Stray dogs: Kennel proposed for county jail

Stray Dogs: Kennel proposed for county jail

Troy has had to put stray dogs in holding cells, as has Cohoes and Watervliet, because police have nowhere else to bring them.

Troy has had to put stray dogs in holding cells, as has Cohoes and Watervliet, because police have nowhere else to bring them.

“Summertime is coming, and it’s going to become a real problem with animals,” said Troy Animal Control Officer Kevin McDonough. “And it’s starting now, so that’s just – this is nothing compared to the summertime.”

Troy has only been able to house one dog at the Mohawk Hudson Humane society this year. They have a per-dog contract. The shelter says it’s over capacity.

The mayor put out a call for help with other options.

“The good news: since the call out last week, we do have a couple nonprofits who will partner with us,” said Troy Mayor Carmella Mantello. “In the interim, a couple of local clinics are keeping the dogs for us, sheltering.”

However, that’s just a temporary fix, and Troy is not alone.

Cohoes pays a vet clinic to house dogs until they can find another place for them.

“It’s a big problem for us both financially, and it’s a problem also in terms of finding a place to put these dogs and the time that we take trying to get stray dogs off the street or out of abandoned buildings and getting them to where they can be taken care of,” said Cohoes Police Chief Todd Waldin.

“Reaching out to different rescues, which most of the rescues around here have been great, helped us out a lot, really have,” said Cohoes Animal Control Officer Jerry Oliver. “Good shout-out to Out of the Pits. Carrie and her team have done great for us.”

Some dogs in Watervliet are held in cells, which the chief says are emptier now because of bail reform.

“It’s a huge problem for us in the sense that not only do you have animals without homes, and don’t really have a place to go, unless the laws have changed in the state of New York, which I doubt, if we can put criminals back in those cells, they’re going to continue to be used for the animals in the short term,” said Watervliet Police Chief Joseph Centanni.

In Colonie, part of the Albany County Jail has already been turned into housing for the homeless. Now they have a $500,000 state grant for a new project.

“And what we want to do is build a kennel at the jail and take a lot of the long-term dogs. There are a lot of dogs tying up space at Mohawk Hudson that are like part of a criminal case, something to that effect, and the dogs cannot be adopted out,” Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said.

Apple would like to house those dogs to free up space, but now plans for the kennel have to be redesigned to meet new requirements.

“There are some new laws in the state which I don’t agree with, I think they’re ridiculous,” said Apple. “We now have to give a dog an area at least 5 foot by 10 foot to walk around in, in addition to a run, and they can’t see the other dogs.”

He says inmates get 6 by 9, and now dogs would get 5 by 10.

Apple thinks people staying at the homeless shelter could be paid to take care of the dogs.

“We’re accomplishing a couple goals there,” he said. “We’re helping some of the homeless folks get back on their feet, and we’re keeping these dogs from having to be euthanized and opening up space for more municipalities that have nowhere to go with the dogs.”

In Troy, with a short-term fix in place, Mantello wants to meet with other leaders she says have been turned away from the humane society to come up with some regional answers.

“It’s a dilemma,” she said. “We have found a band-aid right now, but long-term, we need to find a better solution.”