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  As usual, if you want to be on or off my list, or have some comments or suggestions, or know someone who would like to be on the list, please let me know.  Feel free to forward this email on to anyone you think might be interested.   Especially though, if you don't want to continue to receive my mails, please tell me, it will be done.  Just hit reply to this email or write to chestercountynews@gmail.com

Best wishes