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Dunkirk animal control officer placed on probation

DUNKIRK – Steve Purol, the city’s animal control officer, was placed on six months’ probation Tuesday for dumping two dead dogs in the Dumpster of a private business.
The City Council took the action after a closed-door session with Purol, the mayor and police chief.
Several Dunkirk-area residents turned out for Tuesday night’s Council meeting to express concern about the incident.
Pat Mleczko, who works in an office on Fourth Street, reported the incident to police after she saw Purol place two large plastic bags into the Dumpster. She said she later climbed into the Dumpster, found the dogs and took pictures.
Mleczko asked Council members why no one contacted her after she made the report.
After city officials met with Purol, it was announced that he would write a letter of apology to the private business where he dumped the dogs, in addition to being placed on probation for his actions. Council members also will place a formal admonishment in his file for using a private Dumpster for the disposal.
Mayor A.J. Dolce said that the incident was unfortunate but that New York State laws allow for dead animals to be disposed of in a landfill.
Purol, who was hired as an independent contractor in June 2010, takes care of dogs and occasionally answers calls for cats in the city.
Mleczko said she also has concerns about the people who go into the Dumpsters in search of food.
She said she has seen people using the Dumpsters and says it isn’t safe to dispose of the dogs in an area where they may contaminate other items.
Purol said one of the dogs had been hit by a car and the second had been euthanized by a local veterinarian.
In other matters:
Council members voted, 4-1, in support of a resolution that would allow Fredonia State College to seek a grant to build a museum and research center on city land near the waterfront.
Councilwoman Stacey Szukala was opposed to the measure. She said that while she thought the idea had merit, she was not in favor of the property becoming tax-exempt.
The proposal would include a research vessel and educational center.
The grant will be submitted to the SUNY 20/20 program, which encourages partnerships between the college and communities.
A resolution to turn over some land on Talcott Street for the construction of the Millennium Parkway was not acted on after Szukala suggested that city leaders may want to have a workshop with Chautauqua County on the proposal for the new roadway.
The first regular meeting in November was moved to Nov. 5, due to Election Day.