Regional Animal Control

WestCOG, in partnership with RFA llc is developing a report on the potential for improvements, including inter-municipal or regional sharing, of animal control facilities and/or services in Western Connecticut.

Contact Mike Towle, Deputy Director at WestCOG with questions. | 475.323.2064

Where is this project coming from?

The state of CT provided funding for the COGs to study and develop potential regional services that can assist and serve local governments. WestCOG staff asked their council of Mayors and First Selectmen on what projects should be undertaken. Animal Control Services, among others, were identified by the Council. WestCOG, created a project committee made up of animal control officers, municipal staff, and municipal leaders.

The project committee put together an RFP and then selected RFA as the consultant to study the existing status of Animal Control Services and to develop a Report of Recommendations. These materials developed from this project are intended for municipal leaders to make informed decisions regarding Animal Control Services within the Region.

Data Collection

This study is highly dependent on the quality of Municipal Animal Control data received. Below is a summary of the data requested in the Animal Control Data Matrix of the types of data being requested from municipalities. Data can be sent to Bill Dagget at

The Surveys:

The Data Requests

Send data to Bill Dagget at

  1. Data submitted to the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CTDA) for the APCP Program for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019
  2. Submit Wildlife and Feral Cat Statistics (separately)
    • Number of Intakes for 2019
    • Outcomes for 2019
  3. Submit your Annual, Line Item Operating Costs for 2019 (Actual Costs, not Budget)
  4. Submit Written Shelter Operating Protocols (If a particular protocol does not exist, so state)
    • Intake procedures
    • Isolation protocols
    • Required Observation Time (pre adoption housing)
    • Inoculation Protocols
    • Minimum Legal Stray Holding Duration
    • Animal ID protocols
    • Shelter Cleaning procedures
    • Adoption procedures
    • Spay/Neuter
    • Protocols not listed that are part of your operation
  5. Submit a Written Description of your Interaction with Local, Private Humane Societies, SPCA’s etc. & name which one(s)
  6. Please Provide your suggested goals and/or concerns with WestCOG’s pursuit of a regional approach to animal control/welfare.
  7. To the best extent feasible, 2019 data of Animal Control Calls
    • A table for field calls
    • A table for informational calls.
    • Ideally data is summarized by type and month (see sample below)

Regional Animal Control Study Committee

The committee initially operated in the selection process for the chosen consultant on this project. Members of the committee will monitor project progress and deliverables and provide guidance and contacts for the consultant to facilitate the study process. Current members include:

  • Allyson Halm – Animal Control Officer of New Canaan
  • Curtis Read – First Selectman of Bridgewater
  • Chris Muir – Animal Control Officer of Wilton
  • Elisa Etcheto – Executive Assistant for the City of Danbury
  • Mike Towle – Deputy Director at WestCOG

Project Scope

  1. Kick Off Meeting. Recorded meeting to lay ground work and take questions from stakeholders.
  2. CTDA Evaluation. Evaluate Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CTDA) statistical data.
  3. Animal Control Survey. Issue online Statistical and Programming Questionnaires and collect Animal Control Budget Data.
  4. Data Collection. Evaluate the data in conjunction with applicable CTDA statistical data and issue recommendations to identify a maximum of eight (8) facilities within WestCOG as the primary focus of the subsequent portion of this study.
  5. Shelter Site Visits. Conduct Shelter Site Visits to a maximum of eight (8) facilities during a two-day trip, meeting with each facility’s key staff and stakeholders for two hours per shelter to accomplish the following:
    • Collect existing conditions information including:
      • Primary Enclosures
      • Surfaces and Drainage
      • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Quality
      • Light
      • Sound
      • Photographic documentation
    • Meet in person and or via conference call web-based meeting link to accommodate remote participants with Key Shelter Staff and Stakeholders to discuss clarification of input or obtain missing information from online surveys. Areas to be further discussed include:
      • Operating budget
      • Staffing
      • Services provided
      • Intake and medical protocols (including microchipping)
      • Programs (adoption, behavior, training, etc.)
  6. Needs Assessment. Develop a Preliminary Needs Assessment Study for each of the eight (8) facilities with future projections of 10 and 20 years utilizing the data collected in items 1-5 above to:
    • Determine the numbers and types of animals (domestic and wildlife) that need to be sheltered
    • Determine the number and type of staff needed for each facility
    • Determine operational factors including
      • Operating hours
      • Kill vs. no-kill
      • Public private cooperation
    • Evaluate site criteria
    • Identify progressive public educational programs
    • Identify fundraising opportunities and events
    • Identify potential synergies between multiple facilities
    • Identify potential for efficiencies in sharing resources, combining smaller facilities, etc.
  7. Current Operations Meeting. Facilitate Current Operations Coordination web-based Meeting.
  8. Draft Recommendations Report. Develop a Draft Recommendations Report.
  9. Recommendations Report Meeting. Facilitate Recommendations Coordination web-based Meeting.
  10. Update Recommendations Report. Update the Draft Recommendations Report per the Coordination Meeting directives.
  11. Issue Final Report. Issue the Final Recommendations Report.
  12. Leadership Coordination Meeting. Facilitate the final Recommendations Leadership Coordination web-based Meeting.