For some mysterious reason, word seems to have gotten around that the Town of Rosendale is a good place to abandon an unwanted dog. An unusually high number of homeless canines are currently in town custody. In fact, a few weeks ago, someone surreptitiously dropped a terrier off on the front porch of town clerk Mandy Donald. That particular sad tale has a happy ending: The foundling was quickly placed with an adoptive home. But some abandoned dogs aren’t so lucky, according to Rosendale dog control officer Ed Hintz.
On August 10, Hintz told the Rosendale town board that a dog named Buddy had ingested his bedding at the municipal animal shelter, necessitating euthanasia. A recently picked-up stray, an as-yet-unnamed mixed-breed female, is currently being quarantined until her mange clears up. It’s no great surprise that dogs are found in poor physical or psychological condition after being abandoned or neglected by owners who may have lacked the necessary resources to care for them properly.
Located at the Rosendale Transfer Station, Rosendale’s animal shelter lies near a limestone mine shaft whose Earth-breath keeps the animals cool even when the power went out last weekend during a thunderstorm. And Officer Hintz, a retired employee of the US Post Office and river captain who has been the Rosendale dog control officer for the past 11 years, treats the shelter dogs as if they were his own – until they get adopted.
Right now, Hintz has three charges who are in good health and ready for placement in a happy home: a hound named Blacky and two pit bulls named Lady and King. Persons with room in their houses and their hearts for a rescue dog are encouraged to contact the dog warden at (845) 389-2205.
At the same municipal meeting where Hintz reported on Buddy’s misfortune, the town board agreed to several measures addressing the sudden influx of abandoned dogs. They voted to hire a per diem basis as deputy dog control officer to fill in on Hintz’s days off, so that he won’t have to be on call 24/7. They also decided to recruit volunteers for a brand-new Dog Adoption Committee, who would use social media and other forms of public outreach to identify placement opportunities for homeless pets.
Councilwoman Stacy Lipari expressed confidence that Rosendale residents would step up to serve on the committee, saying, “This is a dog town.” The volunteer positions would normally last for three years, but town supervisor Jeanne Walsh recommended starting off with one-, two- and three-year terms so that their expiration dates would be staggered. Rosendalers interested in serving on the committee are asked to contact the town clerk at (845) 658-3159 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or just stop by the Rondout Municipal Center at 1915 Lucas Avenue in Cottekill.