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Animal Care & Control

There were a total of 1138 animal control related calls for service in 2015. Dog complaints were the most common type, with 528 calls, while “other” animals accounted for the remaining 610 complaints.
Most of these dog related calls for service involved dogs at large, barking dogs, unlicensed dogs, followed by dogs in vehicles and other miscellaneous complaints.

The Animal Control Officer (ACO) handled eight dangerous dog cases in 2015 and closed out two from 2014. The total number of these calls for service does not reflect a myriad of other services provided by the ACO. The ACO addresses all community concerns and questions involving domestic animals and wildlife and offers advice and referrals to proper agencies and authorities. The ACO assists residents with compliance to local town and state laws involving domestic animals. The ACO will also assist residents who call to have dead animals removed from yards and roadways. Of the 610 calls involving “other” animals, deer, raccoons, skunks, and cats constituted the majority of the calls. To a lesser extent were bats, bears, coyotes, foxes, woodchucks, chickens, roosters, snakes, turkeys, and turtles.

The ACO manages nuisance complaints involving deer, bears, coyotes and other wildlife. She also coordinates the posting of “Turtle Crossing Signs” during the annual snapping turtle migration on Western Highway in West Nyack. Seventy-two dogs were taken to the Hi-Tor Animal Care Center by the ACO. Fifty-three of these dogs were eventually redeemed by their owners. Of the remaining nineteen dogs, 9 were adopted, 2 went to rescue, 1was euthanized, and 7 died and were cremated. The ACO issued eighteen criminal summonses and 382 Warnings to town residents in violation of Town Ordinances. Ninety-nine bites reports were taken and referred to the Rockland County Health Department.

The ACO also works with the community in conjunction with the Town Clerk to assure the proper licensing of dogs. Countywide there were sixty-two specimens submitted to the Rockland County Health Department to test for rabies. Of that amount, the ACO was responsible for sending out thirtyone from the Town of Clarkstown and the Village of Upper Nyack. Of these specimens. 6 tested positive (5 raccoons and 1 skunk) for rabies. The Animal Control Officer works closely with the Rockland County Health Department for both dog bite and feral cat colony complaints and assists in organizing free rabies clinics for your pets. Goals for 2016 are to continue to assist residents with compliance to local and state laws, enforce violations, and respond to complaints involving both domestic animals and wildlife. The focus is always on educating the community and avoiding common pitfalls in attracting wild animals to private properties.

The ACO is always available to speak with community organizations. The ACO is also leading the effort to have the NYS Agriculture and Markets Department create a Dangerous Dog Registry to track and monitor these animals in a way that is transparent to the community and local authorities.