Temple gives animal control officer funds to build shelter for lost pets

  • Jennifer Rheaume, owner of the Temple Emporium pet shop, talks to her pet bird Muggins, which was found in a New Ipswich dumpster almost four years ago. Staff photo by Tony Marquis

  • Jennifer Rheaume’s pet bird Muggins sits on her shoulder. The bird was rescued from a New Ipswich dumpster four years ago. Staff photo by Tony Marquis

  • Jennifer Rheaume, owner of the Temple Emporium pet shop pets her rescue rabbit Pepper. Staff photo by Tony Marquis

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/30/2017 9:36:08 AM

Temple’s animal control officer is getting a shelter.

Jennifer Rheaume, animal control officer, said the shed will be constructed within two weeks after years of scrapped plans. It is just in time, too, as Rheaume indicated that spring is a troublesome season for animal control.

“There’s animal problems in every town,” she said. “It’s not so much strays as loose pets, and right now there’s a lot of calls because animals tend to run this time of year, so it’s dogs getting out, animals getting hit, things like that.”

The shed will be on Rheaume’s private property on West Road. Selectman Gail Cromwell said there is no precedent for the town paying for a town building with town funds and putting it on private land, but defended the move. The agreement for the project included the requirement that the shed not have a foundation, so it can move when Rheaume is no longer the animal control officer.

“She is a town official,” Cromwell said. “And just in case, the building is designed so it can be easily moved.”

Not attached to anything so it is not a permanent fixture, the shelter will be 10-feet-by-12-feet and constructed by local volunteers. It will include a chainlink fence, and have windows.

Another reason the town of Temple chose to allow Rheaume, who owns and operates pet store the Temple Emporium at the same site, to have the shelter on her land, is for safety.

“Originally there was a lot bigger quote for a building behind the town offices, but that wasn’t going to work because it needs to be attended at all times,” Rheaume said.

Cromwell said there could be vandalism and damage to the fence if kept behind the municipal building south of downtown as originally planned.

“There could have been one there, but it’s not safe there, so it’s better to have it at her house,” Cromwell said.

Rheaume said the rainy weather and increasing costs of wood have delayed the project, which got the final approval from the selectmen at a public meeting on March 13.

“I actually went out to the spot and I think it’s a really good idea,” Cromwell said at that meeting.

Originally tabbed for $1,327.70, the department is seeking quotes from Belletete’s Building Products in Jaffrey and Hamshaw Lumber in Keene.


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