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Friday, May 6, 2016


A lot has been made this week of the layoff's of two of Hartford's Animal Control Officers. Here is a potential solution.

Apparently, the Hartford Police mounted Unit is also being disbanded as of July 1, 2016.The Mounted unit is currently  housed in a modern stable building on Vine Street in Hartford. That building will no longer be used horse related use after July 1st.

 Currently, the Hartford Police Department rents or leases space for the "dog pound" in Bloomfield. The cost for that space is apparently over $200,000 per year. The dogs in doggie jail are fed and cared for by the Hartford Animal Control Officer's, so that is a fixed cost whether the dogs are housed in Bloomfield or Hartford.

The Hartford Mounted Unit Horse stables should be converted into kennels so Hartford can house their own dogs instead of transporting them to Bloomfield. It would save a huge amount of man hours being in Hartford. Instead of Hartford officers having to transport the felonious K-9's  out of town for their incarceration, it would just be a quick trip to Vine Street. The same for their releases as well and also for their care and feeding. All local.

It would, most importantly, free up a couple hundred thousand dollars for the Bloomfield shelter, that could then be transferred into  the payroll account to pay for the two ACO's that were laid off

We can not afford to give away another City building when it means cost savings as well as jobs. The Police stable is a modern facility that could easily be retrofitted to a kennel use. The heat and utilities are already there and the cost should remain the same or even a little less with the reduced heating costs for dogs as opposed to horses.

It might just be an idea that seems too simple and makes too much sense, but it is definitely worth looking at as we try to find creative ways to deal with our dire budget crisis.

Any other suggestions?


Anonymous said...

A very sensible idea Kevin. Isn't this kind of thinking why we elect Councilpeople?

Maybe they should spend more time considering ways to trim the budget and get off their soapboxes at the Council budget hearings. Most of their questions have nothing to do with potential. What do we spend on picking up animal carcasses? Really? even if we bought gold shovels to pick up the road kill, it would be a drop in the bucket. where is the potential savings?

Harshal Patel said...

Kevin this is a wonderful Idea.

I'm forwarding this to Mayor Bronin via email and the council members.

There may be some contractual details with the Bloomfield lease but those can be made public if the city pursues this.

Bill Katz said...

That is a great idea. I hope the turnout at council meeting to show support for the two animal control officers is substantial.

Neutered Nick said...

Another idea is too use the animal control people to spay all the predators in the political system, starting with Ed Genao,Angel Morales and Father we spay feral cats and dogs.

Anonymous said...

This modern stable building used to "house" a crew of park workers stationed there for the care of Keney Park. There was nothing modern about the building when it was used by Humans.That crew was relocated to an unheated building at the old city hospital,at least the horses stayed warm.

Anonymous said...

This sounds great. Can the city also take back the horse facility that is being used by the squatters there? Keney park was donated to the city under strict conditions to not allow development. What does that sprawling horse facility with the growing Manuel pile cost the city?


I have walked through that building, and it looked pretty modern to me, not what I would expect for a "horse barn"

Alyssa said...

It is premature to give up on the Mounted Unit. There are non-profit and foundation funds that should be made available, IMMEDIATELY. They can be matched with other funds. Why would we want to give up this truly positive "branding" of Hartford? The Metro Hartford Alliance and the Downtown Business District need to help solicit solutions.

There is way too much budget hysteria going on right now. The revenue figures being shown us may not be accurate. Council must investigate FORENSICALLY. They have the funds to quickly hire a consultant. This budget charade led by COO Darrell Hill, who helped phony different numbers for a different mayor last year, is an embarrassment. The ECS figures just came out and Hartford is set to receive $11 million more from the state. That can help equalize budget figures elsewhere with less required by the Board of Ed.

Myself and others have advocated for years to bring the animal shelter to Hartford by using buildings located at Colt Park or elsewhere. We can have both, a mounted unit and our own animal facility. I'm not giving up on either. Cooler heads need to prevail.

Janice Rossetti said...

As a former news reporter/photographer my coverage included the Mounted Police. Every Hartford neighborhood loves when the Mounted Police pass by. This is only offered in the capitol city. The Court of Common Council should treasure the Mounted Police. Animal control is extremely important to Hartford. To lay off a dedicated 17 year Animal Control staff member is outrageous. Consolidation is the key.

sherry said...

From the Start of my career, I have tried to come up with ideas to have the Hartford animal shelter in Hartford. Long before the Ebony Horsewoman took over the barn. It would have been ideal. All of my ideas fell on deaf ears. The money we could have saved would be mind blowing. Just the travel time alone would be beneficial for the animal control and officers who bring in strays. We can use the people who have to do community services hours as the feeders and cleaners of the dogs. Laying off the 2 animal control officers who did the most work, especially with adoptions and redeeming the animals back to the owners will cost the city so much more in the long run and then public safety issues will go higher because the remaining officer will not be able the handle the volume of calls and many animals will be left on the streets causing harm to people, other animals and themselves. This was a decision that was not looked at in every way. You would think public safety and community policing relationships would be important!