Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster's policies toward criminals and city police have resulted in our municipality having the highest per capita population of registered sex offenders in the state, and the city being ranked as the most dangerous place in New York.
And now he's preparing to bring the same sort of expertise to bear on cats and dogs.
The centerpiece of his crime fighting efforts is the North Main Street courthouse, an insanely expensive ($46.5 million) structure that was to have revitalized the city's North End, one of the most dangerous parts of this dangerous city. Thus far, it has failed in that mission.
Now Dyster wants to build a no-kill animal shelter. The project is being budgeted at $3.2 million, but the odds of it actually being built for that amount are slim to none. When the courthouse was initially proposed, the state said it should cost around $14 million.
In a city as poor as Niagara Falls, many have trouble feeding and housing themselves. Dogs and cats are routinely abandoned as an unnecessary expense, often taking up residence in the city's many abandoned houses and eating garbage.
The problem is so bad that the SPCA, which has served the city for decades, is threatening to stop taking dogs and cats from Niagara Falls, where the overwhelming number of strays originate.
The SPCA also serves Lockport, the Town of Niagara, Wheatfield, Pendleton and Cambria.
"We need now to begin exploring alternatives, so if they follow through and decide that they're no longer going to have municipal sheltering services available we have an alternative," Dyster said.
Should Dyster's policies toward homeless dogs and cats be as effective as those he's brought to bear on crimefighting, it is likely that the city will witness a population explosion of animals.