Friday, September 06, 2013

Wanna' Run a Cat House?

Palmer Tp resident Frank Farina, who has not attended a Council meeting in years, came last night. The dogs brought him. "You want to build a kennel?" he railed. "I have to eat beans so I can pay my taxes," he complained, noting that 1/3 of his fixed income goes to the taxman.

Williams Township Supervisor Vince Foglia was there, too. "You don't tax first, then think of ways to spend the money," he lectured Council concerning the idea of funding a county-wide shelter for stray animals. Argiung that the "no kill" philosophy of some local shelters dies more harm than good, he warned that a County-wide shelter would just "encourage people to buy kitty kats and Fido at Christmas time, knowing they can drop them off."

Then there was Diane Silviotti, who suggested the County consider boarding cats with people like her, who could always benefit from a few extra dollars.

I'm all for cat houses myself.

These folks were all sounding off about a stray animal study prepared by Dave Wolgrom of Lafayette College's Meyner Center.

Under the state dog law, police officers must pick up stray dogs and majke some sort of effort to find their owner. Because the Center for Animal Health and Welfare (CAHW) has embraced a no-kill philosophy, it is almost always at capacity and no longer has room to accept strays brought by the police. So the police get stuck with them.

In Bethlehem, stray dogs are currently transported to a shelter in Berjks County, which takes a police officer or health department employee away from their jobs for the three hour round trip.

"That's the real loss," explained Sheriff Randy Miller. He should know. In addition to being the former Commissioner of Bethlehem police, he spent 15 years as its animal control officer, getting minimum wage because "I love animals."

Critics of a county-wide approach pointed to Easton's success in dealing with animal control, but that was disputed by Police Chief Carl Scalzo. He said the so-called kennel he operates is little more than a holding cell to keep dogs in place so an officer can return to patrol.

Bethlehem Township Dan Pancoast was there, too, supporting Scalzo.

"It is a county problem," Scalzo said of the stray problem. "It's not going to get any better."

Sheriff Miller invited everyone to visit the CAHW and see the dogs that are warehoused there. He claimed that between 70 and 90% of all dogs in a no-kill shelter are one of the four breeds commonly referred to as pit bulls. Few people are willing to take a chance on those dogs, especially if they have children.

Scalzo agreed with Miller, although he cautioned at one point that pit bulls are basically good animals that are "very motivated" and 'very strong." If they have been trained to fight, they can be friendly one moment and then just snap.

"Nobody's adopting them," Scalzo stated.

Among the possible solutions are doing nothing, building a bare bones kill shelter ($300,000) or a state of the art no-kill facility ($1.2 million per year).

Council is nowhere near making a decision on anything. Executive John Stoffa has suggested that whatever funds are sought should be via referendum.

It appears that we don't really have a stray dog problem, but as Lamont McClure observed, a pit bull problem.

Peg Ferraro was unhappy. "Once again, we learn the state has a law, but they don't give us any help." She's all for meeting with municipalities to decide on the best course of action, but suggested it might be kinder to some of these animals to euthanize them than keep them warehoused the rest of their lives.

Personal note: My grandson has a dog, and sometimes, I get to babysit her. I have not owned a dog since my kids grew up, as I live in a small apartment. I did have three parakeets. I loved them, and taught one to say, "Hi" and "Corpus Juris." But they're all in parakeet heaven.

I spend long hours away from home, but did once apply at some cat house for a cat. I had to fill out a lengthy application, and was eventually rejected as unfit. "Aren't you a disbarred lawyer?" asked some fat lady in glasses. "Why Yes, but I don't intend to have the cat draw wills."  She then asked me about my past drinking, so I asked her about her plastic surgery.


Anonymous said...

"state of the art no-kill facility",

We all know this County Council are suckers for that term. they just love spending taxpayer money on fancy overpriced buildings.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between a "county problem" and a problem that exists throughout the county.

Anonymous said...

And this is the County's responsibility? Where is that written in the law? The municipalities need to deal with their own problem. Their taxes are low enough already. No need to raise County taxes more to pay for something that is not the responsibility of that tax base.

Anonymous said...

agree w/639. the county has essentially one taxing vehicle-property tax. PA law gives the cities and townships many more vehicles for raising revenue. let them deal with it. seems something becomes a county problem only when no one else wants it.

Anonymous said...

looks like Ricky Bobby was right...

Anonymous said...

I always thought the County was responsible for "HUMAN SERVICES". Pets are not human. Lets expand the program to take in canaries, pet boas, pet alligators, etc. This is what happens when you have these programs.
Here is the answer to this problem: Pass an ordnance mandatingg every owner of a pet "must have that pet chipped for identification purposes". You can not have a pet unless it has an I.D. Chip. The responsibility of that animal and the disposition of that animal then becomes the responsibility of the owner. Make the fines huge if the animal is found loose or the remain of the animal are found in the wild. Animals are not the responsibility of the County.
P.S. I think you (Bernie) ought to be in charge of a "Cat House" you rascal you..

Unknown said...

On the Farm, dog's to be disposed of, were shot; Cat's to be disposed of, were bludgeoned with a short pipe.

Death be not Proud, just get it over with Quickly.

Anonymous said...

This "Pit Bulls can just snap" is such ignorant nonsense.

Would they neuter you if the animals had a vote?
Clinton----the new Clem.

Anonymous said...

Please Free Greggy, my Mediterranean Love Hound!

Anonymous said...

Jim should be chemically castrated during his Parole. That will fix him!

Anonymous said...

I adopted two "pit bull" type dogs from the CAHW and now am a volunteer there and advocate. These dogs do not just "snap". Dogs can bite anyone at anytime, it is there only defense. I don't like to see any child around a dog unless they are educated on how to treat a dog. Children scare and frighten dogs with their high pitched voices and squeals and by pulling on the dog's tail or ears. All animals need to be respected and understood. Pit bulls are a terrior breed and so have those quality's in their DNA. They are very loyal and protective of their home. Education is the key to understanding. We can build 20 shelters and there would still be a stray dog and cat problem.

Show Me The Money said...

Although each state differs on their mandated legislation for this process, the optimal procedures to be followed are outlined below.

Procedures for Euthanasia

A warm-blooded animal may be euthanized only by administering sodium pentobarbital, a sodium pentobarbital derivative, or a substance or procedure, which acts on the central nervous system and is clinically proven to be humane. When euthanasia is accomplished by adding a lethal solution to water or food, adequate installations shall be provided for feeding and watering which are sufficiently enclosed in order to provide for protection from contamination by feces, uric acid, feathers, and any other debris.

A lethal solution must be administered in the following order of preference:
1. By intravenous injection by hypodermic needle;
2. By intraperitoneal injection by hypodermic needle;
3. By intracardial injection by hypodermic needle; or
4. By solution or powder added to food.

The animal shall be tranquilized with an approved, humane substance before euthanasia is performed.
Euthanasia must be performed by a licensed veterinarian or a licensed or registered veterinary technician under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

At least two people must be present for administration of an injection, one to hold the animal and one to perform the procedure.

An animal may not be left unattended between the time euthanasia procedures are commenced and the time death occurs, nor may its body be disposed of until death is confirmed by a qualified person.

The tax-payer's cannot afford this.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would pay $15 a year in additional taxes for the no kill shelter. You are all a bunch of cheap bastards. Quit complaining.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Children scare and frighten dogs with their high pitched voices and squeals and by pulling on the dog's tail or ears."

While I laud you for your volunteerism and for adopting two pit bull types yourself. I cannot allow that statement to go unchallenged. I have owned many dogs over the years, some of them big. I have many friends with dogs.

Dogs love children, probably more than they love adults. That includes the pit pulls I have known.

If a dog or pit bull is skittish around children, he has a behavioral problem that is uncharacteristic of other dogs. I would not want to see that dog near children or adults, whether it is a pit bull or any other breed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Clinton, you seem to be a bit off in your appraisal of animals. I won't look for you at a shelter.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"PA law gives the cities and townships many more vehicles for raising revenue."

Not that many, and they perform many services the Counties do not perform.

I do not think the case has yet been made for a county shelter, but would want to hear more from all police chiefs affected.

Then I think it is time to really start insisting that our state reps actually start doing their jobs instead of sitting on their hands, looking carefully to see which way the wind is blowing.

But it makes sense to me that this a role for a county or the state. II also think the no-kill philosophy needs examination. if that means a facility will be 70-90% pit bull, then I would support euthanization at a county shelter if necessary to create room.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"And this is the County's responsibility?"

It is not the county's responsibility. Not a core function. Neither is economic development. Neither is open space. I understand the argument that a oounty government should not stray too far from its limited role.

Unknown said...

During the 70's, Easton had roving wild(abandoned) dog pack's. Fur Trapper's had to carry pistol's & were responsible for reducing the pack size.

Anonymous said...

Any breed----anytime.

Anonymous said...

On one end of the leash a dumb animal, on the other, an intelligent and beautiful K-9

Bernie O'Hare said...

I agree. That is just common sense. But my own experience also tells me that most dogs, large and small, love children. I frankly believe it is ridiculous to suggest that children scare and frighten dogs. I would agree if someone said that children scare or frighten some dogs. But I think the reverse is the norm.

Anonymous said...

Clinton @ 9:41
You are so full of shit with this remark its shocking---and this even given the routine nonsense often found on this page!
Unfuckin' real dude. Your cred is zero.

Anonymous said...

Diff breeds have more or less tolerance for children. Individual dogs within breeds have diff responces. Never leave a young child alone with any dog, any breed. Sleeping dogs should NEVER be startled. The best dog may nip a child if it has a sprain or injury. Not all injuries are detectable.
Toddlers do indeed mimic prey movement and squeals.

ALMOST NEVER IS IT THE ANIMALS FAULT. It's the big hairless monkey that causes the problems.

NEUTER ANIMAL ABUSERS-Euthanize dogfighters.

Anonymous said...

There is an article in the Morning Call making reference to this, including comments about a possible dog park. If dog owners want a dog park, let them pay for it. I do not want my taxes being used for a dog park.

Anonymous said...

The indictment alleges that the shelter euthanized more than two dozen animals after having charged their owners $100 or more with the promise to provide all shots and medical care and place their animals with adoptive families.

Anonymous said...

BOH If you make Clinton sound too stupid people won't get the joke.

Anonymous said...

Your last paragraph is gold. Your accompanying photos are hilarious. Animals declared tasty are almost always in good supply and almost never roam free in numbers high enough to harass. Deer come to mind as a possible exception. American Bull Terriers used to be called babysitter dogs and were the most popular breed in the country because of their loyalty and gentle nature. There are no bad dogs or breeds. There are only bad owners. Working dogs, however, often make poor pets and poor K-9 citizens. They are often highly motivated and quite intelligent, but very ill mannered, as manners are not in the job description of most working breeds.

Unknown said...

@ 9:23 AM

Death of animal's, according to the tenet's of animal husbandry, is a necessary, though, unglamorous aspect of it.

Perhap's start a Citizen's Shelter List.....then take the animal to THEIR home.

Madd Ratter said...

@ 2:36

The ratting dogs were typically working terrier breeds, which included, but were not limited to, the Bull and Terrier, Bull Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Fox Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Rat Terrier, Black and Tan Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The degree of care used in breeding these ratters is clear in their pedigree with good breeding leading to increased business opportunities. Successful breeders were highly regarded in those times.

Anonymous said...

Neuter Clinton. It's the humane thing to do.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie, Could the increase of abandoned " Pit bulls"be in alignment with better drug interdiction here in Easton? If the police run a player over to the Brownstone University, all that guy's support system gets re-alignment. Are they taking off and not taking the dogs?Are the girlfriends kicking the dogs out? Now, I realize a lot of legitimate owners of these type of animals are NOT criminals at all when I ask this question.However a non disputable high frequency oes exist! It should be part of a interview "interrogation" process at arraignments, Where is your dog?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

If you want to make a bigoted remark, sign your name.