Rensselaer County Democrats Continue to Push for Exploring the Possibilities to Establishment a County Animal Shelter

Rensselaer County filed legislation on Tuesday to establish a bipartisan committee to research the physical and financial requirements needed to make a county-wide animal shelter in Rensselaer County. This committee will be tasked with coming up with a plan on/or before January 1, 2024.

In a recent press release, County Executive Steve McLaughlin stated, “Rensselaer County finances are strong and being managed effectively to benefit county residents and taxpayers, and to ensure delivery of needed county services.”  Rensselaer County has realized financial equity from windfall sales tax revenue, as well as from recurring American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) aid. “It is time to use these resources wisely and as the county executive has stated, it is time to address the voids we have in services in our county. An animal shelter is a critical need for a growing, vibrant county,” said Deputy Minority Leader Cindy Doran.

“The lack of a shelter in a community creates a bandwidth of health and safety problems that will have a serious impact on quality-of-life issues for residents of our county, we have heard from so many who already have been experiencing these problems on a daily basis,” said Minority Leader Peter Grimm. As we Reimagine Rensselaer and continue to attract major employers like Regeneron and Amazon we need to make sure that we are a county that has the services to make these company’s employees want to choose Rensselaer County as home,” continued Grimm.

The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, the region’s current shelter, is incapable of serving the multiple counties in its midst, and has thus severed contracts with numerous Rensselaer County municipalities, leaving the vast majority of our 14 towns, 6 villages and the city of Rensselaer without an adequate location in which to secure stray, unwanted, abused or neglected cats and dogs, and in which to adopt, relinquish or identify these pets.

“The void created by Mohawk Hudson Humane Society leaves many Rensselaer County residents with absolutely no humanitarian options for managing any of these animal concerns. This has and will continue to find people making inhumane and possible illegal decisions on managing animal issues,” said Legislator Nina Nichols. “Many of our current and potential residents of Rensselaer County take the humane treatment of animals so seriously that it is a factor in their decision on where to live,” continued Nichols.