The head of Animal Control in New Canaan for the past eight years, Officer Allyson Halm, is set to retire this summer, officials say.
The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved the hiring of Sean Godejohn as her successor in the New Canaan Police Department position. A graduate of Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, Godejohn holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Naugatuck Valley Community College, according to his resume. He’s worked since 2015 as animal control officer for East Haven, and did the same job in Waterbury before that, his resume said.
Halm is to remain in her position during a transition period, she said, and will retire around mid-July.
Asked how she’s feeling about that prospect, Halm said, “I am working on it. It is bittersweet but I know it’s time.”
A Greenwich native, Halm worked as the animal control officer for the Greenwich Police Department for 12 years, then became the CEO of Adopt-A-Dog of Greenwich for seven years before taking the job with NCPD.
In New Canaan, Halm has worked closely with dog owners using Spencer’s Run in Waveny and has been proactive in educating residents about the abundant wildlife here, attending and speaking at public events and issuing press releases about bears, bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, geese and snapping turtles, among other animals. In 2017, as part of her continuous efforts to educate locals on coexisting with wildlife, she created “coyote safety kits” for residents in partnership with locally owned company PRAI Beauty.
She was the central figure in the 2020 seizure of 12 dogs from a Butler Lane home, following authorities’ discovering of an animal cruelty situation where three puppies already had died (they’re doing well now).
“It’s been a pleasure,” Halm said of her time in New Canaan. “It’s been a pleasure working with all the departments in the town of New Canaan. I’ve always felt supported and could reach out to anybody as needed. And the residents have been wonderful participants in supporting the domestic animals in town and, more so for me, willing to learn about coexistence with our wildlife.”
Asked for her thoughts on passing the reins on to Godejohn, Halm said, “I’m excited to have someone with so much experience.”