The Town of Fort Fairfield while being cognizant of their obligation to provide care for stray animals and meet the requirements of the State of Maine, also has an obligation to the taxpayers of the community. Striking a balance between these responsibilities has necessitated establishing a temporary shelter to house dogs and a protocol to reunite them with their owner or find them a new home. The protocol below outlines how citizens of Fort Fairfield should handle stray or nuisance dogs and cats.
Dog at Large/Stray Dog Protocol for Fort Fairfield
- Upon observing a stray or nuisance dog, citizens will need to call the police department and an officer will come to their home or place of business to retrieve the dog.
- The officer will then attempt to identify the dog and it’s owner and if successful, the officer will reunite the dog and owner.
- If the dog is not registered and a positive identification of the dog is not possible, then the dog will be placed in the municipal canine holding facility. The dog will be held there for 24 hours in a further attempt to identify the dog and it’s owner and return the animal to them. At this time notification will also be made to the media with breed information, location where the animal was found and how the owner may go about retrieving their animal. Also, this information with photography will be provided to webmaster for display on homepage of FortFairfield.org.
- If the dog or its owner is not identified then the dog will be treated as a stray and held for adoption. The media will again be notified that Fort Fairfield has a dog available for adoption and a brief description of how an interested party may achieve adoption of the pet.
- During the holding period, attempts will be made to find the dog a new home with another family. The adopting family, will be responsible for registering and paying for any required vaccinations before the dog is released to them by the animal control officer.
- The Town has retained the services of Dr. Victoria Swanson from County Veterinary Clinic to provide basic health care needs for dogs that come under our care. Her practice is located in New Sweden and she is available to provide services in our area. She can be reached at 521-4618.
Though the law does not require an obligation on the community's part to accommodate for cats, we have made arrangements with an organization to take strays that our animal control officer picks up. In an effort to utilize our limited resources efficiently and effectively we ask citizens who have come in contact with stray or nuisance cats, to aid the animal control officer by:
• Attempting to find the rightful owner of the cat.
• Consider taking in/adopting the cat for yourself, or
finding a home for the stray.
In the event neither of these options are achievable or practical, the Town of Fort Fairfield has established a fund for citizens to donate to, that will be used on a case by case basis, to defray cat placement costs. The animal control officer has made arrangements with a local organization to process and put up for adoption our community's stray cats.
If a Fort Fairfield citizen owns a cat they would like to put up for adoption they will need to make their own arrangements at their own expense.
This new policy was not arrived at in a frivolous manner. The cost to the Fort Fairfield taxpayer was such that it necessitated review. The Animal Control Officer welcomes the opportunity to work with volunteers within Fort Fairfield to establish a program that deals with stray animals in Fort Fairfield in a humane and loving manner.
To donate to the Stray Animal Fund, please contact the Town Office at 472-3800 or click on the Donate button on the side and process your donation through PayPal.com.