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Oct 7, 2009 12:51 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton councilwoman mulls bids to privatize town animal shelter

Oct 7, 2009 12:51 PM

Already facing an uncertain future thanks to talk of privatization, the Southampton Town Animal Shelter has been left out of Supervisor Linda Kabot’s proposed 2010 budget, a move that could save the town about $1 million next year.

The proposed $78.8 million budget for next year includes 48 layoffs and proposes no funding for the animal shelter in 2010. The nine full-time shelter employees, who were informed of the situation last week, would be laid off effective January 1, 2010, if the budget is approved as is.

In the meantime, Town Councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst said the town has received bids from two parties, only one of which is interested in taking over the management and daily operations of the shelter. A request for such proposals was sent out on August 25 as a means of further exploring the option to privatize.

The first bidder, Riverhead Animal Shelter, offered to help the town raise funds for animal shelter activities, but did not offer to take over the operation and management of the site.

The second bidder was Susan Allen, a Southampton resident and philanthropist who donated more than $1.4 million to help build the shelter in 1999. Ms. Throne Holst said Ms. Allen requested a contract for $500,000 to manage and staff the shelter, an amount far beyond what the town is willing to pay, she said.

Ms. Allen could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ms. Throne-Holst said she has asked Animal Shelter Supervisor Donald Bambrick to prepare a “rescue plan” for the animal shelter’s transition into the new year.

Mr. Bambrick did not return calls for comment.

The councilwoman said she wants to work with both Ms. Allen and Riverhead Animal Shelter to improve their proposals. However, the shelter may need to close its doors and launch an adoption campaign for its hundreds of cats and dogs if the town cannot privatize the shelter soon.

“If we are forced to close the doors, we obviously need to find homes for the animals,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “I certainly am not going to stand by and let them be euthanized.”


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Is there some other Town shelter out there that could take the animals from Southampton Town for a fee and continue service? A "contract out" to another government?
I don't think anyone wants to see the employees laid off and the animals euthanized. What a shame.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Oct 7, 09 2:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
By barnbabe (64), westhampton beach on Oct 7, 09 4:23 PM
Maybe they should lay off 10 of the $100.000 a year or better keystone cops than they can afford to keep the well needed animal shelter open ! ! !
By JJ (4), hampton bays on Oct 7, 09 5:10 PM
2 members liked this comment
By JJ (4), hampton bays on Oct 7, 09 5:10 PM
Were the Town Council to decline to employ the 27 SCPD cops who have exceeded the twenty years service limitation of their contracts, $3.6M would be freed to maintain the ST Animal Shelter and to mitigate the 40 firings of town employees currently proposed.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 8, 09 1:07 AM
2 members liked this comment
Hey, highhat, give it a rest, will you? Nearly every one of your postings attempts to blame the police regardless of the topic.
By yearrounder (208), Southampton on Oct 9, 09 11:49 AM
Really highhatsize give it a rest. All you do is complaine and blame the police department. I'm sure you have no problem calling 911 when you stub your toe.
By lifesaver (118), speonk on Oct 10, 09 7:31 AM
It is serendipitous that STPD supra-contractual hires turn out to be the proximate cause of the closing of the Animal Control division..

When I started researching the STPD as pertains to its interactions with Supervisor Kabot, I was unaware of the, "twenty years and out", provision of STPD employment contracts, and that 27 cops were still on the payroll years after they were supposed to have retired.

Since the cops AGREED to retire after twenty years when they signed on, what ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 11, 09 4:34 AM
That should be sTpd. I mean Southampton Town, not Suffolk County.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 8, 09 1:08 AM
Get rid of overpaid cops like the Chief , James Overton. He was a cop back when I was in grade school and he's STILL on the force.
I'm 47 years old by the way.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Oct 8, 09 9:19 AM
Wasn't this shelter built with donated funds from an animal lover? Maybe volunteers could run and staff it. What else are you going to do? Kill all the animals that are there now? What kind of town does that?
By darwin (47), southampton on Oct 8, 09 2:39 PM
Can't anyone see that this is a campaign scare tactic? The group looking to privatize is doing so to keep animals from being euthanized -they are benevolent rescuers! The board ( all of them -not just ATH who is looking for votes) needs to sit down with the contract bidder and negotiate to keep the shelter operational. It can be acheived through communication. Instead we're being threatened at a core emotional level. Saying the doors will be closed and animals will die is an attempt to manipulate. ...more
By dogtired (29), north sea on Oct 8, 09 3:12 PM
Animal shelters should be supported by private contributions and fees to users.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Oct 8, 09 4:49 PM
maybe we should have Anna introduce a bill to protect poison ivy and sumac. Lets make it illegal to kill mosquitos, ticks and rats. I am sure the phony liberal Anna Throne-Holst would love that. Anna, instead of taking your wretched filthy dog to work(against town ordanences) why don't you try and find good homes for these animals-maybe that might work-and you might have to get your hans dirty! Oh my, oh my.
By foxnfowl (17), Southampton on Oct 8, 09 5:15 PM
You are an extremely angry person and it truly makes irrelevant whatever you're trying to say.
By yearrounder (208), Southampton on Oct 8, 09 5:30 PM
Spread the word to family and friends see if anyone may be interested in adopting some of those poor dogs and cats.
My dog is not friendly to other dogs or cats or I would most definitely adopt one.
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Oct 8, 09 8:27 PM
Last year it was the Vet Tech and now its the whole shelter! wow this is nuts! The town has about an 82 million dollar budget and about half goes to salaries. where does the other half go? what are the services the taxpayer is getting? and it will be even less with no animal shelter!
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Oct 10, 09 7:56 AM
2 members liked this comment
What an absolute disgrace. Supervisor, Councilwoman, those who are "mulling" now: first you make wrong decisions for the shelter at every turn, ignoring any help or suggestions from animal experts--and now you have the unmitigated gall to say there is no money at all for homeless animals. If you had taken one bit of advice this shelter could have been a vital place (oh, like it was). If you can't even keep an animal shelter going (because you can't listen to people who are experts in their field--i.e. ...more
By NYMare (2), Hampton Bays on Oct 18, 09 2:03 AM