Hyde Park signs on SPCA for dog control

The Dutchess County SPCA has contracted with the town of Hyde Park to provide dog control services and dog housing for the coming year.

The new contract for animal control services, which runs through Dec. 31, 2014, calls for the SPCA to be paid $21,000 annually. The agency, on Route 9G, will provide responses to complaints of nuisance, dangerous, or stray dogs, seven days a week during normal business hours from 9am to 5pm.

The SPCA will also provide up to six free emergency service calls a month from 5pm to 9am. Any additional after-hours calls will cost $50 for telephone consultation and $100 for on-the-scene assistance.

Medical expenses for injured dogs transported to the SPCA facilities will be the responsibility of the owner if the dog is reclaimed, or the town, if the dog is not reclaimed.

The SPCA will maintain all records for services, issue tickets for violations of local ordinances or unlicensed dogs, notify the town of known or suspected rabid dogs, and provide a monthly report on calls received and responded to within the town’s borders.

In a separate agreement, the SPCA agreed to provide boarding, shelter and food for dogs seized while running at-large, and for any dogs seized by court order pending a “dangerous dog” hearing. Daily fees would be paid by an owner upon reclaiming the animal or by the town for seven days if the animal is not reclaimed. After that, the animal would become the property of the SPCA, eligible for adoption in some cases.

The new contract follows a two-year period in which the town board limited the SPCA’s role to housing stray dogs and hired its own animal control officer, Stephanie Fitzpatrick. She was expected to resign the position on Dec. 1.

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