If you are on my list and don't read the news, besides the
majority of the police calls to Miller Towers (Oxford Rise now
Stone Rise), the bludgeoning to death of a person with a hammer
(OK, that was a couple years ago) and the rampant mid-day house
break-in's over the last year here in West Vincent Township, now
comes the dog massacre of Pine Dr.
Haven't heard of it? Pull up a chair and read the following
link. It has Channel 10 and Channel 3 news reports and the story
of what happened to these two dogs that were in the wrong place
at the wrong time.
These dogs were gunned down by the owner of a property with
sheep on it. I certainly understand both sides of the story.
Dogs trespassed on his property. The property owner had recently
shot some pit bull or pit bulls that attacked the neighbor's
animals and then been on the shooters land. I understand the
emotional panic of having a pet attacked by another animal. I
understand the shoot first, ask questions later mentality. I
don't agree with it, but I understand.
Unfortunately, the entire situation should and could have been
avoided if West Vincent Township had done it's job. How is that
possible, you may ask? The sheep were not legally allowed to be
on the property. A review of zoning for that property all the
way back to 1967, before that development was built, only
allowed farming operations on properties of 5 acres or more.
This specific property is NOT one property but 3 separate but
contiguous parcels of 1 acre, 1 acre and 2 acres, for a total of
4 acres. According to the Chester County documents, the parcels
were acquired in 1995, falling under the zoning of 1987, having
a 10 acre minimum for farming of any type. Therefore, the
keeping of sheep in this locale is clearly illegal.
These dogs died because West Vincent Township has not enforced
it's zoning laws. If there had been no sheep, there would have
been no shooting. Did the person have the right to kill the
dogs? Yes, PA State law allows the shooting of a dog in pursuit
of any animal on their property, a good law. We all have to be
able to protect our animals. There is another knee-jerk reaction
from some to have laws passed to prohibit that ability. The
claim is that the law is "antiquated". Protecting our property
is not antiquated. We don't need more laws taking away rights.
What should be considered is how did the dogs get in the fenced
area to pursue the animals and just as important, if the sheep
were not there since the keeping of those animals was illegal,
how would the dogs have been shot? The simple answer is that
they could not.
Will West Vincent now enforce it's zoning after this tragedy
that is sure to tear this neighborhood apart or will they allow
the illegal operation to continue? In a side note, Pennsylvania
law states “A safety zone for firearms hunters is the area
within 150 yards of an occupied residence, camp, industrial or
commercial building, farm house or farm building, school or
playground. That distance is reduced to 50 yards for archery
hunters.” Yes, I realize this is for hunting, but there is a
reason for the distance. West Vincent Township is solely
responsible for this sad and avoidable incident, the sole
product produced by the negligence of their zoning officer. I
would hope the neighbors demand a cease and desist of this
illegal operation in their neighborhood on Monday night at the
West Vincent Township meeting. It won't bring the dogs back, but
it will protect the sheep and eliminate from this ever type of
incident from happening in this neighborhood ever again.
To see my
previous mailings please click on http://tinyurl.com/westvincentinfos
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