By John McHugh, Honey Brook Township Supervisor
Off in the distance the sound of barking dogs can be heard, and residents are asking if the noise is coming from a homeowner’s pet or from a dog kennel. That is the question that has been raised at a Honey Brook Township Board of Supervisors meeting recently. We have been conducting conditional use hearings for the dog kennels and some residents took this as a sign the Township is encouraging the proliferation of dog kennels. As Chairman of the Board, I wanted definitive answers. My reaction is to turn to the residents to get answers.
I advertised the request to form a Dog Kennel Task Force and the response has been tremendous. My purpose is to go directly to the residents in the community and get their input. We need to sort through the assumptions people are making and determine the facts from fiction.
If the noise is coming from a dog kennel, what can be done about it? If residents are not caring for their pets, what can be done about it? Does the Township have the authority to regulate and control these problems and do we have ordinances in place the meet the problem? These are some of the questions that are under consideration by the Task Force.
Honey Brook Township has 14 dog kennels that are registered with the State of Pennsylvania and must meet zoning regulations set by the Township. The dog kennel owners must follow strict regulations and are subject to regular inspections by the State Department of Agriculture. A dog kennel is a properly run facility that provides good care for the dogs that are being raised. On the other hand, a puppy mill is a disgrace to anyone who treats dogs negligently and with the number of dog kennel that have been shut down demonstrates the commitment from local and State government to ensure the health and safety of the dogs.
The State of Pennsylvania has made great strides to rid itself of the stigma of having puppy mills but many residents are concerned that the dog kennels are not what they claim to be and insist that the Township is allowing and encouraging the existence of puppy mills. In Honey Brook Township, we do not want any poorly run facilities that can be considered a puppy mill in our community or elsewhere.
The Task Force has been asked to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors at our December meeting. All meetings are open to the public and are held at the Honey Brook Administrative Building at 500 Suplee Road. The next meeting will at 7 PM on Monday, Oct. 9. You can contact Honey Brook Township Administration from 9 AM-3 PM by calling 610-273-3790 for more information.
So, what is being heard in Honey Brook Township? The residents are being heard at the task force meetings, as it should be.