Harrisburg, PA Off the Rails

If you lose your dog in Harrisburg, PA and someone calls in a report of a stray dog to authorities, a police officer will promptly respond to the scene.  The officer will then ask the caller if he’d like to adopt your dog.  If the caller says no, the officer will decide if he’d like to adopt your dog himself.  If the officer thinks your dog is aggressive or sick, he may shoot your dog.  If the officer doesn’t shoot or adopt your dog,  he will put your dog into the prisoner van, drive him out to the country and abandon your dog.  If the officer chooses to keep your dog himself or dump him outside of town, he’s not allowed to tell the caller.

The city of Harrisburg used to have a contract with a local Humane Society for shelter services.  But apparently the city hasn’t paid the bill and so the contract has been terminated.  Therefore a police captain sent out a memo to her fellow officers explaining the new policies for handling stray dogs, which I’ve summarized above.  As surreal as all this may seem, the article in The Patriot-News gets even wonkier.  I won’t confuse you with the details but it culminates in this quote from a concerned member of the Governor’s Dog Law Advisory Board:

“If carcasses are brought in, I want them to count the bullet holes.”

This is the guy advocating for the community’s pets.  Welcome to Bizarro World.


17 thoughts on “Harrisburg, PA Off the Rails

  1. I have no words for this. At least if the police simply ignored calls about loose dogs, there would be some chance that the owner would find the dog again or that some nice neighbor would take the dog in and try to find it a good home. By shooting or abandoning it out in the country, they are ensuring that the outcome is negative. I hope people in PA speak out about this.

    1. Completely agree. You took the words right out of my mouth. So glad I dont live there, yet, that doesnt help those/the dogs that do.

    1. OMG – they only owed $800? The HS was refusing to accept dogs, allowing them to be possibly shot or recklessly abandoned over $800? I had gotten the impression from the first article that the bill was like $10 grand or something. 800 *&@$%^@$^* dollars?!

      1. Didn’t sound right to me either – here’s another article that talks about partial payments for 2011 past-due bills (the $800 might have fulfilled the 2011 past due bills that hadn’t been totally covered) – but the Humane Society’s call for payment towards the 2012 contract sounds like it is still not taken care of – I can see why they would want $$ up front if they haven’t been paid in the past)

        “…But neither is the problem resolved. Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson, after telling citizens last month the issue had been settled, now says the city has paid its bill ($6,300 from 2011) and is engaged in talks on the 2012 contract.

        The humane society however says the 2011 bill is not paid up and it wants $10,000 in an initial payment on the 2012 contract…”


  2. Need the contact info for the woman who wrote the memo, Annette Brooks, she said “if anyone has any better ideas to email her”… flood her with emails of alternatives to shooting and dumping peoples lost PETS!

  3. Excuse me Annette, Books (not Brooks)
    and here are some listed phone numbers for her and several others if anyone is interested in calling

    Annette Books 717-255-6459
    Police Chief Pierre Ritter 717-255-3103
    Mayor Linda Thompson 717-255-3040

  4. This reads like a great temptation for almost legal theft. Desirous Of Dog opens dog gate, waits for dog to exit, calls authority and then when asked says “Why yes, I would like this dog!”.

    1. Right you are! And unless legal owner of said dog is there to call police to arrest you for trespassing and theft, they’ll likely need to THANK you for saving their dog’s life!
      From another angle…I’m not the least bit surprised that a group with the words *humane* and *society* in their title are willing to put the lives of every animal in the community at risk for a few dollars.

  5. I get the whole – past behaviors being predictors of the future…but seriously? The bill has been paid – they said in the original article that they have budgeted what like $70k for 2012….but the deal hasn’t been signed yet AND the hs wants $10k up front or they’ll just literally stand back and watch dogs get shot? Is this their way or trying to influence people to side with them? It’s literally like blackmail. The humane society refuses to take in dogs – and the city fired back with ‘well shoot them’ instead….sick sick sick! Everyone in this situation needs a good smack!

  6. Wonkier, Bizarro? Why are you using these words to describe what is being done to these animals? It is as if you want to add some comic relief to it. You should knock it off because you’re disgracing these animals that are being so cruely treated and killed.

    Would you use these words when talking about what the Nazis did to the Jews in the concentration camps? I hope not. I have no idea why Nathan keeps refering people to your site. I think it is very distasteful and a insult to these poor animals.

      1. Serious. This stuff is hard enough to deal with. Taking away the (dark) humor would make it even harder.

        Remember, Jessica, not everyone holds on to their humanity the same way – have a little tolerance for those who might do it differently than you do.

    1. Sometimes we need some dark humor to keep our heads from exploding…at least I do! To each his own. To be fair – Shirley covers EVERYTHING so eloquently why should a little dark humor hurt? Bet you’d be really annoyed with her for some description on animal abuse vs killing healthy animals. Maybe YOU should not focus so much on how particular people deal with things and focus on the big picture instead……

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