Why Look Park makes sense for an animal control facility

Published: 5/7/2021 7:00:13 PM I would like to offer a solution to the question as to where an animal control facility for the city ...

Published: 5/7/2021 7:00:13 PM

I would like to offer a solution to the question as to where an animal control facility for the city of Northampton could be located for the greatest benefit and the least detriment to all.

The city has allocated $750,000 to the design and build of this much-needed facility. The challenge is finding the right the location.

The best outcome would be for the kennel to be located away from any residences, connected to infrastructure and easily accessible at all times. Ideally, the facility would be an enhancement to its location rather than something out of place. The City Council has expressed concerns regarding the level of staffing at the facility and what would happen in the evenings and during the overnight.

The council is also concerned that the animal control officer operates under the auspices of the Northampton Police Department, something the councilors are looking to move the position away from. A clean break from the Police Department and an affiliation to a more appropriately aligned institution would be ideal.

If the animal control facility could act as a wellness center for all kinds of animals, that would be forward thinking. As more families in Northampton turn to self-sufficient ways of living, and as right-to-farm advocacy is embraced as a way to reverse climate change, there may well be an increase in farm animals needing assistance. Our animal control officer will need a facility to work from in comfort and with support from the community. They deserve nothing less.

Look Park is currently re-imagining its zoo as the Christianson Wildlife Center. Generations of children have been to the Look Park Zoo to see the deer, goats, eagles and other animals under their care. The new Look Park Zoo will be placing a stronger emphasis on introducing children to farm animals. These changes will improve visitor experience and expand the mission of the park to include educating the public regarding the care of farm animals.

Build the animal control facility at the Look Park Zoo. Build it with the care of the animals at the zoo in mind as part of the new Christianson Wildlife Center. Combining these needs would be exponentially beneficial to everyone. Call it the Christianson Wildlife Center Animal Care Facility.

Look Park already has dedicated staff and security who are present throughout the day. There are employees who tend to the animals at the zoo. A new facility that could be used for both the animals at the zoo and the animals under the care of the animal control officer would improve their working conditions dramatically.

This makes sense on many levels. The animal control officer would be able to help with the care of the zoo animals, in addition to managing wildlife that is interacting with park visitors, something the officer frequently does. The officer could be based at Look Park with this facility based there, so that the most utilized outdoor recreation spot in the city would have a trained professional close at hand for when the need arises.

The rehabilitation of injured raptors at the park would also benefit from having such a facility.

The Look Park Zoo is inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals annually and meets all criteria set forth by both organizations.

Look Park is easily accessible by emergency vehicles. There are no homes in the area. Look Park would be a much better environment for both the animals in our care and our animal control officer.

Please seriously consider this possibility. It just might be the answer.

Benjamin Spencer lives in Northampton.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Why Look Park makes sense for an animal control facility
Why Look Park makes sense for an animal control facility
Newsrust - US Top News
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