CITY OF READING
Boards & Commissions

Animal Control Board
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Virtually

Members Attending: R. Rosato, President, H. Brown, Vice President, D. Straub, A. Miller, S. Baller

Others Attending: S. Smith, Deputy City Clerk; S. Bachman Public Works; E. Blankenbiller Property Maintenance; H. Carroll, Animal Rescue League; A. LaMana, Asst. City Solicitor; D. March, Humane Pennsylvania; J. Abodalo, CD Director

Call to Order

Mr. Rosato called the meeting to order at 6:03 pm.

Mr. Rosato noted that a quorum was present.

Public Comment

None.

Approval of Minutes

Motion was made by Mr. Straub, seconded by Mr. Brown, to approve the March 5, 2020 meeting summary as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Animal Control Agency Report

Ms. Manwiller joined the meeting at this time.

Ms. Manwiller stated that she provided 2019 annual statistics and 2020 statistics through June 30 via email. Ms. Smith stated that the reports were part of the meeting packet.

Permit Updates

  • 1424 Linden St – Exotic Animal Permit – two ducks

Ms. Smith stated that the application and description was part of today’s meeting packet.

Mr. Straub moved, seconded by Mr. Rosato, to approve the exotic animal permit for 1424 Linden St. Motion carried unanimously.

  • 1711 Cotton St – more than 6 dogs/cats

Ms. Smith stated that the City is aware that this property contains more than six dogs/cats and that the residents were requested to complete an application. She stated that to date the application has not been submitted.

Mr. Carroll stated that he is aware of this situation and will follow up with the residents.

Mr. Straub questioned if a fine would be levied. Mr. Carroll stated that a citation can be issued for illegally harboring unvaccinated animals. He stated that if this condition is corrected before the hearing for the citation, it will be dismissed.

Mr. Straub questioned if this was reported by a neighbor. Mr. Carroll stated that the situation was reported. He stated that he did visit the property and the conditions are fine. He stated that he noted the number of animals in his initial report. He stated that he will follow up at this property and provide his final report to the Board.

  • 611 Maple St – operating as cat rescue

Mr. Carroll stated that he was recently made aware of this property. He stated that the resident claims that she is running a rescue for feral cats and is adopting them out. He stated that the conditions are fine but that there are always more than six animals present. He stated that there are three dogs that are permanent but that there can be up to 30 cats at a time. He stated that he will follow up at this location and report back to the Board. He expressed the belief that this location should also have a permit for more than 6 dogs/cats. The Board agreed.

Old Business

  • Animal Chapter Review and Update

Ms. Smith stated that the amendment has been reviewed by outside legal counsel and is not in conflict with PA dog laws. She stated that the amendment has also been reviewed and approved by the City’s law office. She stated that the amendment will be discussed with City Council at their September 21 Committee of the Whole meeting.

Code Red

Ms. Manwiller questioned why three days of excessive heat are required to declare a Code Red but three days of excessive cold are not needed to declare a Code Blue. Ms. Smith stated that this will be corrected by the amendment and that neither Code will require three successive days of extreme temperatures.

Sale of Underage Puppies

Mr. Rosato stated that he has seen this at the animal hospital. He stated that puppies are being sold at five weeks from a location in Reading. He stated that this house has several litters a year and that the puppy that he saw at the hospital has subsequently died. He stated that he contacted the Dog Warden but has not gotten a response.

Ms. Baller stated that she is also aware of this issue. She stated that she has also contacted the Dog Warden and got a response that an investigation will begin. She stated that she will follow up with the Dog Warden.

Mr. Rosato requested that he be informed as the investigation proceeds. He stated that the location is 1233 Oley St. He noted the need for hospital staff to understand how to proceed when these cases come forward. He expressed the belief that this will continue to happen as long as these animals are bred.

Ms. Manwiller stated that the Dog Warden was not working during the pandemic shut down and is now trying to catch up.

Ms. Carroll expressed the belief that the ARL can address this unless the resident claims to be a kennel. He stated that he will compile information to submit to the Dog Warden and will inspect the premises in case there are other issues. He reminded all that 26 animals constitutes a kennel. He stated that he will begin a file as if it were a general animal complaint. He will keep the Board updated.

Other Matters

All introduced themselves to the new members in attendance.

Mr. Abodalo stated that his staff was notified that two dogs were inside a rental unit when the tenants were evicted. He stated that the landlord changed the locks before the tenants could retrieve the dogs. He questioned how to address these situations.

Ms. Baller stated that she got a call about this situation today. She stated that she has spoken with the landlord and that the tenants were only given ten days’ notice to vacate. She stated that the tenants were able to get their dogs this afternoon.

Mr. Carroll stated that the eviction ban has been extended under some circumstances. He stated that if the ARL is notified they can assist with the reclamation of animals. He stated that tenants have rights to their property. He stated that if the animals are turned over to the ARL they can be claimed by their owner; if that does not happen, the animals will be adopted out. He requested that the ARL be informed in the future when these situations occur.

Mr. Bachman expressed the belief that the Property Maintenance office can also assist as needed.

Next Meeting

Mr. Rosato stated that the next meeting will be in January 2021. He stated that a poll for a specific date will be sent via email.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 7:31 p.m.

Respectfully submitted
Shelly Smith
Deputy City Clerk