DEM inspects Warren shelter after complaints

DEM inspects Warren shelter after complaints


RISPCA special agent Joseph Warzycha and DEM veterinary paramedic Marisa Coates toured the Warren Animal Shelter Tuesday.
State inspectors paid a surprise visit to the Warren Animal Shelter Tuesday afternoon after receiving anonymous tips about conditions at the cramped shelter at the end of Wood Street.

Special agent Joseph Warzycha from the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and veterinary paramedic Marisa Coates from the state Department of Environmental Management, arrived at the shelter shortly after 1 p.m. and spent about an hour looking over the facility.

Editorial: Time to address shelter’s problems

Main Animal Control Officer Heidi Garrity, who was injured in an accident in the town animal control van earlier this month, was not there. However, animal control officer Kathi Krause was, along with Warren Deputy Police Chief Joseph Loiselle, who left shortly after their arrival.

Dr. Finocchio said Monday that RISPCA and DEM officials planned to visit the shelter after the RISPCA received several recent complaints about conditions there. The complaints dealt mainly with cleanliness concerns and other problems, he said:

“They’re about the conditions there under which the animals are living, and the care they’re being given,” Dr. Finocchio said. “These are allegations; so to be on the side of caution we’re going to go in with an olive branch.”

Over the course of the hour-long visit the visitors moved their way from the front office throughout the cramped facility. One of animal officers’ concerns was the number of animals in the cramped facility, and veterinarians noted that as they toured the facility.

They found other issues, too — five guinea pigs being housed in the main cat room since there was nowhere else to put them — and cleanliness issues outside the facility. Out back, they found old stacks of cages and a closed off area where one animal suffering from parvo had been kept some time back.

However, shelter workers told inspectors that no animals currently housed at the shelter have the disease.

Dr. Finocchio said prior to the site visit that the town will be informed of the deficiencies found, and given a chance to correct them. The authority for overseeing the findings would fall to DEM, which oversees all municipal animal shelters.

“Our concern is whether the animals are being properly cared for,” he said. “I would assume they would have a certain period of time to correct those deficiencies, and then if they do not, the state would move from there.”


  1. all this money and effort wasted for stray animals
    bristol bonding tax payers – warren erecting an animal spa!
    bring back the good old days of the Bristol Dog Pound – drive out the paddy wagon, collect all strays without tags, give them 5 days at the pound, if no one claims them then gas them
    saves lots of dollars

  2. I want to say that the town of Warren is lucky to have Animal Control Officer Heidi Garrity. She works nonstop for the animals of this town. She has asked for better facilities or at least improvements and nothing is done. Now she is out due to an accident she sustained on the job and someone has the nerve to call and complain? I would ask all the animal lovers in town to volunteer even if it’s just an hour of their time to go down and help clean things up at the shelter and as for you, walter heisenberg, perhaps you were the one who called to make the complaint? Shame on you!!!

  3. anna, cherie, lynn – I would expect nothing less from “crazy cat people” such as yourselves
    you’re the type that, given the choice to save a person or an animal from a burning car crash, would not hesitate to save the animal over the person
    my point is we have a broken economy, millions on welfare, Obamacare on the horizon, terrorism, drug crimes, pregnant teens, tolls on the sakonnet, Syria, Russia ……………..and you jackazzes tax me to give to an animal “shelter”!!!!!!
    you’re the sick ones

    • Not a crazy cat person at all. I do however love and respect all living creatures, which includes you and your right to think any way you desire. However, I don’t recall calling you any unwarranted names and showed you no disrespect. You are obviously a very angry person and very unhappy with the cards you have been dealt. I shall pray for you or are you against that too?

    • Now we resort to the names. That’s mature, thank you. Just a little information for you, I absolutely would break for a squirrel, I am not a crazy cat person, I don’t even have any… I don’t believe ANY of the animals chose for the economy to be the way it is, so why blame them? I honestly feel bad for you. You are definitely missing something in your life to be that cruel.
      I hope you have a wonderful day :)

  4. The animals of this town would not be in the situation they are in if people would have their animals spay or nutured. The animals do not want to live this way. All they are looking for is love and a good home.

    • Kristen-

      Thank you for proving my point!
      !!!!!!!!!! ANIMALS ARE NOT PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!!
      We’ve already had the Nazis gassing people and I’m pretty sure that we all agree that was wrong (unless you’re Ahmadinejad) – however I see nothing wrong with euthanizing excess, unwanted ANIMALS. My way saves lots of tax dollars – plus if owners know that Tabby or Fido will be picked up and gassed maybe they’ll take better care not to let them roam about.


        Do you realize that sometimes people get sick or die and the animals have no control over were they end up. Shelters help people who are not hearltess assholes and love animals(unlike you!!) get there animals spayed or neutered. Animals can actually help elderly and special needs children and adults because they can be therapeutic. You have some serious issues and are just heartless. What if we did the same thing to kids under state care after 5 days we killed them ofcourse that would never happen. Well animals deserve the same care and consideration as people. You must have not been loved when you were younger and you probally are a single miserable *** man with no life. get a life loser

        • Kristin, don’t waste your time, honey. It’s just a waste of breath. You’re never going to get him to see anything differently, and you’re going to irritate yourself trying. Thankfully, there aren’t as many people like him as there used to be!

  5. “What if we did the same thing to kids under state care after 5 days we killed them…” ANIMALS ARE NOT PEOPLE

    “Well animals deserve the same care and consideration as people.” ANIMALS ARE NOT PEOPLE

    “…you probally are a single miserable *** man with no life. get a life loser” – Now you’ve hurt my feelings.

  6. I’ve seen the animal shelter before Officer Garrity got there and since then. Not only does she make the best of the close quarters and make sure the animals are in top health, she also dedicates herself to making sure that they are well taken care of. Just a few months ago she had the opportunity to have a new shelter and the town turned it down. For someone to call in and complain when she’s not there, and when she hasn’t been there in weeks goes to show you that perhaps it’s the WEEKEND help who isn’t doing what they’re supposed to in order to care for the animals. Besides Officer Garrity, how many people would spend their birthday evacuating a piece of crap shelter of the animals during a hurricane, with only the help of two or so volunteers? And besides that, who besides Officer Garrity would put aside all human emotion to pick up the pieces of a dog who’d been hit by a bus and strewn around a neighborhood, just so the elementary school kids who’d be getting home within the hour wouldn’t have to see the carnage? Perhaps it’s time to take a look at the new staff.