Thursday, August 30, 2007

Doggone It!

Yes, it continues. And I thought things might improve. But lo and behold, front page of the GDT:

"Dog Officer Seeks Volunteer Caretakers"


Just snips as it was a long article.

...the dog was not injured contrary to a police report...
...a good Samaritan took it home until the owners eventually were reunited with their pet...

And what about penalties?

...Trafton does not pick up strays or untagged dogs because the town does not have a kennel. By law Trafton would be obligated to care for a dog for 10 days at her own expense...

And then she says -

Trafton proposed that she call on volunteers willing to catch and care for stray dogs...she would provide the volunteer with a crate and food...

Seems to me that would qualify as "at her own expense" which she just had issue with.

...if Trafton brings the dog to the volunteer, she and the town would become liable...

Why are we paying for a dog officer if they can't pick up an untagged, unleashed dog????Are they liable if they pick up a dog that is tagged? If not, why not?

And then -

"State law forbids towns from turning animals over to businesses or research facilities, but does not mention private citizens."- GDT reporter, Jonathan L'Ecuyer

"No municipality shall give, sell, or turn over any animal which may come into custody to any business or institution licensed or registered as a research facility or animal dealer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture," one Massachusetts law states.

Hmmm, seems the reporter didn't understand the explicit wording in the MA law. I don't recall it saying a pet supply store or even a laudromat, which are certainly businesses but not research facilities or animal dealers.

Trafton then says...even if state law did forbid the town from turning an animal over to a good Samaritan, it would not apply because the dog would never be in her possession...

So now she admits that she CAN legally catch strays and then turn them over to whoever for care. There is NO law forbidding it!

If this is not enough to make you wonder what on earth these people are thinking try this statement. Again, from the same article in the GDT. "Trafton said selectmen have gone so far as to look into how much a kennel would cost. However, Trafton admits the nearly $100,000.00 cost is a hard sell...."

My 700 sq ft addition cost 3/4 that amount! I want to live in the kennel! Please. please, please!

And, "Around four years ago, there was a caged-in area behind the police station enclosing a dog house where strays and untagged canines could be held...The fence was knocked down by a Public Works plow truck during it's first winter and never repaired."

We evidently didn't worry about the liability four years ago. Why didn't we fix the fence? Of course now we can't as we didn't vote for the budget override.


dickiebo said...

Yay! Go on, Deb. You've really gotten your teeth into this one!

deb said...

It smells like a wet dog.

My mom and I were considering (totally in jest) that we should place a billboard at the top of T-Wharf that reads, "What is wrong with people?"

Absolutely nuts. And to top it off, I'm just sure that there will be several in town who feel soooo bad for the dog Officer that they will volunteer.

They should at least start proportionally giving her pay to "the volunteers".