Eganville – Although Bonnechere Valley council gave a reprieve for the closure of the dog pound/animal shelter, the issue of long-term stays by dogs is becoming problematic.
“We really have to start moving those dogs out,” By-law Enforcement Officer Darryl Wagner told council last Tuesday.
In his report he noted, “we currently sit with six dogs in the pound. I will be working with Tammy (Roesner) to make sure any current dogs and new dogs will not be in the pound for extended periods of time.”
This is not good for the dogs to be penned up for this length of time and confined in the kennel, he stressed.
However, some dogs have been there quite a long time, and it appears this is not an unusual occurrence. When questioned by council on what the longest period a dog has been at the pound/shelter, he said there is one there now going on two months.
“There is a Pyrenee that has been there since sometime in August,” he said.
“That breaks my heart,” Mayor Jennifer Murphy replied, noting she had a similar breed once and they are dogs which like to run.
Those dogs are runners and protectors, she said. “They are mountain dogs. They are sheep dogs. They have a propensity to be runners.”
She said finding a home for the dog or a rescue organization which deals with the breed would be the best option and it is heartbreaking to think of this large animal being confined for so long.
Councillor Tim Schison questioned if the six dogs currently in the pound are the same dogs which were there last month and wondered where the dogs are coming from. Mr. Wagner said some dogs are local and there is also a dog from South Algonquin Township.
“No tagged dog has been there for any length of time,” he added.
Mayor Murphy said it is very disturbing to see the dogs staying there that long and efforts should be made to find new homes for them.
“We could do a lot better with our social media,” she said.
The township has had success in adopting dogs out, she stressed.
“There have been other dogs that have been picked up and adopted,” she said.
Coun. Schison asked if there has been notification for the community of South Algonquin that dogs are being housed in Eganville in case someone is looking for their dog. Perhaps they do not realize the dog is in a pound in Eganville, he noted.
“South Algonquin is an hour away from here,” he said.
Mr. Wagner said if the dog is from South Algonquin, they take a picture and post it on their own social media.
“We are trying to work and see the dogs are on social media,” he said.
As far as the state of the building, he noted it is in good shape. There is no water in the budling and there are space heaters in the area as needed.
“Most of it is maintenance free,” he said.
The issue of dogs staying at the pound too long is something he will keep looking into, he told council. “The end game is to get the dogs out of there and in a home,” he told council.
Councillor Jack Roesner asked what the timeframe is for keeping a dog.
“The SPCA, it is three days and then they are put up for adoption,” he said.
This is for dogs from Bonnechere Valley, he added.
“Dogs from outside the township, we are still trying to sort that out,” he said.
“The end game is to make sure these dogs are moved and not sitting out there for any length of time because it is not good for them,” he said.
At a previous meeting of council, when questioned by the Leader, CAO Annette Gilchrist said council agreed through negotiations and discussion to extend the animal shelter until April 2023. She said the current member of staff, Mrs. Roesner, is staying on as a member of staff and operating the facility. “We are going to carry on for six months and collect data,” Mrs. Gilchrist said.
The issue will be scheduled for review in January and there are ongoing discussions with the OSPCA, she said. “We will wait till we get all the information in six months and review it,” she said.
Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader