Friday, February 8, 2019

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Mayor proposes making Poughkeepsie a “dog city USA”

Rolison and Hayden hanging out at City Hall 

POUGHKEEPSIE – City Hall is going to the dogs and Poughkeepsie Mayor Robert Rolison is the organizer. 

Partnering with the "Adoptions" program at the Dutchess County SPCA, Rolison has started featuring one dog per week that the SPCA is trying to get adopted. 

Last week was the first week of the program and the dog, Chandler, was adopted within 48 hours of visiting the government building.  This week, two-year-old Hayden, a terrier mix from a high-volume shelter in Georgia, visited city hall and immediately made friends with everyone including administrative staffers Liz Ruiz and Kathleen Vacca. 

Chris Bender, adoptions manager for the DCSPCA, said that his organization has an agreement with the shelter in Georgia that when the DCSPCA has room they take even-tempered, adoptable dogs and bring them to Poughkeepsie for adoption.  All dogs that are up for adoption in Poughkeepsie have undergone a behavioral assessment and medical exam along with heartworm treatments as well.  The dog will also be spayed or neutered.

Bender describes Hayden as a "hand-picked Georgia Peach" that enjoys socializing with other dogs.  While handling Hayden, Bender said that most Hudson Valley households that have a dog, have more than one which makes this dog an ideal addition based on her temperament.

Rolison is thrilled with the new program and said that when the warmer months come, the Thursday event will shift from city hall to other locations throughout the city including the three firehouses, landmarks, and other locations. Rob and his wife Lori recently adopted a small breed puppy.

“Animals, as we all know, are very therapeutic for all of us and I am learning that more and more every day.”
Rolison hoping that as Poughkeepsie's environment improves, the city will become even more dog-friendly.  He mentioned having recently visited Saratoga, which caters to canines visiting the central business district.  "From boutiques catering to dogs to having strategically placed watering stations, Saratoga treats dogs well." 

In his constant effort to promote the city, Rolison said "Perhaps in addition to being a Tree-City USA, we can be a Dog-Friendly City USA." 

In effort to improve the dog-friendly atmosphere in Poughkeepsie, Rolison announced plans to improve the dog park located at Spratt Park in Poughkeepsie.  The mayor said that later this year, the existing dog park will be relocated to an unused softball field towards the back of the park which will significantly increase the size of the park.  A picnic area for families will be created on the site where the dogs currently play.

Rolison is asking that anyone calling the DCSPCA about adopting Hayden to them Mayor Rolison sent you."  Information on how to adopt Hayden or any of the other animals can be obtained by calling Chris Bender at 845-452-SPCA (7772).


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