Keep­ing dogs off the streets

Clarke’s Beach, Spa­niard’s Bay want neigh­bours on board with an­i­mal con­trol

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY ANDREW ROBIN­SON

The town coun­cils of Clarke’s Beach and Spa­niard’s Bay want neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties to come on board with the an­i­mal con­trol ser­vices they make use of in or­der to im­prove the ser­vice for all par­ties.

A meet­ing was held in Clarke’s Beach on April 13 with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Spa­niard’s Bay, Makin­son, North River, South River and Cupids on hand to talk about an­i­mal con­trol.

“ We got to­gether with them to see if they had any in­ter­est in shar­ing, be­cause we’ve done that be­fore,” said Clarke’s Beach Mayor Betty Moore, adding it ap­pears some of those towns may be will­ing to come on board.

Spa­niard’s Bay coun­cil­lor Sheri Collins was at the meet­ing, and she told fel­low coun­cil mem­bers at its April 18 meet­ing that if other com­mu­ni­ties came on board with Ger­ald Har­ris, the man who han­dles an­i­mal con­trol for the two towns, he would be able to buy new equip­ment to im­prove the over­all ser­vice.

Har­ris is presently paid for 20 hours of work each week, with the hours split evenly be­tween Spa­niard’s Bay and Clarke’s Beach. Spa­niard’s Bay pre­vi­ously paid Har­ris $ 300 per week, but coun­cil ap­proved a 10 per cent in­crease in pay at its March 21 coun­cil meet­ing, with plans to re­view Har­ris’s wages on an an­nual ba­sis.

Mayor Moore said Clarke’s Beach would like to get to the stage where ben­e­fits could be of­fered to Har­ris, in­clud­ing paid hol­i­days.

“It has been an ex­cel­lent ser­vice as far as I’m con­cerned for the town,” said Moore. “ When I came on coun­cil at first, ev­ery meet­ing there’d be a num­ber of com­plaints from peo­ple about the dogs that were run­ning wild in the com­mu­nity, and now that’s some­thing we sel­dom ever get a call on, be­cause peo­ple re­al­ize you have a per­son, and that per­son is look­ing af­ter it.”

Har­ris has worked for ap­prox­i­mately eight years with the Town of Spa­niard’s Bay and even longer with Clarke’s Beach. He presently has four large cages with locks, and said he would likely need to pur­chase more if other towns were to make use of his ser­vices.

“ There is a prob­lem there in all the com­mu­ni­ties with dogs,” said Har­ris. Over the years, he’s han­dled calls from all the com­mu­ni­ties who sent rep­re­sen­ta­tives to the April 13 meet­ing in Clarke’s Beach.

The costs in­volved with his work have only gone up over time, par­tic­u­larly so of late with the ris­ing price of gaso­line. Har­ris pur­chased a new truck on Feb. 4, and since then he said he’s racked up 3,000 kilo­me­tres on an­i­mal con­trol busi­ness.

Mayor Moore said ar­range­ments are be­ing made to have a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the SPCA come to help lead a dis­cus­sion with the com­mu­ni­ties on the rules and reg­u­la­tions re­lat­ing to an­i­mal con­trol.

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