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Neighbors fear pit bull attack from animal rescue

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MONROE TWP., Pa. -- A hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Monroe Township building to discuss concerns about pit bulls in the neighborhood surrounding Speranza Animal Rescue in Cumberland County.

Speranza Animal Rescue is home to 48 dogs, 45 of which are pit bulls or pit bull mixes. The neighbors said they are afraid a dog will get loose and attack. They said they would feel safer with a fence around the area where the dogs are walked. The founder of Speranza said that fear is unfounded.

Janine Guido, founder of Speranza Animal Rescue, said,  "In their complaint they say they fear for their lives - and their pets. And the three and a half almost four years we've been here we've never had a dog escape off the property."

She said she tried negotiating with the neighbors to come to a compromise.

"Originally they wanted us to fence in our whole property," Guido said. "Now we just had with the neighbors, we agreed to change our walking path of the dogs. So we're about 250 feet farther away from their house than we were before."

She said the rescue is a nonprofit and can't afford to build a fence that would cost thousands of dollars. She said it's the dogs that will lose out, and many have already suffered from abuse.

"The fact that it's going to probably cost us thousands and thousands of dollars depending on what the township decides. And that's just taking away from the dogs. They're the ones that suffer in the end," Guido said.

And she said many of them have suffered enough.

"Some of the dogs here, they've been tortured. We have one that had acid thrown on him. He has severe chemical burns. Loves people, not a mean bone in his body," she said.

She said she encourages people to come to the hearing Wednesday to support the pit bulls.

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