Penn Hills unveils new kennels
A group of dog lovers in Penn Hills raised enough money to buy new kennels for a temporary holding space used by pets picked up by the police department.
PAWSitive Voice, an animal advocacy group, launched a GoFundMe fundraiser in April to raise $2,500 that would be used to purchase kennels to be kept at a space in the Penn Hills Police Department.
All pets picked up by Penn Hills police are taken back to the station at the municipal complex to be held for up to 24 hours before an animal control officer transfers them to Hoffman Kennels in Delmont.
The GoFundMe page purported to have raised $2,980 by 48 donors. The money was used recently to purchase two small kennels with the capacity to hold four animals and a large outdoor dog house, along with items such as pet beds, food and water bowls, leashes and collars and sanitary supplies.
“Lost or abandoned dogs that are picked up by police are often in a vulnerable state, and after getting a tour of the old kennels, we realized that with some funding, and community support, we could help give these dogs a more comfortable and safe space,” said Brittney Norris of PAWSitive Voice in a news release.
She said the old outdoor kennel sat on asphalt with no shade and the indoor kennels were not sturdy.
Municipal Manager Scott Andrejchak said police will make “new efforts” to capture photographs of captured dogs to post on social media before they are transported to Hoffman Kennels.
Council searched for a new animal control service after Norris and others criticized Hoffman Kennels for having “unethical business practices and inhumane treatment of animals.”
The municipality failed to find another animal control company that offered the same services as Hoffman Kennels. The contract with the Delmont company was extended through 2021 in June with minor amendments.
Of the several complaints, one was that Hoffman Kennels was unwilling to snap photographs of lost pets with brief descriptions that would help owners identify them quicker. Hoffman refused.
So PAWsitive Voice launched a website – pennhillspets.com – that allows pet owners to enter information about their pets, including a photo, brief description, name and the owner’s phone number and email. The pet and owners’ information are kept on an online database. So far there are 53 that have used the website.
Councilman John Petrucci thanked Norris in a news release.
“To many people, dogs are like their children and they deserve to be treated humanely while in our care. We want to make sure all dogs picked up are safe and secure, and these kennels are a great addition to help make that happen for our community,” Petrucci said.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .