STAMFORD, Conn. -- A Stamford task force is recommending tighter restrictions on animal control volunteers and moving the city's animal shelter from 201 Magee Ave. to a city-owned building on Courtland Avenue next to the Stamford Dog Park.
The Animal Control Center Task Force also recommended more extensive background checks on animals and the people who want to adopt them.
The recommendations came in a report handed to Mayor David Martin on Wednesday.
The task force was formed after allegations were made that dogs were improperly adopted out to families from the animal shelter and the arrest and firing last June of former animal control manager Laurie Hollywood.
The 13-page proposed ordinance modernizes the existing one, which was created in a simpler time, said Eileen Heaphy, task force co-chair.
"The old ordinance on animal welfare, which looks like it was designed for a rural, agricultural community, which Stamford was at one time, it was about two-and-a-half, three pages long. We now have a 13-page draft ordinance that now will have to go through the legislative process," Heaphy said.
The proposed rules for volunteers would help clarify "confused" lines of authority between volunteers and staff, Martin said.
"We now have a new set of rules, which help define that, better protect the public and better protect the city and better protect the volunteers as well," he said.
Martin also welcomed proposed guidelines on better adoption procedures to protect pets and the people who are adopting animals.
The proposed ordinance will go before a Board and Representatives committee and a public hearing, Heaphy said. It may take a couple of meetings to review the document, she said.
"I am sure this will be too complex for one committee meeting," Heaphy said, who added that it will be a lengthy process. "We're talking about several months process easily."
A public meeting will be held on the proposal before it goes to the Board of Representatives.
A Stamford investigation released last June said that three dogs were adopted out despite having a history of biting and despite two prior warnings from the state not to do so.
Hollywood, a Newtown resident, rejected an offer that would would have wiped away the criminal charges against her if she completed a probationary period.
Her case, involving three counts of reckless endangerment, is still before the court.
The task force met 14 times, including one public hearing, in drawing up the proposal.
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