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Donation Saves Animal Shelter Job

Kathleen Suchy can say something most people can't: her job really is a gift. The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to accept a $12,000 gift from the Katz Family Foundation, Inc., to retain her as the Westport Animal Control secretary for another year.

The board held some reservations about accepting gifts to fund town positions. There were concerns about what happens to the position if the donations stop. In addition there were questions on what happens if a donation funded individual leaves the position. Selectman Gavin Anderson was primarily concerned about how grant funded positions would affect the police department when the grant funds run out.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said if someone in a donation funded position leaves the town's employ, the remainder of funds would be returned to the to donor.

Police and Animal Control Officer Peter D'Amico spoke on behalf of Suchy to the board. (Suchy did not attend the meeting.)

“She was going to be laid off because of the economic situation,” said D'Amico. “There are a lot of dog people in town. When people heard she was going to be laid off we had someone step in and donate.”

This is the second time the Katz Family Foundation has funded Suchy's position. D'Amico said this is her third year with the town. He doesn't care where the funds for her position come from, he needs her.

“She is truly a needed asset,” said D'Amico.

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