Friday June 21, 2013

KEITH WHITCOMB JR.

Staff Writer

POWNAL -- There’s a new animal control officer in town. Or at least the next town over.

Earlier this month, the Pownal Select Board voted to appoint Arvin Vincent as animal control officer. Vincent, a Bennington resident, can be reached at 413-262-8849. Vincent told the Banner that she has a degree in animal science, loves animals, and has worked with a number of vets and has trained horses. She said this is her first experience with an animal control officer position and so far she has been able to reunite one lost dog with its owners.

While Pownal does not have a large stray dog problem, the question of animal control officers and dog boarding facilities has been one the board has spent some time discussing in recent months. At its meeting on June 13, the board voted to sign a boarding contract with Great Fields Kennel in Bennington, where dogs picked up by Vincent will be kept for five days.

The town had been without an animal control officer since April when Steve Zelman resigned. Zelman had been the animal control officer for a number of years but stepped down in 2011. Dominick Yarnal was appointed and resigned after a year, leaving Zelman to be appointed in the interim.

Zelman, in a letter to the Banner, said his main reason for resigning was it was too difficult to board dogs at his home. Board Chairman Stephen Kauppi has said most animal control officers in Pownal have boarded dogs on their own properties which he says makes attracting people to the position difficult. Kauppi has floated the idea of building some sort of facility at the town transfer station, however he and other board members wish to avoid building something advanced enough to require full regulation by the state.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr