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Shelter pleads for help in animal control

There was a plea on behalf of the unwanted cats at the last meeting of the Warren County Board of Supervisors. Jeannie Polunci and George Patrick run Purrs and Paws, a shelter in Lake George that takes in unwanted cats and saves hundreds from euthanization. When Warren County picks up an animal, they take it to Glens Falls Animal Hospital, where it has five days to find a home, or it is euthanized, Polunci said. Our shelter has 400 cats right now, and over the years, weve saved 4,000 and adopted out 3,500. Polunci and Patrick would like to see the county take what money it spends to euthanize these animals and help pay for neutering and spaying to reduce the population. I was thinking as they spoke, how do we get from here to there, said Board Chairman Bill Thomas. If there is a way to neuter and spay cats cheaply, we would do it instead of euthanization, Thomas said. I do understand and have compassion, but I dont think its that painful for the animal. Its very hard for the person with the animal. Thomas said he wasnt aware of any county committees that oversee animal control. I know each town has their own way of dealing with it, he said. County Administrative and Fiscal Commissioner Hal Payne said that Warren County has no animal control department. We contract with Dr. OConnor at Glens Falls Animal Hospital for emergency veterinary services, Payne said. And we have a contract with the SPCA to handle all our strays. There are two SPCA organizations that operate in Warren County. One is the SPCA of Upstate New York, which takes in unwanted animals, cares for them and works to find new homes. They do not euthanize animals except in cases of severe illness or injury. The Warren County SPCA is the organization that Warren County contracts with, paying $16,000 to control unwanted or stray animals. John Corcoran is the president of the Warren County SPCA which is an organization that does not have an actual physical location, but a humane officer who responds to calls. We use Glens Falls Animal Hospital when we pick up animals, Corcoran said. They hold them for five days and try to adopt them out, he said. Corcoran said if no one is interested in adopting the animal, they try to place it with a no-kill shelter like Purrs and Paws or the SPCA of Upstate New York. If all else fails, they are euthanized, he said. In 2006, Corcoran said that five dogs and 135 cats were euthanized in Warren County. Thats out of 604 that we collected, he said. Warren County SPCA Humane Officer Tina Boyce said a program to help pet owners get their animals spayed or neutered would help immensely. I wish they would do that, Boyce said. It would cut down on the number of stray cats and would be a big help.

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