After having their contract with the city terminated and refusing to leave city property, staff of the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter are back in the facility caring for the animals.

But not before the shelter launched a Facebook post on Saturday, which has since been removed, that accused the city of locking them out of the building.

The Berkshire Eagle reports the Friends of Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter, a private nonprofit that had been contracted by the city of Pittsfield to care for animals that are homeless or detained by the city throughout the mandatory seven-day holding period. After that holding period, the shelter took ownership of the animals and attempted to find homes for them.

On Friday, the two Pittsfield Police officers went to the Sonsini shelter, located in city-owned property at the Downing Industrial Park, and attempted to take control of the shelter, including care for the animals inside. Eleanor Sonsini staff, however, declined to hand over control.

The officers left the premises soon after.

Stacey Rossi, a lawyer for the Friends of Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter chairwoman and treasurer, said Friday that the contract was "illegally" terminated, but she declined to comment whether they are filing suit against the city.

When reached just before 10 a.m. Saturday, she said she was enroute to the shelter.

Through a spokeswoman, the city of Pittsfield has declined to comment on the state of the nonprofit's contract with the city for the past month.

On Friday, Roberta McCulloch-Dews, director of administrative services for the office of Mayor Linda Tyer, again declined to comment on the contract, including if or why it was terminated, saying only the issue was now "a legal matter."

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