This section is dedicated to all things concerning our New Canaan animals—pets, wildlife, environmental and health matters touching the animals of our town, activity out of the New Canaan Police Department Animal Control Unit, and more.
Saying the town has seen a rise in the number of black bear sightings in recent years, New Canaan’s Animal Control officer has been trained and certified to carry bear spray this spring, officials say. The New Canaan Police Department receives reports of “a number of bear sightings” each year, Chief Leon Krolikowski said. “Most often, New Canaan bears avoid interacting with our residents,” he told NewCanaanite.com. “However, given that [Animal Control] Officer [Allyson] Halm is often called to handle a variety of wild and domestic animals, some who are quite unhappy, we issued her bear spray, provided training and certified her. This spray is not just for bears as it can be used to harmlessly re-direct a variety of animals.
This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to New Canaan Police Department Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm, about the wildlife that town residents can expect to see now that spring is underway. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:
Police say a dog found roaming in New Canaan earlier this month has been reunited with its owner one year after the animal went missing. The young male husky found Feb. 6 on White Oak Shade Road is back with his owner in Windsor after that individual presented photos and paper work to authorities, according to Officer Allyson Halm, head of the New Canaan Police Department Animal Control section. The photos presented to police showed a “very, very distinctive” mark in the shape of a fleur-de-lis on the husky’s forehead, and he “almost collapsed” in his owner’s arms when the pair was reunited at Stamford Animal Control, she said. “I saw the dog just melt in her arms,” Halm said.
The head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section is thanking dozens of local volunteers and businesses that donated time, energy, goods and services to ensure the health and comfort of 12 neglected dogs seized in November from a Butler Lane home. Following a lengthy court dispute with the dogs’ former owner—a woman who still faces three counts of felony cruelty to animals in an ongoing criminal case—the town on Jan. 20 was awarded full legal custody of the 10 puppies and two adults dogs. A 20-day appeal period expired Feb. 10, Officer Allyson Halm said, and the puppies became “free and clear” to be placed “in safe places.”
“I am decompressing slowly,” Halm told NewCanaanite.com.
A state Superior Court judge on Wednesday granted full legal custody of 12 neglected dogs seized in November from a Butler Lane home. In a 31-page decision that reviewed many of the details that led to the Nov. 29 arrest of Catherine Palmer on multiple counts of animal cruelty, Judge Kenneth B. Povodator said the conditions in which the dogs lived—“with feces and urine on the walls and floor”—and circumstances of the deaths at the residence of three puppies amounts to animal cruelty under state law. “There were too many dogs—especially given that many were transient in nature—and far too little structured care and supervision (including inadequate instructions as to what to do in the event of foreseeable problems); unsanitary conditions for tenants and dogs; inadequate attention to the grooming and medical needs of the animals as evidenced by a number of (if not especially dangerous) conditions discovered during the post-seizure exams; a somewhat cavalier attitude about the first dog to die in September (no apparent concern as to why, or whether that cause might pose a threat to other dogs),” Povodator wrote in the decision.
“The second dog to die may have been (plausibly) described as handled acceptably, but there was no attempt even to verify that the third dog also had Parvo or its prognosis, instead simply directing that the third dog be given the medicine that had been prescribed for the second dog’s diagnosed condition (Parvo)—and implicitly, see what happens.”
He added, “The pattern cannot be ignored; a persistent lack of any program or system to ensure proper care of a somewhat rotating inventory of puppies (plus 2 more permanent pet-residents), instead relying on informal arrangements with tenants; rare presence on the premises both for actual care and monitoring of care being provided by others; and a woefully inadequate response to the events in September. There was a brief effort to supplement cleaning—but when [a cleaner] quit as a result of the September dog deaths and prevailing conditions, no one appears to have been hired to replace her.