RUMFORD – Residents will decide two changes in the town’s bylaws governing animal welfare and all terrain club fees when they vote in June.

After two meetings held by selectmen to hear requests for bylaw changes, Town Manager Robert Welch said selectmen recommended that the local River Valley Riders ATV Club be given the $1 agent fee that the town receives for each all terrain vehicle registration.

He said 331 ATVs were registered last year. The funds would be used to help operate the club that has members from several River Valley towns.

Selectmen from neighboring Mexico recently recommended a similar action that people from their town will vote on at the June 9 town meeting.

The Rumford board also recommended that a bylaw be approved that would give the animal control officer the right to seize an abandoned animal without having to get a court order.

Welch said the town has received an increase in telephone calls from people reporting that others have left animals in their homes when they have gone away for extended periods of time.

The new bylaw, if passed, would shorten the amount of time required to allow the animal control officer to take custody of the animal. In the past, a court order has been required, which sometimes has left an animal without food and water for extended periods of time.

Marsha McKenna, the town’s animal control officer, said this first bylaw proposed change is one of several she hopes will eventually be amended to tighten laws governing the care and treatment of animals.

Decisions on the two bylaw changes will made during the June 10 primary elections.


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