Allyson Halm is back doing what she loves — animal control.

The resident of Stamford started her new job as New Canaan’s animal control officer on Oct. 1. Prior to that she was president of Adopt-A-Dog in Greenwich for seven years, where she created the popular annual fundraiser, “Puttin’ on the Dog.” But what she really loved was her prior job as the animal control officer in Greenwich.

So when Maryann Kleinschmitt retired after 15 years of serving all the domestic and wild animals in New Canaan, Allyson was thrilled to take over.

Her first month on the job has been eventful. A resident called about two coyotes in her yard, which Allyson realized was because of the fruit trees on the property. She was also contacted with reports of a large black bear lumbering around in the back woods.

“What people in New Canaan don’t realize is there are many species of wildlife here sharing their property. When I spoke in front of Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops and asked what they thought was the biggest animal issue in the town, not one of them mentioned wildlife,” she noted.

Winter brings new challenges. “Dogs need exercise even when the weather is terrible. People need to use pet-safe salts to melt the ice. Many properties have electric fences that can lose power. Other properties have ponds that can freeze over, but would prove deadly if a dog falls through the ice,” she said. Cats, Allyson added, should be kept indoors.

Residents call her whenever they see something unusual. She recently was contacted when a kestrel, a unique bird of prey, was in a fountain. Unfortunately, it passed away. Allyson took it to Bruce Museum in Greenwich.

“They specialize in taxidermy and are always looking for unique species,” she said. She also rescued three baby skunks whose mother’s back was broken and had to be put down. They were taken to Wildlife in Crisis in Weston where they will be cared for until they can be released back into the wild.

If you see an injured or sick animal, call Allyson Halm at 203-594-3510. However, animal control is not responsible for nuisance wildlife such as a squirrel stuck in a chimney.

New Canaan residents also have a great dog park named Spenser’s Run. A year’s permit is $25 for residents and $40 for non-residents, which provides for a tag and a code to get into the property. “People abide by the rules and it is a wonderful space for our dogs,” Allison observed.

We are lucky to share our town with so many wonderful animals, and lucky, too, that Allyson Halm is responsible for their welfare.

Cathy Kangas of New Canaan, is CEO and founder of PRAI Beauty, a global skin care line sold on home shopping networks. She is a member of the board of directors of the Humane Society of the United States. She can be reached at cathy@praibeauty.com