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Township Animal Law Set For Public Hearing

SANATOGA PA – Prohibiting and dealing with “animals causing nuisances,” as well as regulations that limit the number of pets housed on a property under certain circumstances, both are subjects of a proposed animal activity law in Lower Pottsgrove that will be the subject of a Sept. 8 (2015; Tuesday) public hearing by the township Board of Commissioners. It will start at 7 p.m. in the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd.

  • The commissioners’ meeting that was previously scheduled to be held tonight (Thursday, Aug. 20) at 7 p.m. has been canceled.

The hearing is free to attend and open to the public, and those with opinions on the law will be allowed to identify themselves and comment. Those who plan to attend should note this particular meeting will occur on a Tuesday, which is uncommon for the board; it usually meets on the first Monday and third Thursday of the month.

The proposed law also has been written to address the housing of “exotic and farm animals” within the township borders, and defines the role and authority of animal control officers. Complete copies of the ordinance are available for public viewing Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the municipal building.

A legal advertisement published Tuesday (Aug. 18) on the board’s behalf states the law is intended to “ensure the safety, peace, comfort and enjoyment” of the township residents. If approved by the board – commissioners have previously said that’s likely – the law would take effect immediately, according to the printed notice.

Commissioners, Police Chief Michael Foltz and Solicitor Robert Brant have been consulting on the law’s wording and intent since early May. Foltz has reported his officers have seen more domestic animals being kept in local housing communities. With them, neighbors’ complaints about animal and pet noises and control issues also have risen, Foltz said.

The chief told commissioners current regulations give insufficient authority to the township’s contracted animal control officer to handle certain complaints. The proposal solves that problem, and also addresses complaints personally aired to board members by local residents in recent months. One couple described how they felt trapped in their home by their neighbors’ several dogs.

During last month (July 2015) alone, Foltz reported, his officers handled 24 time-consuming calls regarding animals: two dealing with dog bites; nine with stray animals, four with animal complaint reports, and nine other animal-related complaints.

Foltz also has asked state game wardens for suggestions to ensure the proposed law covers most anticipated situations involving animals. Township Manager Ed Wagner advised board members during their July 23 meeting the ordinance would be advertised for “a future hearing.”

Photo from Google Images

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