Pets & Animals 06.20.19

Attention Dog Owners in the Town of Schodack

Debra L. Curtis, the Schodack Town Clerk, wishes to remind residents that under NYS Agriculture and Markets Law Article VII, §109, all dogs are required to be licensed by four months of age and under Town Law §109-5, all dogs, when not confined to the property of their owner, must be under control and on a leash not in excess of 12 feet in length. Leash length is reduced to 6 feet when walking within the Town Park.

To obtain a dog license, a copy of the current Rabies Certificate, which must be valid for more than 30 days prior to licensing and must be signed by a licensed veterinarian, and proof that the animal has been altered, must be provided. The cost for a spayed/neutered dog is $7.00 and an unspayed/ unneutered dog is $15.00. One tag is issued for the lifetime of the license; however, in the event of loss, it can be replaced at a cost of $3.00. A renewal letter will be sent on an annual basis, based upon the anniversary of the license.

If you have any questions, please visit the Schodack Town Clerk’s office, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Schodack Town Hall, 265 Schuurman Road, Castleton, NY 12033 or please call 518-477-7590.


DEC Asks Public to Report Moose Sightings

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is asking the public to report moose sightings and observations. DEC and its research partners use these public sightings as indices of moose distribution and abundance in New York. This is part of a multi-year research project to obtain information on the status of New York State’s moose population, health of the moose, and the factors that influence moose survival and reproductive rate.

Most moose sightings occur within the Adirondacks, but neighboring states Connecticut and Massachusetts also have moose populations, resulting in observations in the southeast portion of New York.
The moose, a protected mammal in New York State, is the largest member of the deer family and the largest land mammal in New York.  Bulls weigh from 600 to 1,200 pounds and stand up to six feet tall at the shoulder. Cows weigh anywhere from 500 to 800 pounds.
DEC reminds the public to respect wildlife by viewing from a distance, at least 50 feet away. Keep quiet, move slowly, and do not approach moose. Drive cautiously at dusk and at night in the Adirondacks.

Have you seen a moose? Let DEC know by reporting your observations using the online form. Share your moose encounters by mailing in or e-mailing your photos to us.


The Joys of Country Living

How lucky we are that my pet possum poem inspired Naomi Boel’s delightful story of the precious pet squirrel that dropped happily into her family’s lives. That’s one of the joys of country living.
A sudden wildlife intrusion happened to me ten years ago before I moved to Wynantskill.  As I was having breakfast one morning, a large green frog suddenly hopped out from behind the television set and proceeded to hop rapidly past me toward the door.  Astonished, I raced after him…or her…caught him after a brief struggle and took him outside where he hopped away without so much as a thank you. I couldn’t figure out how he got into my house.  He was too big to squeeze into any openings, but I soon forgot about it.
A week or two later I noticed hundreds of tiny black spots in the huge plastic child’s swimming pool I had filled with water for my dog’s wading pleasures. Puzzled…I soon realized they were tadpole eggs.  My green froggy visitor had left her calling card.
I researched tadpole food and hoped it would sustain the hundreds of tiny tadpoles that appeared and grew bigger every day. In desperation, I found a young woman who agreed to scoop out some of them for her pond, but the crowding got worse, possibly harming them.  So, I began scooping out dozens at a time and driving them quickly down to the nearby creek and watched as they swam gaily into the clear rushing water.
Soon the hundred or more I had left turned into tiny perfect little green frogs before my eyes.  One by one they were able to hop out of the pool and hop away into the nearby wetlands. I missed them all, every perfect little big frog replica.
I try to imagine why this mother frog found or chose me to be the godmother, but I was honored.  I suspect that animals instinctively know who will take care of them when they are in need.
Naomi Boel’s baby squirrel had hit the jackpot.  My hundreds of baby frogs were almost as lucky.  But the big winners were Naomi’s family and me: godparents to a few of nature’s wildlife.
~Sylvia Honig
Wynantskill, NY


Castleton Public Library

Located at 85 S. Main St., Castleton, NY 12033
All events are free. Questions? Call 518-732-0879.

Tick & Lyme Disease Prevention – Wednesday, June 19, 6:00pm
Presented by Rensselaer County Department of Health. Learn how to protect yourself & your family from bites and tick-borne illnesses. Please register; call 518-732-0879.


Free Fishing Clinic at Grafton Lakes State Park

Grafton Lakes State Park will offer “Go Fish!” a fishing clinic led by DEC’s Fisheries Educators, on Saturday, June 29th, from 9am-1pm. This program is an opportunity to go fishing without a license as part of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Free Fishing Weekend.

This drop-in fishing clinic meets by the boathouse on Long Pond in Grafton Lakes State Park. Children and parents will learn the basics of fishing and identification. Fishing poles will be provided by DEC for this free class. Many children catch their first sunfish during this program each year, so come try your luck!

For more information about our other summer program offerings, please contact the environmental educator at 518-279-1155, ext. 2, or visit our website at

Upcoming Programs at Grafton Lakes State Park

(Cropseyville, NY) – Join us for our upcoming June programs:

Saturday, June 29th– Go Fish! Free Fishing Clinic 9am-1pm. On free fishing weekend, no license is required. Educators from DEC’s I Fish NY program will be on hand to show you how to fish, who’s in the lake, and they even provide poles to use! Ages 6 & up. Clinic is free, but gate fee of $8/vehicle still applies. Gate fee is refundable if leaving directly after program.

Saturday, June 29th—Busy Beavers at 1pm. Learn about all the great things these forest workers do to create a healthy habitat for themselves and many other creatures. Weather permitting, we will take a 25-minute walk to a beaver habitat to see the lodges that beavers at Grafton build! Please call to pre-register (518) 279-1155.


Woods Forum

Wednesday, June 26, 7 PM – Woods Forum at Averill Park & Sand Lake Firehouse, 35 Eastern Union Turnpike, Averill Park, NY.

Do you value your land and your woods? Discuss how to care for your woods today and plan for the future. Talk with other landowners and hear about their experiences. Share your questions, concerns, and advice. Join fellow woodland owners and forestry professionals for a discussion on how to maintain the value of your woods for timber harvesting, recreation, wildlife, and for future generations. Refreshments will be served.

All are welcome at this free event. RSVP by Friday, June 21st, to Dan Morse at dan@nullrensselaerplateau.orgor (518) 712-9211.


Guest Speaker – Ticks and Tick-Borne Illnesses

Rensselaer County’s Everett Wagar Senior Center, 2 Roxborough Road, Grafton, NY will host Kelsey from the Rensselaer County Health Department to speak on ‘Ticks and Tick-Borne Illnesses on Friday, June 21st, at 11:00 am. Kelsey will speak on the booming tick population, what to watch for if you find a tick, when to worry about a tick bite, precautionary methods to avoid tick-borne illnesses, symptoms of tick-borne illnesses, treatment, and more. All residents 60 and over are encouraged to attend this free presentation. Stay for a nutritious lunch (Sliced Turkey cold plate) for a suggested cost of $3. Please call to be added to the list at 518-279-3413.


June Events at Dyken Pond EEC

Grafton – The Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center is offering the following events in June:

Finding Fish: Saturday, June 29th: 9am-11am

Find out who lives in Dyken Pond and how best to catch them. Fishing poles and tackle provided. For beginner youth. Pre-Registration required. Cost $3.


Journalist and Author John Gray Receives Outstanding Citizenship Award

Vice-Chair of the Rensselaer County Legislature, Kelly Hoffman, presented John Gray with an “Outstanding Citizenship” resolution at the May meeting of the Legislature.

Gray is an Emmy Award winning journalist with over 25 years in the news business. He has written several books about his dogs and has brought joy and comfort to those that read them. Gray has donated over $25,000 from the proceeds of his book sales to animal shelters.

Hoffman praised Gray as a great humanitarian who grew up in South Troy, delivered The Record newspaper as a boy, and still lives in Rensselaer County. John was joined by his wife Courtney and their adopted blind and deaf dog Keller, who was featured in Gray’s recent book “Keller’s Heart”.


Public Meeting to Assist with Poestenkill Natural Resources Inventory

Residents of Poestenkill are invited to a meeting to see the Town’s natural features mapped in full color and detail and provide feedback on the accuracy and ease of use of the maps.  The Poestenkill Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) will hold a public meeting at 7 pm at Town Hall on Wednesday, June 19, to brief Town officials and other residents on an updated Natural Resources Inventory (NRI) that the CAC is preparing.  It will include maps of streams, forests, wetlands and flood hazard zones, among many natural characteristics.   An updated NRI is a support document for the Town’s Comprehensive Master Plan to assist Town boards, landowners, and prospective developers when considering land use and protection.  The CAC is creating the updated NRI as part of a pilot program of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program, which provides digital mapping expertise from Cornell University and publication assistance from the Rensselaer Land Trust.   We welcome the public’s input as we document our Town’s natural assets. For more information, please contact Jeff Briggs, chairman of the NRI committee and member of the Town Planning Board, at



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