LINCOLN – Still on a month-to-month agreement to share animal control services at Lincoln’s animal shelter, Cumberland continues to be satisfied with the arrangement for now, says Mayor Jeff Mutter.
Council President Mike Kinch, at an Oct. 20 council meeting, said he was happy to see Cumberland getting it’s $1,000-per-month money’s worth on a department report from animal control, “monopolizing” the animal traffic taken in at the shelter.
“Good, it’s working,” said Kinch then.
Cumberland Town Councilor Lisa Beaulieu said at that meeting that it was wonderful to see a comprehensive report from animal control. That monthly report, unlike previous ones as the first one prepared by new Animal Control Officer Shelby Boudreaux, compared the number of animals taken in from Lincoln and Cumberland.
The Breeze reported in March 2019 that Cumberland’s animal control services had moved to Lincoln’s Wellington Road facility seven months after the previous administration of Mayor Bill Murray signed a money-saving agreement to share services there. Mayor Jeff Mutter at the time mentioned some issues with the arrangement, but said the town would honor the deal made by his predecessor.
Cumberland never re-signed an annual contract, but the town has continued in a month-to-month arrangement, Mutter on multiple occasions saying he likely wouldn’t have signed the agreement to move the services away from the former Martin Street facility, preferring to keep the services in town.
The town of Smithfield in June ended its agreement to share the Blackstone Valley Municipal Animal Shelter at 25 Wellington Road in Lincoln, deciding to reach a deal to share a new shelter with Johnston and North Providence in North Providence.
According to Boudreaux’s first monthly shelter report for September, a month after her hiring as Cumberland’s animal control officer in August, there were five total dogs in the Lincoln shelter as of Sept. 1, and four of those were from Cumberland.
Of the 12 total stray dogs picked up that month, six were from Cumberland and six were from Lincoln, and the total dogs left in the shelter was eight, or seven from Cumberland and one from Lincoln. There were four total dogs adopted, three from Cumberland (Boudreaux has made adoptions a strong point of emphasis since taking over, starting her own Cumberland Facebook page).
On the cat side, there was one cat in the shelter to start the month, and it was from Lincoln, but of the 15 total stray cats picked up, 12 were from Cumberland, including five kittens.
Mutter said Cumberland remains thrilled to have Boudreaux as animal control officer, and “we don’t have any issues with the facility at Lincoln right now.”
Cumberland officials continue to look at all avenues to improve animal control service, he said, and is “heading in that direction with Shelby,” but the town remains happy with the arrangement.
“We’re always assessing our ability to provide service and ability to do better,” he said.