Bridge Port Veterinary Clinic, Ogdensburg, no longer will board stray dogs, but other arrangements already have been made for the more than a dozen municipalities affected by the decision.
Weve all been going to Bridge Port for years and years, but all good things come to an end, said James E. Pipher, dog warden for seven towns and several villages. Theyre winding down.
When Mr. Pipher started in dog control 22 years ago, he typically picked up 100 strays annually. That number has shrunk, mostly because he has a better handle on which dogs belong to whom. In the last year, he picked up 11 strays.
Every single one was adopted or was picked up by their owners except for one sick dog, Mr. Pipher said. That was an accomplishment, I thought.
With Bridge Port out of the picture, Mr. Pipher made arrangements to board what dogs he does pick up at Maple Ridge Kennels at Langdon Corners for their five-day waiting period. He is working on a way to advertise dogs that become adoptable.
Daniel R. Moyer, the dog warden for seven towns, tried to persuade the town of Gouverneur to let him bring dogs to its pound. Mr. Moyer is dog warden for Gouverneur, as well as for the town of Rossie, which has a contract to house its strays at the Gouverneur pound.
However, Gouverneur was not enthusiastic, Supervisor Robert R. Ritchie said.
We felt our pound isnt big enough, he said.
Instead, Mr. Moyer converted a storage building on land he owns on County Route 10 in the town of Rossie into a pound for strays he picks up in Macomb, Pitcairn, Morristown, Edwards and DePeyster. DePeyster previously brought its strays to the St. Lawrence Valley Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Ogdensburg but balked when the price went up.
Mr. Moyer said he redesigned the building to meet state specifications and changed from a wood stove to propane heat. He has two large pens, four smaller pens and several outside exercise runs. Both Maple Ridge and Mr. Moyers pound were inspected by the state Department of Agriculture & Markets.
In the spring, Im looking at putting up a bigger building, Mr. Moyer said. I think its going to work out and be easier for people. Its more centrally located. Its actually going to save me gas and mileage.
Mr. Moyer does not generally pick up more than two or three strays annually for most of the towns he serves. Donations of dog food and cleaning supplies will help him keep dogs available for adoption longer. He intends to advertise adoptable dogs on Facebook in the same fashion as the Gouverneur pound does.
I would much rather adopt a dog out than euthanize it, he said.