exercise area for the dogs has already been added, and Bond said a vendor had been contacted to design a larger enclosure for horses and other large animals. "A lot of people don't realize it, but South Windsor has farms," Bond said.
East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc said that although the new shelter will not provide significant savings for the town, it is expected to provide new opportunities for the town to get animals in the shelter re-united with their owners or adopted. Leclerc said the town has plans to put up a new website that will list all of the animals in the shelter, calling the new shelter "a win-win for everyone involved."
East Hartford Animal Control Officer Edward Ruiz said that before the new shelter was approved, the town was using Contrails Kennel in Bolton as its primary shelter. Ruiz said that in a typical year, the town impounds anywhere from 150 to 180 animals. According to figures released by Leclerc, from June of 2011 to May of 2012 the town impounded 159 dogs. Of the dogs in the shelter that year, the average time between when the dog was impounded to adoption was 983 days.
"We're probably going to keep Contrails Kennel for small dogs," Ruiz said. Each town will continue to keep its own separate animal control division, Ruiz said. The process of adopting animals will remain largely the same, as all three towns have similar rules for it.