New Fairfield to exit regional animal control agreement
NEW FAIRFIELD — The town will soon be looking to hire its own animal control officer once its longtime agreement with regional animal control comes to an end this summer.
At the town’s request, the regional animal control department has decided to formally release New Fairfield from its service agreement, First Selectman Pat Del Monaco said.
The New Milford-based regional animal control department covers several towns in the area, and has served New Fairfield for more than 20 years.
Del Monaco said response times were the main reason why the town sought to cut ties with the regional service.
“Because of our geographic location, many times our residents would call and it would take animal control too long to get here,” she said. “There was a lot of frustration among our residents who wanted a more immediate response. It just wasn’t working for us.”
Before New Fairfield’s release from the region into effect July 1, the town is working on a new agreement with the regional animal control department.
“The one request that they had was that we allow them to use our animal control shelter or kennel in the event that the New Milford building has a problem,” Del Monaco said during the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Thursday.
Del Monaco said she has no issue with that since the town-owned building next to the animal welfare shelter on Route 37 “does not often house animals.”
Selectman Kim Hansen asked that the agreement between the town and department include “some release of liability language,” and Selectman Khris Hall requested that the agreement be subject to annual review.
The Board of Selectmen voted to send a letter with the conditions to the department and further discuss the animal control agreement at its April 9 meeting.
Del Monaco said a position for a “qualified animal control officer for the town” will be posted in the near future.