Medina wants county to pick up stray dogs

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 January 2016 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – For years Medina police officers or a village animal control officer have picked up stray dogs and cats in the Village of Medina and maintained a dog pound at the police station.

But the Village Board, feeling the strain of tight budgets in recent years, did away with the part-time animal control officer. Police officers would still pick up animals, and Jose Avila volunteered to maintain a dog pound, feeding the dogs and cleaning kennels and cages for the animals.

Avila retired as police chief a month ago.

Village officials have been trying to work out a deal with the county for animal control services. Village residents pay for the service in their town taxes, Deputy Mayor Mike Sidari said. Dale Stalker, a Shelby town councilman, confirmed that village residents pay in their town taxes for animal control.

Medina and Shelby officials have reached out to the county about picking up animal control services in the village, and Sidari said the county responded it doesn’t have the staff to assume those duties.

Village Trustee Marguerite Sherman said during last week’s Village Board meeting she wants the county to put in writing that it is refusing to provide animal control for the village.

In the meantime, new police chief Chad Kenward said the village should look at hiring a part-time employee to care for animals, walking and feeding dogs, and cleaning the kennel. The police officers can continue to pick up animals in the short-term.

Village Board members said the county should provide the service, picking up animals and taking them to the county animal shelter in Barre at the routes 98 and 31A intersection.

In other action at last week’s meeting:

The Village Board gave Kenward permission to move the chief’s office from the police station upstairs to the second floor of City Hall in the former judge’s chambers. Kenward said that would give him more space and allow the current chief’s office to be used for an interview/interrogation room.

“I can hardly breathe in their right now,” Kenward said about the cramped office.

The board also gave Kenward permission to go ahead with a $3,600 engine repair for one of the police cars.