SPCA of CT opened a new facility in Bethlehem last Monday, but a dispute over the lease at a Milford kennel forced the dog rescue organization president Fred Acker to move his dogs earlier than he had planned. As a result, Monroe Animal Control Officer Ed Risko said the 29-dog-limit at the Monroe facility at 359 Spring Hill Road was temporarily exceeded over that weekend.
There were 111 dogs at the Monroe kennel at one point, but Acker brought it right back down to 26 on Monday, Oct. 8, when he opened SPCA of CT's new place in Bethlehem. Acker said it has the capacity for 80 dogs.
"I think it's going to be great," Acker said of the place in Bethlehem. "It's more of a permanent change."
In addition to the Monroe and Bethlehem facilities, SPCA of CT also has about a dozen foster homes for its animals, according to Acker.
Of the Monroe limit of 29 dogs, he said, "We're complying with the new regulations. It was just a transition."
Risko said Acker told him the landlord at the Milford kennel wanted to increase the monthly lease SPCA of CT was paying from $2,000 to $6,000, forcing the move.
Monroe Animal Control received several complaints about the SPCA of CT on Spring Hill Road on the weekend of the move, but Risko said about "80-percent" of the complaints came from the owner of the Milford dog kennel.
Because the number of dogs exceeded the 29 outlined in an agreement with the town, Risko said the zoning matter was forwarded to Town Attorney Jack Fracassini.