County Dog Control's Future Looking Up

County Dog Control's Future Looking Up

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All in or dog control closes. That was Jefferson County's message to the city of Watertown and the 14 towns that use county dog control services. Now, it's looking like all the towns are in and the ball is in the city's court.

"The 14 towns that are in there said yes, they will stay in the program, but if the city doesn't stay, it all falls apart,"  said said Scott Gray. chair of Jefferson County Board of Legislators. "It's an all or nothing proposition and if one of the towns bails out on us at a later date, then the program's done too." 

Dog control provides a shelter for stray dogs, keeps track of the dogs in the county and offers rabies clinics. Eight towns had left county dog control in recent years, citing high costs. The county said it couldn't continue if it lost another municipality. Now, Gray says the county is doing everything it can to keep the program running.

"We have done our part to try to adjust some of the costs out there, we've heard what the town's said, so we're going to adjust some of the services, adjust some of the costs and we're trying to make it a win-win for everybody,"  said Gray.

Meanwhile, local veterinarians are making a plea to keep county dog control running, too. The Jefferson County Veterinary Medical Society put out a statement hoping to educate the public and the municipalities on all that dog control does.

"It's more than just going out and picking up the strays, it's more than going to a shelter and adopting an animal. They're involved in a lot of different things, cruelty cases, motor vehicle accidents, rabies control with public health and these are all things that would either dissolve or the costs would have to fall upon the townships," said Jennifer Risser, the society's vice president.

Watertown lawmakers say they are in support of continuing with county dog control. The deadline for the city and the towns to get an official yes or no to the county is September 28.

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