Friday, February 14, 2014

Stray dogs to be taken to Lancaster County SPCA

Every year, Elizabethtown police officers find as many as 18 dogs whose owners they can't identify. For the past few years, a local organization called 2nd Chance 4 Life has been taking those dogs and keeping them. While it has been convenient, that contract has come to an end, and by April police will take dogs to the Lancaster County SPCA.

This isn't like the stray dogs in Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The number of strays has gotten so bad that authorities have been using exterminators to kill dogs, using poison darts in some case, according to the Washington Post.

Whether it's a local organization or the SPCA, the borough has to pay for police officers to take the dogs there. The borough will pay the SPCA $2,000 a year for up to 10 dogs and $200 for every dog after that.

The challenge is that the borough, to recoup costs, has charged residents $200 to pick up the dogs from 2nd Chance. But since the SPCA will charge residents $100, Borough Council decided on recommendation from police Chief Jack Mentzer to lower the borough's fee to $100. That way, residents would still pay just $200 to pick up their dog. Otherwise, it would be a 50 percent increase, to $300, and Mentzer said he was worried about the "sticker shock."

The new arrangement means the borough will lose money, but council is committed to evaluating it to determine if the fee should be increased.

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