Keep County Dog Control, Veterinarians UrgePosted: Updated:
Veterinarians are encouraging Jefferson County's municipalities to renew their contracts with the county's dog control service.
The Jefferson County Veterinary Medical Society issued a statement Wednesday morning saying Dog Control provides an essential service.
"Having a strong centralized service for the county is essential to meeting the expectations of the animal lovers and dog owners of our county," the statement says.
The group encourages pet owners to contact the towns they live in to make sure they get the services they want.
Eight towns have already opted out of using the service, leaving 14 town and the city of Watertown to decide whether they will follow.
If another town opts out, county officials say they won't be able to afford to keep the service operating.
The veterinarians say closing Dog Control will create "a patchwork of services," resulting in:
- Prolonged and varied response times.
- Rescued or stray dogs being directly removed from the county, making it more difficult to reunite pets with their families.
- Funds directed to other counties and not reinvested in Jefferson County.
- The public reaching out to the Jefferson County SPCA and local veterinarians when they are unaware of who might have their dog.
- Questionable facilities providing housing to cruelty and abuse victims.
- Some towns having no animal cruelty investigator.
Without Dog Control, veterinarians say, coverage would be inconsistent and confusing, since it would be servicing some areas and not others.
There would also be no centralized collaboration of with Public Health for rabies control, the statement says.