Lancaster officials are scrambling to find a temporary kennel for strays the dog catcher picked up.
The town is closing its Walden Avenue dog shelter in late November because the property is being sold to Erie County. Now, town leaders say they are searching for a place to house dogs over the next six months until Lancaster can retrofit an existing facility or build a new kennel structure.
“We’re not getting rid of dog control officers,” Supervisor Dino J. Fudoli said. But we “just need a place to house stray dogs.”
Fudoli spoke to the dilemma Monday during a town work session, two weeks after officials indicated they would try to construct kennels at the town’s former Office of Emergency Management on Pavement Road. Fudoli had previously hoped to strike a shared-services agreement with Clarence or Cheektowaga, but neither worked out. So the town is forced into making room for stray dogs.
Fudoli said he would speak with state Agriculture & Market officials to see what interim arrangement might work out.
He was leaning toward contacting Alden town officials or trying other private kennels in the area or within Lancaster to secure temporary space.
“We may not be able to get a modified structure done in time and may need to farm them out to an animal shelter,” he said. “If not, we may need to fast-track operations (on Pavement Road).”
Town officials seemed to informally back the plan to “out source” the kennel service for six months, with the expectation the town can construct something of its own by spring.
Highway Superintendent Daniel Amatura said he is doing research on whether it would be better for the town to build a new kennel facility or to retrofit part of the former Office of Emergency Management building or the old police station on Pavement Road.
“Rather than try to get all the specs together and get it out to bid, it would be early December,” Amatura said.
Then, it would be a rushed project to get it done right away, he added. “To get the work done before winter probably would not be feasible.”
The town must be out of its Walden Avenue site by late November.
The town and village of Alden contract with Alden Dog Control Officer Len Weglarski for his services and use of three of his five personal kennels on Uebelhoer Road.