Pets are very cherished members of numerous families in the Town of New Castle. Occasionally, some of these four-legged friends decide to answer a call from the wild and set out to explore their environs. When a pet does not return, Animal Control Warden Jim Moore receives a call.
Moore sets out promptly in pursuit. When a lost pet is located, it is scanned and the owner is contacted. Approximately half of the animals in town have imbedded microchips. If the animal is not identifiable, it is entrusted to the SPCA in Briarcliff Manor. In 80% of these cases, a missing animal report is received the next day and the owner is directed to the SPCA.
Rest assured, the animals at the SPCA are coddled and cared for. Volunteers take them on walks and socialize. Executive Director Shannon Laukhuf emphasized that the location in Briarcliff is “a no-kill shelter.” All animals are held for a period of eight to ten days. If they are not claimed, they are vaccinated, checked for disease and put up for adoption.
Sometimes reports about strays pertain to more exotic species. On one occasion Moore found an alligator in Pruyn Sanctuary. “It was only one and a half feet long,” he noted cheerfully. Another time, a resident called to report the presence of four horses on her lawn. “The paddock door [on a neighboring property] was left open and the horses trotted off and went to greener pastures,” Moore recalled.
Coyotes are a growing concern in the hamlet. When reports about these marauders are received, Moore contacts trappers who are authorized to euthanize. Many coyotes have been seen on the east side of town, near the Mount Kisco Country Club. In 2011, approximately half a dozen were euthanized.
Moore provided advice on preventing the loss of an animal: “Supervise them and don’t allow them to run free.” “Don’t feed them outside,” he added.