DUNKIRK, N.Y. -- Over the weekend, a viewer sent us photos of the Dunkirk animal shelter demanding answers about what she called a "torture chamber." We went inside Sunday to get those answers and discovered the shelter is a converted bathroom building.
The shelter is small and doesn't have any widows. The city uses it as a temporary shelter for dogs as it looks for their owners.
Monday, 2 On Your Side spoke with Dunkirk's mayor who says the shelter just passed a surprise inspection. Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas showed 2 On Your Side’s Kelly Dudzik the paperwork from last October when the shelter passed state inspection, and he told her the shelter also passed its surprise inspection Monday.
Rosas says, on average, each dog is there for a little more than one day.
"People are concerned about the conditions inside the animal shelter, but it just passed inspection, correct?" asked Dudzik.
"Yes, it did. They do annual inspections. The last inspection that was done before today was done in October of 2016. And every item on that sheet passed. And today, they did another inspection, which was a surprise inspection, but everything passed as well," said the Mayor.
On Monday, the Mayor checked out the conditions at the shelter for himself.
"I was actually impressed with some of the things that I saw there. There is plenty of ventilation, as they have fans in there, they also have food in there. We get food that's donated by Purina. And we also have, I mean, the dogs have their own space in there with an extra little space where they can go do their bathroom duties, and I didn't see any cause for us to be alarmed," says Rosas.
If Dunkirk didn't have this temporary shelter, the Mayor says the dogs would have to go to the SPCA in Jamestown. He says two dogs were at the shelter when he visited, and they were being picked up later in the day. And, the small dog from our story on Sunday has been reunited with its owner.
"If at any point it is deemed inadequate, we just won't use that facility. I mean, that's how strongly I feel about it," says Rosas.
The Mayor says if you'd like to volunteer your time at the shelter - or donate - you can give the City Clerk's office a call at (716) 366-0452.