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Ossining, Briarcliff Renew Contracts With SPCA

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – The Boards of Trustees in the villages of Briarcliff and Ossining both passed resolutions this week to renew their contracts with the SPCA of Westchester to have them take care of animals that are seized by village workers.

"We're here to accept stray animals brought in by animal control officers or police. For Ossining and Briarcliff, it's almost always dogs and cats that are stray or abandoned," said Shannon Laukhuf, the executive director of the SPCA, which is located at 590 North State Rd. in Briarcliff

If the animal looks like it belonged to someone, the SPCA gives the owner eight days to reclaim it, then offers it up for adoption, Laukhuf said. SPCA workers spay and neuter animals, test them for diseases, vaccinate them and place microchips in them so that they can be identified.

Both Ossining and Briarcliff have a lot of feral cats, Laukhuf said. Feral cats are cats that have lived on their own in the wild for so long that they can no longer be socialized for adoption. The SPCA has a program to spay and neuter feral cats and then re-release them into the wild, and there are a number of volunteers who feed colonies of stray cats, Laukhuf said.

"The important thing is to spay and neuter them so that they don't multiply and become a problem," Laukhuf said. "Anyone can bring them in to be spayed or neutered for a small fee."

Laukhuf said the SPCA generally doesn't have any problems adopting out puppies, sociable family dogs or cats. The animals that may have problems being adopted out are "bully" type dogs such as pit bull mixes or boxers, she said.

"We have a good relationship working with both Briarcliff and Ossining. It's helpful to partner with them and we're grateful to be there to curtail the animal population," Laukhuf said.

Briarcliff will pay the SPCA $7,000 for its 2012 animal services.

The assistant village manager of Ossining, Christina Papes, was away from her office on Thursday and Friday and did not answer calls to find out how much the village of Ossining plans to pay the SPCA for its 2012 animal services.

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