‘Friends’ concerned with animal control

FORT FRANCES—The Fort Frances Friends of Animals has requested a meeting with town council to discuss concerns regarding animal control in the community and forming a partnership to address these problems.
A letter from Mary Pasechko, secretary/treasurer of Friends of Animals, noted the group disbanded as a board of the Town of Fort Frances in 2001 and, as per the town’s instructions at that time, restructured itself into a private non-profit corporation.
“Through our fundraising efforts and the personal monies donated and invested by our board members, we have spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in shelter and veterinary expenses, food, advertising, and promotion,” Pasechko wrote.
“Although our shelter is located outside town limits, at least 80 percent of the animals we care for come directly from the Fort Frances community,” she added.
“The animal control crisis we are dealing with worsens each year and, unfortunately, this has resulted in a dramatic rise in the cases of animal cruelty and neglect.”
Pasechko said they work closely with the Kenora/Dryden Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which can attest to the overwhelming number of calls coming from residents here.
“It has become increasingly difficult for them to service our community and, therefore, it is their goal to have trained OSPCA officers in this area,” she added.
As such, Pasechko said the group would like to meet with the town and discuss:
•establishing a joint committee between the town and Friends of Animals (and possibly an OSPCA rep) to review these problems and develop some positive strategies to improve the animal control crisis;
•the feasibility of a joint venture to construct and operate a new animal control facility to replace the current town pound (one that meets current requirements and standards for humane animal care); and
•to follow up on a request for animal control documents which were to be provided to Friends of Animals after a meeting with town administration in June, 2001.
“It is our hope the Town of Fort Frances can follow in the footsteps of other cities and townships that have had great success in managing their animal control problems by partnering with their local animal rescue organizations,” said Pasechko.
Council referred the request from Fort Frances Friends of Animals to the Planning and Development executive committee for its recommendation.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council directed that the Sunset Country Métis be advised the town is unable to grant its request to use town-owned property for a community garden as there is no suitable property for this purpose at this time.
Instead, council said the group should pursue its request with the owners of Rainycrest Home for the Aged (where the Sunset Country Métis identified a possible site for such a garden).
In other news, council:
•directed that the handicap parking spot located along the north side of Scott Street, 48 feet west of the intersection of Scott Street and Armit Avenue, be removed and the traffic bylaw amended accordingly;
•agreed to receive the minutes of settlement for 1026 Scott St.;
•authorized the donation of proceeds from the annual police auction in the amount of $1,604.40 to the Community Policing Committee for the Grade 6 D.A.R.E. program;
•agreed that a Bell teleconference invoice in the amount of $182.57 for a meeting held March 3 in regards to Rainycrest Home for the Aged be submitted to the Rainycrest board for payment, and if required secondly, to the Rainy River District Municipal Association for payment;
•approved a charitable tax rebate for 2006 to the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau in the amount of $845.48; and
•accepted the June, 2006 drinking water report.
(Fort Frances Times)