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Waynesboro tables barking-dog ordinance

February 08, 2001|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

Waynesboro tables barking-dog ordinance



WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Dogs, cats, boa constrictors, African lions, Indian tigers and other animals were on the minds of the Waynesboro Borough Council Wednesday night.

The council is considering a series of ordinances aimed at controlling and licensing animals within the borough. Residents have complained about barking dogs, dogs running loose, dozens of cats, and pets damaging flower beds and gardens.

There is also the fear that police, fire or ambulance crews on an emergency call could stumble upon a dangerous exotic or wild animal kept as a house pet.

The council tabled action on a proposed ordinance that would control barking dogs until the members can study the draft.

Councilwoman Vicki Huff said after Wednesday night's meeting that she is pushing for an ordinance that would force owners of exotic or wild animals to register them with the borough.

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"I don't have anything against snakes. I used to keep them myself when I was a kid," Huff said. "But a 20-foot boa constrictor or king python is very dangerous. I just think they should be registered with the borough so emergency personnel will know ahead of time that there may be a dangerous animal in the home they're going into."

Huff said there is no law prohibiting residents from owning exotic or dangerous animals such as big snakes - or even a lion - as long as they have the proper state or federal permit. "We just want them to be registered so we know where they are," she said.

In a related animal matter, Donald Dale, who lives at 434 Ridge Ave., presented a petition with the names of 50 of his neighbors complaining about cats running wild in their section of the borough.

He said stray cats are damaging gardens and lawns. He said he and a borough police officer he called to his home counted 75 piles of cat droppings on his lawn.

Dale blamed a neighbor adding to the problem by feeding some feral cats in her yard. "One night I counted 13 cats in her yard," he said.

Councilman Allen Porter offered his support to the residents' plight, saying he made a personal inspection to the area.

"It's a serious problem and it's going to be difficult to decide how to attack it," he said. "If they don't feed the strays they won't come around. I don't know if any ordinance can stop that, but we will have to pursue this vigorously. This is a mess."

the council is considering combining its proposed exotic animal ordinance with one to deal with cats. The idea being discussed is to control cats, limit their number and possibly license cats.

Huff opposes it on grounds that only outside cats should be so controlled. "We shouldn't put any limits on the number of cats a person keeps in their house as long as they stay in the house," she said.

"I have three cats in my house and they don't bother anyone," she said.

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