Cumberland County animal rescue facing challenges after ruling

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MONROE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A recent Monroe Township ruling says Speranza Animal Rescue will have to fulfill certain requirements to stay open.

Neighbors filed a complaint with the township back in January about the possibility of a dog getting loose and attacking someone.

The rescue has been around for about four years without a dog escaping.

Last Tuesday the township ruled the rescue is a kennel and must have a chain-link fence around the perimeter, a handicapped-accessible bathroom and a septic system.

Laurie Lyon, a volunteer at the rescue, said,"It's a lot of fencing. I think the fencing alone is going to be $25,000 just for the fencing, so that's not considering everything else that we're required to do."

But she said the ruling gives the dogs the short end of the stick.

Lyon said, "We're disappointed that we're having to use all these funds for improvement and changes to the rescue that we feel would be better, the money would be better used to care for the dog."

Many neighbors did not want to talk, but one said the dogs never bothered him.

Joshua William, a neighbor, said, "I was little taken aback. I've never heard of them needing fencing. But, like I said, we just moved here, but we didn't have any issues with it. Like, at all."

The rescue is asking for donations, and created a GoFundMe page.

Regardless of the ruling, the rescue's goal is still the same.

Lyon said, "We're continuing to work hard to be the voice for these wonderful animals who can't speak for themselves and be there to help guide them and find loving homes for them."