‘It’s a big problem’:Issues over dogs persist in Brocton

OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen Brocton Mayor Craig Miller, left, and Village Trustee Drew Ransom, right, listen as Dog Control Officer Gloria McCormick speaks about animal issues in the village.

BROCTON — Some homeowners post “Beware of Dog” signs on their property, whether as a warning to others or as a playful boast of their ownership of a canine companion. But in the village of Brocton, there is nothing playful about the issues some dogs have caused village residents.

Dog Control Officer Gloria McCormick spoke at a recent Village Board meeting about persistent dog issues after 17 complaints were filed in the month of February.

“A lot of people don’t understand what limitations a dog control officer actually has,” McCormick said. “If there is a dog just running loose, I don’t go out and chase a dog. I’d be chasing a dog through the vineyards forever.”

McCormick explained that if she is contacted by someone who has contained a dog, she will pick it up and try to locate the owner. She will seek medical attention for the dog and provide “minimal, comfort care only.”

One canine in particular, a brown dog with medium fur, believed to be a Blue Heeler, located on Fay Street is the biggest concern on a long list of animals that have given village officials trouble in recent months. The dog is aggressive, with multiple residents claiming they have been chased by it. Residents are urged to avoid the dog, if possible.

“It’s a big problem because some of these dogs are quite aggressive. My biggest worry is they are going to bite some child, and they are not vaccinated. Let me tell you, rabies is not fun. I really would hate to see some child go through that,” McCormick said.

The aforementioned Fay Street dog is believed to be owned by inhabitants of a property on Fay Street in the village, which was initially believed to be unoccupied.

Writing tickets “is a problem,” according to McCormick, especially with a property like the one in question on Fay Street, with multiple dogs on the property.

“I have no idea who actually is living in that house, who is not supposed to be in that house. Until I can really find out who that is and who those dogs belong to, there’s not much I can do with that. I can’t go on the property and knock on their door,” McCormick said. “I would love to get that piece of property under control. I’ve had so many calls in just the last week on that property alone.”

But it is not just Fay Street where issues persist in the village.

“I have three main streets in this area that are the major issues. People just let their dogs run loose. They’re not licensed, they’re not vaccinated,” McCormick said.

McCormick plans to do a formal enumeration of the dogs in the village by sending a worker door-to-door. She stated that the only way to get an accurate number is by going in person. “(The mail) is not going to work. People are either going to ignore it or they are going to lie,” McCormick said.

The village will attempt to receive assistance from the sheriff’s office with the ongoing issues.

“It’s very difficult. … That’s why there’s been a lot of dog wardens, because they can’t work miracles,” said village attorney Peter Clark, who vowed to look into more ways to offer assistance.

“Unfortunately, once the dog does bite, then we have a better recourse. But that’s too late,” McCormick said. “I really don’t want to see any child get bit, I really don’t.”


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