Mayor Michael Galime of the City of Utica did not pull any punches when addressing the issue of one local humane society discontinuing their longstanding relationship with the city.

As of February 15th, 2024 the ability for Utica animal control and other city resources to bring stray and abandoned dogs to Anita's Stevens Swan Humane Society was taken away. According to officials, city employees were no longer allowed to drop the dogs there as the contract that was in place had run out.

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Not knowing what to do, the city was forced to house stray dogs in the Utica Police Department headquarters where several police officers say things became literally wild. Many of these dogs that are taken in from city streets are violent and aggressive. On top of all the other business they were dealing with, police were forced to become animal wranglers.

Galime did not hold back on Thursday when he released a statement to the public expressing his displeasure with the failure to reach an agreement with Anita's. He writes,

Despite hundreds of thousands of dollars being invested by the City of Utica into Anita's Stevens Swan Humane Society, on February 15th Anita's Stevens Swan abandoned their mission of caring for dogs from the City of Utica.

Despite the setback, Galime claims that the undertaking was a huge success. In his release he says the city took in 33 dogs since February 13th. He also provided a rundown of what the result was of each of the dogs they took in.

  • 3 dogs are currently under the care of animal control.
  • 7 dogs have been reunited with their owners.
  • 13 dogs have been transitioned to rescue organizations approved by New York State Ag and Markets.
  • 9 dogs have been adopted to new homes.

There was one unfortunate incident in which the city had to make the difficult decision to euthanize one of the dogs. Galime says,

Unfortunately, through a difficult decision, 1 dog has been euthanized after a licensed veterinarian deemed the dog to be dangerous and a threat to others.

Galime maintains that they are continuing to be proactive in their efforts to have a positive outcome for any stray dog the city brings in. They are excited to be engaged with a new endeavor and thank the people of the City of Utica who helped with this situation in any capacity.

Moving forward the City of Utica has signed an agreement with Wanderer's Rest Animal Shelter in Canastota. City officials say details of the contract include $150,000 and a commitment to several adoption and education events throughout the year.

WIBX has reached out to the head of Anita's Steves Swan Humane Society with questions and comments several times and has not received a response.

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