Keeping dogs off the streets
Clarke’s Beach, Spaniard’s Bay want neighbours on board with animal control
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.