The Colonial Regional Police Department will set up a kennel for stray dogs, probably by January 2013, Lower Nazareth Supervisor James Pennington said at the board meeting Wednesday.
Lower Nazareth residents who lose a pet dog should check there first, as they try to locate their missing animals, he said. Owners would be charged a nominal fee to recover their pet.
Township Supervisor Timm Tenges said the township will post guidelines pertaining to changes and new procedures for lost pets and strays on its website and in the newsletter as soon as the plans are finalized.
The need for change came about because the Center for Animal Health and Welfare is rolling out a new way for accepting strays beginning in January 2013.
According to its website, the Williams Township shelter will no longer accept animal control contracts from Northampton County municipalities. Instead, the process for animals taken there will be similar to a private drop-off. That means municipalities will pay $150 at the time of drop-off. Whether the shelter accepts the animal will depend on available space and will be at the shelter staff's discretion.
Townships that contract with the Colonial Regional Police Department, Tenges said, will partner with the police department to provide a centralized location to hold dogs rather than immediately take them to the Williams Township shelter.
“As a municipality, we are required by law to manage dogs, and this way we can hold a dog for a while [in hopes that] the owner claims it before taking them to the [Center for Animal Health and Welfare]," said Tenges. He said the process, while providing a service to Lower Nazareth residents, could also save the township money in the long run.