Town reps think regional animal control approach makes sense

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND — A regional approach to animal control would make more sense than each town having its own animal control officer, representatives of the Acadia-area League of Towns agreed at their May 25 meeting.

They voted unanimously to ask Hancock County Administrator Scott Adkins about the possibility of the county assuming responsibility for animal control.

Both Fred Ehrlenbach, chairman of the Trenton Board of Selectmen, and Chris Saunders, outgoing Tremont town manager, said Adkins has previously indicated he might be open to the idea.

“I think it is definitely worth pursuing,” Saunders said.

Lamoine Town Administrator Stu Marckoon opened the discussion by saying his town is losing its animal control officer at the end of this month.

“As I understand it, several other towns are possibly losing an animal control officer, as well,” he said. “We wanted to see if there is any interest in possibly getting together and employing a full-time animal control officer on a regional basis.”

“We’re in the same boat as Stu,” Ehrlenbach said. “We’re losing our animal control officer, as well.”

Dana Reed, Southwest Harbor’s interim town manager, said that town’s police department handles animal control.

“But it certainly seems like this is something that could be regionalized quite easily,” he said. “In (many states) the county handles animal control. It makes much more sense to have one person with one vehicle with the right equipment who can circulate wherever needed.”

Saunders said that when Tremont’s animal control officer was talking about leaving a couple of years ago, “I was able to convince him to stay on with considerably more money. He really held our feet to the fire. I would really like to have a better solution than that.”

Bar Harbor Town Manager Cornell Knight said his town has lost its animal control officer, but a new one is being hired. He will be an employee of the police department and will serve both Bar Harbor and Mount Desert.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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