Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Local governments make strides toward pet protection

Local Pennsylvania municipalities take action to protect animals.

Local governments make strides toward pet protection

Three Pennsylvania municipalities have taken action recently to protect animals.

Two townships in York County became the first in the state to ban round-the-clock dog chaining.

Think this sounds familiar? The York Dispatch reported a month ago that the borough of West York was prepared to make history, but it ended up voting the measure down.

Instead two other York County municipalities  - York Township and Mount Wolf  - now can make that claim.

At their regular meetings earlier this month, Mount Wolf borough council and the York Township commissioners each voted to pass the ordinance making it illegal to permanently chain one's dog outside, the Dispatch reports.

The ordinance was first proposed about two months ago by the York County SPCA as a way for local communities to take action as the state legislature drags its heels in enacting a statewide ban on 24/7 tethering as other states have done.

Now owners of outdoor dogs will either have to build kennels or take their dogs inside regularly, Violators will first receive a warning, then could be cited and fined.

Hold your horses occasional dog tetherers: these measures do not ban "pee" breaks, tying your dog up next to you at the outdoor cafe at Starbucks or even part-time tethering.

The ordinances do require owners to bring in their outside dogs during severe weather, such as a snow storm or an extreme heat advisory.

Meanwhile, in the northeast, a township near Easton is investing a few hundred bucks in a microchip scanner to help reunite owners with their lost dogs.

Palmer Township Supervisor K. Michael Mitchell said the township would purchase the roughly $500 scanner to help reduce the costs of housing lost pets.

He says it cost the Northampton County township about $4,000 last year to feed and shelter lost pets.

"It's becoming a problem with dogs, especially, that are found in the city by the police department and brought to the shelter, which is full and overflowing and becoming more and more of a problem," Palmer said at a public meeting, according to the Express-Times of Easton.

Palmer said that when he was police chief in Easton the city paid about $43,000 a year to cover the cost of its animal shelter fees and pay its animal control officer.

Before he retired, he said, the city bought a microchip reader, and three dogs with microchips were quickly returned to their owners.

The township will not require that pets have microchip, but owners will be encouraged to get them at a cost of about $60.

Dogs, cats and even birds can have the chips embedded.

"Pets are a part of the family," Candace Kneller, business manager at Wright Veterinary Medical Center, told the paper. 

"Anytime a pet goes into a veterinary hospital, we scan them. We have had a lot of nice success stories where we could bring them back to their owners."

 

Amy Worden Inquirer Staff Writer
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Amy Worden Inquirer Staff Writer
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