SCHOOL CLOSINGS AND DELAYS

Dozens of animals need new homes before Meriden Humane Society gets kicked out of building

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MERIDEN -- Dozens of animals may soon be out of a home in Meriden, as the Humane Society has been told to move out of its building on Murdock Avenue by the end of February.

"We have 120 days to place abut 85 cats and roughly 20 dogs," volunteer Alysia Robinson said. "All the people that we help every day, we can't help them anymore."

During this time the Humane Society is focused on getting animals out and will not be bringing any in.

The Humane Society has been dealing with a series of recent controversies. Last month, the director was charged with forging paperwork and last year, vandals caused $2,000 worth of damage.

As for this next hurdle, the building is city-owned, so the decision as to who gets to occupy it is ultimately up to city council.

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During a meeting Thursday, Meriden city leaders told the Humane Society volunteers that they had 120 days to vacate the building.

New Meriden City Manager Guy Scaife said the Humane Society lease expired April 2015.

"One of my early chores were to come in with a fresh set of eyes and evaluate this situation decide should we renew the lease, if so what are the terms or is it best to part ways," he said.

Scaife said the tumultuous relationship between the Humane Society and Animal Control, which shares the building, was a reason for not renewing the lease.

"The last thing I was gonna do was renew a lease with a longstanding disagreement, that's not healthy for tenants and landlords," he said.

Robinson said the Humane Society was willing to work with the city to remain in the space.

Scaife also feels the organizations approach with the animals should be altered, for example, he said they house too many animals in that small space.

"They don't like that our cats are free roaming as opposed to in a cage," Robinson said. "They get use to real life situations it helps to socialize them to go into a home and be successful."

Last month, another non-profit, called Saving Paws, proposed using part of the building for an on-site veterinarian office.

At that time, the Humane Society argued they didn't have space to spare and the mayor said the decision will come down to what is best for the city.

"There comes a point in time when you just need to part ways its a healthy thing to do for both organizations and I think that's where we are," Scaife said.

Scaife said he welcomes the Humane Society to continue in the city of Meriden in a building more suitable for their needs.

The Humane Society has been operating in the city for over 120 years.

The city has not released any information on if Saving Paws will be moving in.