Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Mountville retains kennel option
BY DEAN LEE EVANS, Correspondent
Mountville Borough officials plan to continue using a municipal-run kennel to handle stray dogs for the foreseeable future.
"It seems to me that we probably should follow West Hempfield (Township) on this because their officers are going to be doing what they do," Mayor Philip Kresge said Monday at the borough council meeting.
West Hempfield supplies contracted police services to the borough, including the collection of stray dogs.
As a result of rising costs for services of the Humane League of Lancaster County, West Hempfield last year opted to house stray dogs at its state-approved kennels at the township's municipal building and police station on Marietta Avenue.
The Humane League plans to stop accepting stray dogs from county municipalities at the end of January.
But the opening of a shelter operated by the Lancaster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals now gives municipalities another option.
So far, more than 20 municipalities have requested contracts with SPCA, which opens Feb. 4 in temporary facilities at 599 Chesapeake St.
The Lancaster SPCA is not associated with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. That national group does not operate as an umbrella group with local chapters.
Councilman Francis Zimmer, chairman of the borough's public safety committee, said West Hempfield officials indicated at a recent Lancaster Inter-Municipal Committee meeting that they had no immediate plans to use the new SPCA kennel facility.
West Hempfield Township manager "Ron Youtz wasn't going to change anything yet, the (police) chief said he wasn't going to change anything yet," Zimmer said.
Kresge supported a suggestion from Zimmer that the borough consider a donation to the fledgling organization.
Zimmer said the borough budgeted $1,500 for stray dog expenses in the 2013 budget.
The SPCA is asking for an initial $500 fee to formalize open-ended agreements for stray dog collection and $300 per dog thereafter.
"Maybe we should make a donation to help get them started. Right now, we really don't have a big dog problem. Who knows what could happen (in the future)?" he said
In addition to accepting stray dogs from municipalities, the new SPCA facility will accept cats and small and medium-size pets from the public with a surrender fee.