Monday, January 19, 2009
Important Facts About The Pike County Humane Society: Things You NEED To Know.
14 THINGS THE PCHS DOES FOR YOUR COMMUNITY
1. The PCHS provides Pike County with a Humane Society Police Officer, an agent of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Barry Heim is educated, trained and certified in Act 235 Lethal Weapons Training by Lackawanna College in Scranton, PA. Since Pike County has failed to provide it’s citizen’s with a cruelty officer, the Pike County Humane Society did this on it’s own. Barry Heim has the powers and responsibility of arrest, prosecution and obtaining search warrants if necessary in investigations of animal abuse/neglect. The PCHS pays his salary and bears the burden of all costs associated with cruelty investigations. Your elected officials do not reimburse the PCHS for this most necessary service.
2. The PCHS pursues animal cruelty investigations and prosecutions, such as:
• December 2007 in Greentown: 15 cats, 5 dogs, 3 domestic geese, 6 rabbits, 1 ram, 1 ewe, 1 lamb, 2 goats, 85 domestic rats, 14 guinea pigs and 15 hairless rats (148 animals total) were removed from deplorable neglectful conditions, given veterinary assistance, food and shelter by the PCHS.
• In Birchwood Lakes 27 animals were seized, held and cared for 186 days by the PCHS pending court disposition.
• A separate case in Greentown involving the removal of 432 animals from abusive/neglectful conditions.
• The PCHS cruelty officer assisted the PA state police in the arrest, prosecution, conviction and 90 day jail sentence of Danielle Assante of Birchwood Lakes who starved 7 animals to death in her home.
3. The PCHS is continually providing aid for dogs locked in cars in sweltering summer heat and animals tied out during freezing winter months with inadequate shelter, food or water, and any privately kept animal living in unsanitary or unsafe conditions.
4. The PCHS assists the PA State Police and municipal police 24/7/365 with issues such as: *
• Drunk drivers with dogs in their cars
• Car accidents with dogs in the vehicles
• Accidents involving livestock transportation. (For example, in 2007 the accident between Lords Valley and Milford involving dozens of 4H champion goats. The driver was hospitalized. The PCHS responded to the police’s need for help, rounded up, transported and cared for the goats for over a week.)
• Livestock and farm animal escapes (For example, the horses on the highway in Nov., 2007.)
• “No-knock” searches conducted by the police where animals are involved (For example, in Pine Ridge after the murder in Saw Creek, 2007.)
• Dog fights (For example, the 8-week old Pitbull puppy with crushed glass in his stool.)
• Abandoned animals along the interstate and in the communities
• Animals hit by vehicles
• Vagrants & homeless people with dogs
• Murder/suicide situations where there are domestic animals in the home
*A state dog warden can only respond to calls M-F 8:00 am – 4:30 pm by law. The PCHS responds every day at any hour, assisting the wardens by providing shelter, medical help and food for these animals, and handling these calls completely after official hours, on weekends and holidays and in inclement weather. The PCHS covers the cost for these services, plus the emergency vet bills and receives no reimbursement. The PCHS also assists with dog licenses and rabies vaccination checks, plus transporting oversized animals to the shelter.
If an animal is found dead on the road or in an accident, or if it is suffering and must be euthanized, it costs the shelter 50 cents per pound to cremate the remains. This is required by law.
5. In addition to the veterinary bill for all well checks, first aid, rabies vaccines and spay/neuter, the PCHS has the burden of vehicle costs including insurance, repairs and increased fuel costs for transporting the animals back and forth to the vets.
6. The PCHS provides pick-up of animals from families of domestic violence and provides food, shelter, vet services including spay/neuter and vet transportation for these pets.
7. The PCHS implements Humane Education Programs, such as the program implemented for the 5th grade of all Delaware Valley Schools.
8. The PCHS provides assistance to elderly county residents with animals. Often well-intended pet owners become unable to care for their pets. This includes not bringing them to the vet, not cleaning up after them, being unable to feed them, and being unwilling to put them down when the pets are old and suffering. (For example, an elderly woman in Sagamore Estates kept falling out of her wheel chair. The Shohola fire chief and volunteers responded to help her get back into her wheel chair, and discovered over 25 cats inside in deplorable conditions with feces and urine everywhere.)
9. The PCHS is making every effort possible to maintain the health and welfare of your pets and your children and your environment by doing everything possible to prevent the spread of diseases, fungus, viruses and parasites. The PCHS provides all shelter animals with:
• Vaccinations for upper respiratory contagions
• Bordatella intra-nasal vaccinations for kennel cough
• Frontline applications for fleas, ticks, and subsequently tapeworms and Lyme disease.
• De-worming all animals for ground worms
• Spaying and Neutering
• Other medications as directed by our veterinarian.
• Selling Pike County dog licenses right at the shelter
10. The PCHS handles all rabies suspect cases in Pike County, including:
• The preparation and shipping costs for suspect animals to be sent out to the State Health Laboratory for testing.
• Quarantining, handling and caring for rabies suspect animals. Costly pre-rabies exposure vaccinations are $600.
11. The PCHS provides free information to the public on subjects such as wild animals, fixed income families needing help for their pets, low-cost spay and neutering, licensing, laws, and rabies information. On average, the PCHS receives up to 65 telephone calls per day asking for information.
12. In 2007, the PCHS handled 1500 unwanted pets and permanently placed 626 dogs and cats in good homes. This number increases every year. Before the current board took over ten years ago, the shelter had only ineffectively placed approximately 20 dogs per year and provided no other service.
13. The reason the coyote population is so high and aggressive in our area, is because they have a sustainable perpetual food source. The feral and stray cat population in Pike County is out of control. A breeding pair of cats and their offspring can produce 420,000 cats in seven years. The PCHS works with volunteers addressing the cat situation.
14. Even if you don’t consider yourself an “animal” person, you have to be concerned with neglected and abandoned dogs and cats in our area. Why? Because they are reason you and your family has to deal with an overabundant tick population, lyme disease, other tickborne pathogens, roundworm, whipworm, hookworms, tapeworms, other parasites, ringworm, other funguses, heartworm, rabies, and predators such as coyotes. There is no state agency or local government seat dedicated to these serious health concerns.
1. The PCHS receives no funding from the United Way because the UW states he PCHS does not provide “people” services.
2. The PCHS receives no monies from the Humane Society of the United States, the American Humane Association, or the ASPCA.
3. The PCHS has no endowments or trust funds to help the shelter survive, as is the case with most area shelters. (For example, Port Jervis/Deerpark Humane Society, Dessin Animal Shelter and Monroe County S.P.C.A.)
4. Pike County has one of the largest feral cat populations in the United States.
Pike County’s feral cat population is extremely diseased and riddled with parasites. This directly affects the health and welfare of all domestic cats. Also, this continues to “feed” the growing dangerous coyote and predator population of Pike County.
5. The PCHS is the ONLY animal shelter in all of Pike County. The PCHS services the whole community with all of their animal related needs. Shelters outside of Pike County have stopped accepting animals from Pike. The county provides no “pound” or emergency animal-situation protocol. No Pike County township provides any necessary animal related services. The PCHS is counted upon to provide every animal service for all of these residents. Therefore the PCHS is the only game in town.
The PCHS is unique:
The PCHS adoption rate for dogs is 87.2 %. The national average is less than 33%.
The PCHS has an open door policy, which means no animal is turned away.
The PCHS has only 4 low paid employees who receive no benefits: no medical, no paid sick days. This includes 3 shelter staff and the cruelty officer. Everything else is done by approximately 15 volunteers.
The physical shelter is clean, friendly, and provides unwanted animals with a caring, safe environment. A two- acre fenced in area with baby pools in the summer creates a socializing space. This interactive haven is where dogs can play and potential adopters can interact with them safely. Our cats are in community “living rooms”, not in cages.
The PCHS is meeting all animal related community needs.
6. It costs the PCHS $5,000 a week or $260,000 to operate. This does not include any expansion or growth, this is just to maintain what we are already doing and already providing. We estimate it would cost the county at least $600,000 a year to do what we do, if we are forced to close for lack of support and funding.
In NY, NJ and most other states, all of the services the PCHS provides are contracted, or at the very least supplemented by townships and county support. However in Pike County, the shelter is forced to fund raise and beg for the means necessary to provide the services the county wouldn’t otherwise have.
The Pike County Commissioners donate $4,000 a year to the PCHS –
That covers five and a half days of operation a year.
That comes out to less than 4 cents per Pike County year-round resident.