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    Sunday, April 14, 2024

    Montville residents continue push for new animal control facility

    Tarps are used to protect the animals from wind, snow and rain to protect the animals when they need to be outside at the Montville Animal Control Facility. The facility is in poor condition and doesn’t have enough space so the town is trying to get funding for a new facility. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Montville ― Residents and local businesses are circulating a petition urging the town to build a new $2.2 million animal control facility.

    Becky Maurice, owner of All Bright Canines, recently started the petition, which has so far collected more than 400 signatures. She said Thursday that her dog training, grooming and day care business has to pass yearly inspections to stay open.

    So the 12-year business owner said she doesn’t understand why the animal control facility shouldn’t have to go through the same process.

    “I’ve watched this shelter fail inspections for five years,” Maurice said.

    The facility at 225 Maple Ave, which is shared with Salem, has been cited for numerous violations by the state Department of Agriculture, but has remained open.

    For months, the Town Council has offered updates and discussed the shelter, resulting in high turnouts at its monthly meetings. Supporters of the facility have waited anxiously for other council discussions to end so they can comment on the need for a new shelter.

    Councilors have discussed multiple options for addressing the problem, including renting space at New London’s animal control facility or contracting services from the Northeastern Connecticut Council of Governments.

    At the last council meeting, Mayor Leonard Bunnell said the town hopes to receive its primary funding for the project through a Community Investment Grant, but it won’t know if it will get that funding until Gov. Ned Lamont awards the grants in May.

    Residents have spoken overwhelmingly in favor of building a new shelter. But while supporters continue to pack council chambers, Maurice said more can be done.

    “The fact that this has been allowed to go this far, it’s disgusting to me,” Maurice said.

    “I feel like we need to raise awareness,” she added. “We’ve had an issue with this shelter for years and they keep tabling it.”

    She said she hopes the petition, which can be signed by Montville and Salem residents, will show the council and local legislators that there’s unified support for building a new shelter.

    “I feel like it gives our Town Council members the pulse of our community. I feel like it says we’re uniting our community,” Maurice said.

    Businesses that have the petition include Herb’s Country Deli and Restaurant, Breakfast at Diana’s, All Bright Canines, Uncasville Diner and Amber’s Hair Design, and more than ten others.

    “We’ve been standing at the transfer station. We’re going to be at Stop & Shop this weekend,” added resident Ann Gaulin.

    Maurice said she plans to present the signed petition to the Town Council at its March 11 meeting, and send copies to local legislators to encourage them to continue trying to secure state grant funding for the project.

    She and other supporters of the project have been trying to get a committee together to organize fundraisers.

    “We’ve kind of been on pause to see about these grants,” she said.

    Editor’s Note: This version corrects the name of resident Ann Gaulin.


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