New Hampshire Humane Society Stretched to Limit by Recent arrivals (506 w/cuts from Karen)

LACONIA — The New Hampshire Humane Society has found its resources stretched to the limit by recent events, which saw 70 cats come into their care last week as well as 22 dogs which were taken into protective custody in Carroll County.

''We had been cruising along rather comfortably until this happened,'' says Marylee Gorham, executive director of the society, which is headquartered on Meredith Center Road.

She said that 55 of the cats were turned over locally by an individual who the society has been working with for several years by providing free spaying and neutering services, but who became overwhelmed by recent new litters.

''Fortunately we were able to work with the Rozzie Mae Animal Alliance of Conway, which provided free spaying and neutering for 33 of the 55 cats who are now available for adoption,'' says Gorham.

The Rozzie Mae group has a van which is equipped with an operating room which allows the organization to bring its services to all parts of northern and central New Hampshire.

Gorham said that another 15 cats were brought to the society late last week from another local location, and on the same day Ossipee police removed 60 dogs from a boarding shelter in that town, 22 of whom ended up with the Humane Society with the others going to humane societies in Ossipee and Conway.

She said that the humane society's new veterinarian, Dr. Sioban Bach, is examining the animals to identify health problems and possible infections.

''We've already named all the dogs but because they're in protective custody they can't yet be adopted,'' said Gorham, who says that her favorite is a Black and Tan Coonhound who has been named ''Pippi'' in honor of Pippi Longstocking. ''She was the only dog that wasn't barking when they brought her in. She was just sitting there and looking around sort of like she was trying to figure out what kind of a situation she was in.'' says Gorham.

She said that the dogs which were brought in were thin, showing they we undernourished, and that their fur was coated with feces and one dog's coat was yellow from urine.

''We've been feeding them four times a day and constantly bathing them,'' says Gorham, who says that she is hoping that some of them will soon be able to go into foster homes.

She said that it was apparent that some of the dogs haven't been outside for some length of time, as they appeared almost afraid to walk on the grass. ''It's sort of what I would call Doggie PTSD'' says Gorham.

The Humane Society is looking for donations of laundry detergent as well as canned dog food and would also be grateful for any monetary donations.

''We've got ourselves some new animals which means we're using a lot of our space. But the good thing is that summer is the high time for animal adoptions and we're hoping that they'll all be finding forever homes in the near future,'' says Gorham.

County attorney, Laconia police object to Lafond’s request for home confinement

LACONIA – Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen said yesterday she will object to Amy Lafond's request to be released on home confinement after she finishes the first part of her sentence of 3½ to 7 years for negligent homicide.

As part of her guilty plea, Lafond was sentenced to two consecutive sentences – one for killing Lilyanna Johnson, 14, by striking her with her car while she was walking along Messer Street on April 19, 2013, and one 3½ year sentence for second-degree assault for seriously injuring Allyssa Miner, now 16. Six months of the second sentence was suspended on the condition of Lafond's good behavior in prison.

"The second-degree assault pertains to the second victim (Miner)," Guldbrandsen said. "I never wanted the death of one girl to overshadow the injuries of the other girl."

"It was appropriate she was sentenced on both and the victim's family strongly object (to Lafond's motion)," Guldbrandsen continued.

Guldbrandsen added that she is very pleased to see Lafond taking advantage of all of the classes and help groups available to her and hopes that when it is her time for release she can be a productive member of society.

Laconia Police Capt. Matt Canfield, the lead investigator into the accident, said yesterday that he agrees with Guldbrandsen.

"My feeling is she should serve out her sentences for each crime," he said. "There were two separate crimes that day despite the fact there was only one act."

Guldbrandsen said she will be filing her official objection to Lafond's motion later this week. She said it is the judge's decision whether or not to hold a hearing, and she said there is one, it would likely be a video hearing. She said victims will have the right to appear at the hearing and if some do go to the court, she said the judge would likely let them speak if they wanted to speak.


City ponders ‘pocket park’ to address downtown drainage problems

LACONIA — The Planning Department will host public meetings this evening to seek opinion from the general public about plans to improve the drainage and landscape the space at the so-called "concrete courtyard" near the intersection of Pleasant Street and Main Street.

The meetings at City Hall will begin at 5 p.m. with a presentation of the proposed plan followed by an open discussion between 6 and 7 p.m. and closing with a second presentation of the plan at 7 p.m. for those unable to attend the earlier presentation.

Known as "Water Street Extension," the area includes the paved area beginning at the shops along Vintage Row and extending past the McIntyre Building, which houses New England Porch Rockers, and along the of the vacant commercial space next door to Bootlegger's shoe store. The plan also includes improvements to the expanse of pavement on Main Street south of its intersection with Pleasant Street.

Last year, when the water main at the location was replaced, excavation revealed an abundance of underground utilities close to one another, effectively precluding the installation of underground drainage.

Instead, Loureiro Engineering Associates Inc. of Manchester has designed a series of "rain gardens," or landscaped islands bounded by walkways that will capture storm water to improve drainage. The island would include benches as well as a table with seating creating what Planning Director Shanna Saunders calls a "pocket park." In the paved area along Main Street, where there are already trees, the areas around them would be enlarged to accommodate additional plantings and benches.