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Stray Pet Proposal Irks Pleasantville Board Member

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Pleasantville Trustee Brian Skarstad is taking issue with the cost of an agreement with the SPCA of Westchester that shelters and provides for stray dogs and cats seized in the village.

Skarstad believes the $4,778.28 yearly cost of the agreement does not match the services provided by the SPCA. Pleasantville Police Chief Richard Love agreed with Skarstad, who said the village did not use the service once in 2011-12.

“We love our dog, we love animals, I just think this is a waste of taxpayer money," Skarstad said. "Maybe we have to do it, but it’s waste this year, it was a waste last year, and all the previous years."

Village Administrator Patti Dwyer said the village is required by law to keep a shelter agreement in place because the village requires dog licensing. Village Clerk Judith Weintraub said about 120 dogs are licensed in the village.

According to the agreement , the amount of stray animals the SPCA takes in is limited. The organization reserves the right to refuse to take in an animal if it is of advanced age, ill or have chronic health conditions, pregnant, injured in any way, or has a history of bites or aggression. The SPCA may also refuse to take certain breeds that are difficult to place for adoption, such as pitbulls.

For stray cats, the agreement states it will follow a “Trap-Neuter-Return” policy. A feral cat will be taken in, spayed or neutered, and then returned to the spot where it was found.

Skarstad suggested that since the service is scarcely used by Pleasantville, the board should seek out an agreement with a local veterinarian at a much cheaper price.

To find a compromise to the SPCA agreement proposed at Monday night’s meeting, the village board voted to modify the resolution to be approved on a month-by-month basis while it looks for possible alternatives. Mayor Peter Scherer also recommended the board re-visit its dog licensing policy at a future work session.

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