The animal shelter in Fort Smith, N.W.T., has been pleading with the town for years to deal with the town's stray dog problem.

The shelter volunteers hope the newly elected town council will help get the problem under control.

Ninety per cent of the dogs that end up in the shelter aren't registered. Some, like one dog which the shelter picked up last month, are infected with diseases such as Parvo, which dogs should be vaccinated for.

"We had a little dog we've been looking after for three days and he just died. It was just brutal," said shelter volunteer Dixie Penner.

Penner wants another bylaw officer on the town payroll who will work after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

"Dogs get killed, dogs get hit and injured, dogs run loose, kids get bit … there's just no way to get ahold of the bylaw officer," said Penner.

She said she has been asking town hall for more officers for the past decade. Penner said frequent turnover in administration offices means the situation is out of control.

"They all promise me stuff, each one a different thing and it never happens and they're gone. So I'm still working on that."

Town Councillor Chris Westwell said he sees the hard work the organization has been doing.

"For a long time, our animal shelter has needed support through those evenings and weekends so that they're not the ones going out [at] 10 o'clock at night in -40 weather and trying to deal with an animal control issue that is a bylaw that we’ve made that is not our volunteers’ responsibility," he said.

The issue of the additional officer came up in the recent municipal election. Westwell said they could add another officer if council agrees to it.