Several towns opt out of animal control service, reasons as to why are uncertain

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SCHUYLER COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) Several towns in Schuyler County will opt out of animal control and sheltering services provided by the Humane Society of Schuyler County.

In a statement, it said the towns of Catherine, Montour, Dix, Hector, Reading, and Tyrone will contract animal-control services with an organization from outside the county.

Schuyler County Legislator Michael Lausell confirmed to 18 news by phone of the change. He also said this means the county would need to eliminate its animal control office.

“We are deeply saddened by the decision the towns have made to contract with another sheltering provider,” Georgie Taylor, the Executive Director of the Schuyler County Humane Society, said in the statement. “We committed in 2012 to creating a facility this community would be proud of, offering the highest level of care possible, and funded by many local residents who expected that we would be the primary caregiver of lost, seized and abandoned animals in this county.

The statement did not explain why the towns opted out. It said residents should contact their town supervisors for information on reporting or redeeming lost and found dogs in Schuyler County.

18 News reached out to several of those towns. The Catharine Town Supervisor said he was not part of the negotiations and that an attorney was negotiating on the town’s behalf. 18 News reached out to the attorney but were told he is out of town by his law firm.

In Montour, officials there declined to comment, but also said same attorney was negotiating on their behalf as well.

The Humane Society’s president, Georgie Taylor, said they received calls from residents on the change, asking what to do. She said she is referring residents to ask their town officials.

“In the meantime we have continued our commitment to caring for the dogs, the stary dogs that come to us,” Taylor said. “We’ve dealt with a number of difficult situation regarding strays from each one of those municipalities, but in good faith we certainly continue to house them.”

The Schuyler County Legislature will discuss the issue next Monday during the legislative meeting at 7 p.m. inside the legislative chambers.

Officials from the Town of Montour said they will have an official statement during their board meeting next Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

18 News will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest details on air and online.

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