Cochecton deals with freeloading dog

By LINDA DROLLINGER
Posted 1/8/20

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — A stray dog, known by Cochecton residents as Rufus, has more than once in the past year been an uninvited, unwilling guest of the Town of Cochecton, enjoying room and …

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Cochecton deals with freeloading dog

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LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — A stray dog, known by Cochecton residents as Rufus, has more than once in the past year been an uninvited, unwilling guest of the Town of Cochecton, enjoying room and board at taxpayer expense. But Rufus can’t be held liable for his food and lodging costs; he did nothing wrong. His parents are to blame.

When his parents went away from home for a few days, they abandoned him to his own wiles and the kindness of strangers. Neighbors aware of the situation notified the authorities, and Rufus was impounded by Cochecton’s dog control officer until he could be reclaimed by his parents.

Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident for Rufus. It happened repeatedly, probably because the impoundment fees charged by Cochecton were considerably less than boarding fees charged by local kennels and doggie hotels. Hence, Rufus became a “regular” at the town’s impoundment facility.

To discourage Rufus’ parents and others like them who would deliberately let their dogs become temporary wards of the town, the Cochecton Town Board, at its January 3 reorganizational meeting, doubled its dog impoundment fees, adopting the following fee schedule.

The first impoundment fee for a dog owner will go from the 2019 initial fee of $25 to the 2020 initial fee of $50, plus $25 for each day after the first day.

The second impoundment will result in an initial fee of $60, up from $30 in 2019, plus $25 for each day after the first day.

The third and each subsequent impoundment will result in an initial fee of $100, up from $50 in 2019, plus $25 for each day after the first day.

It should be noted that impoundments are counted against the owner, regardless if the same dog or a different dog has been seized each time. A one-year period of time with no seizures and/or impoundments must pass before an owner can again be charged as a first-time offender.

Dog licensing fees will not increase. The license fee for an unneutered or unspayed dog is $20 per year, $10 per year for a neutered or spayed dog—both unchanged since 2010. The enumeration fee and the cost of replacing a dog tag remains at $5 each.

In other business, the board welcomed newcomer Michael Walter, again designated Ed Grund as deputy supervisor, and appointed all unelected officials. A full list of those appointments will soon be available on the town’s website at www.townofcochectonny.org.

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