Better housing needed for stray animals

Photo: File Animal Shelter

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH)– The City of Middletown is spending tens of thousands of dollars to house stray animals in a building they say is “outdated.”

But those that work in the City’s Animal Control unit are trying to change that.

From outside The Portland Animal Shelter you can hear the need for change.

“We just don’t have enough space for the animals we take in,” said Gail Petras, Middletown Animal Control

The facility may be on the Portland side of the Arrigoni Bridge but its rented out by Middletown Animal Control at a cost of more than $30,000 a year.

It’s money spent that the unit’s only full time officer, Gail Petras, says isn’t enough to meet the needs of the community’s homeless pet population.

“Even though it’s been repaired numerous times,  unfortunately it’s just an outdated facility, there’s only so many repairs you can do,” said Petras.

To see some of the issues officer Petras is dealing with, you have to walk in between the kennels where the animals are housed because after just a few moments it becomes apparent they’re out of room.

“We have additional costs because we cant house cats and small animals here and we cant put small dogs here,” said Petras.

But the problems with the facility aren’t just on the inside, they’re on the outside as well. The fence that surrounds the structure is no longer compliant with state regulations, simply the holes are to big and animals even in some cases animals have found a way to get out.

Middletown animal shelter

But despite the challenges, the City of Middletown is working to find a solution

This week the common council gave Officer Petras permission to start searching for companies that could help them open a new shelter .

“We’re hoping we might be able to get some interest from some neighboring towns who might want to come rent space from us because a lot of our neighboring towns are smaller and they don’t have great facilities either,” said Petras.

The idea of opening a new shelter is nothing new, but this time there are those that say it has a real chance of happening.

Officials with Middletown Animal Control estimate it will be another 2 years before a new facility is constructed if its approved by the Common Council.

And in case you’re wondering, all of the animals are available for adoption.  For more information, click here.


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