Animal Control: Renew Your Dog’s License by June 30

Municipal officials are urging residents to renew their dogs’ licenses with the town, as a June 30 deadline nears. Under state law, dogs are required to be licensed when they’re six months or older, and must have a rabies vaccination, according to Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm. “We had over 2,700 licensed dogs last year and we’re going to pursue increasing that number,” Halm said. The town does enforce a $75 fine for unlicensed dogs, she added. Those with dogs that are not spayed or neutered pay a slightly higher licensing fee, Halm said.

New Canaan Animal Control: Be Aware of Turtles in the Road

New Canaan Police are urging residents to be aware of turtles crossing local roads as their nesting season runs through June. Motorists should slow down and, if they see a snapping or painted turtle crossing the road “you are brave enough to pick one up and move it, send it in the direction it’s headed,” according to Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm. “Don’t turn it around because it will only turn around and cross the road again,” Halm said. “They are a valuable source to all ponds and are a prehistoric creature we should respect.”

The active season for the common snapping turtle is April through November, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, with nesting from late May through June. “Snapping turtles rarely leave their aquatic habitat except during the breeding season, at which time females travel great distances in search of a place to dig a nest and lay eggs,” according to DEEP.

Meet Sean Godejohn, Our New Animal Control Officer [Q&A]

Sean Godejohn, New Canaan’s new animal control officer, started in his position this month, working with Officer Allyson Halm, who is retiring this summer after eight years in the job. A graduate of Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, Godejohn holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice and law enforcement from Naugatuck Valley Community College. We caught up with Godejohn on a recent morning at New Canaan Police headquarters. 

Here’s our interview. New Canaanite: What was your position prior to coming to New Canaan? Officer Sean Godejohn: I was the East Haven Animal Control Officer. 

And how long were you in that role? 

Eight years. 

What did you do prior to East Haven?

Deer Attacks Woman Helping Young Fawn on Weed Street

A doe pummeled a New Canaan woman Tuesday morning as she helped free the animal’s fawn after it got stuck in a gate on Weed Street, officials say. The woman, who is in her 70s, suffered cuts and bruises on her legs and back during the harrowing incident, according to Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm. “She went out, saw it wedged, she went to open the gate so the animal could get out and no sooner could she do that than she turned and the deer was on her,” Halm said. “She thought she was going to be killed,” Halm added. The attack, which unfolded opposite Irwin Park, comes exactly one year after officials were forced to close a walking trail in the woods between Irwin and the New Canaan Nature Center because of similar deer attacks.

Black Bear and Four Cubs Sighted on Valley Road

Police say a black bear was sighted on lower Valley Road last Thursday afternoon with her four young cubs. 

The 4 p.m. sighting on June 1 is the first reported in New Canaan since March 21 on Ludlowe Road, also in the eastern part of town. “It is important for residents to be aware that bears will be roaming through New Canaan routinely,” Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm said. “Bears will avoid conflicts with humans, however in search of food they will venture closer to homes. Bears are attracted too, garbage cans, bird feeders, chickens, compost, gardens, bee hives and many more food sources. Hazing tools should be at the ready.”

The adult bear spotted last week had been collared and tagged as part of the state’s tracking program.